Graham Rawlinson

What makes a good CV?

What makes a good CV?
Part One

As a recruiter I deal with CV’s every single day.

Some are great - short, concise, filled with ‘at a glance’ useful information.

Some are terrible with absolutely no useful information describing what they do in their current or previous roles. 

A lot are somewhere in between.

What makes a great CV stick out from a good one?

The key thing for me, and what employers want to see, is a bullet point list of what you actually do!?!!?

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

The number of CVs I get with generic duties such as: ‘’Advising Clients’’, ‘’ Ensuring Targets are Met’’, ‘’Client Care’’, where they don’t tell a future employer of what they actually do day to day amazes me!

For me the great CVs are ones that are more specific to the role and area of law you do.

It doesn’t have to be War and Peace but actually breaking down into easily digestible bullet points including:

  •  the actual work you do
  • the number of cases you handle
  • the value of the cases you work on
  • what you assist on
  • if you manage or supervise other lawyers
  • if you assist on more complex work
  • any other relevant matters to make your CV stick out vs the generic examples given above.

In short what a firm wants to know is if you joined them tomorrow, and you have been through the onboarding and introductions, what could hit the ground running with straight away, and what would you need support and training with.

The Law Society has some good pointers here on more general CV layout:


Of course there are other things that make your CV stand out which I will look at later this week such as your academics (especially for more junior lawyers), interests & hobbies, other skills, and a uniform and clear layout.

If you are starting to look at finding a new role but need advice on your CV then please do drop me a line and more than happy to help make it wonderful rather than woeful.

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