5 things to think about when drafting your Law Firm Risk & Compliance CV
Your CV is your route into a new job, but how do you make sure it'll get your the interview? From making your personal profile more meaningful and telling the reader what you're about, to giving a comprehensive overview of your experience, here are the best ways to make your CV stand out from the crowd.
- What you actually do
This sounds obvious, but you would be amazed to see how many candidates under describe their experience and consequently risk missing out on opportunities. Often some of the most significant aspects of a candidate’s experience appear on the CV as a single, lean, bullet point. Candidates frequently avoid detailing the basics of what they do – dealing with partners queries, emailing reports to seniors, researching legal issues on databases X, Y & Z. Why? If it is what you do, include it.
- A meaningful personal profile
This is one of the areas of a CV that can be very frustrating. Candidates pour their heart out in their personal profile but don’t make the effort to qualify their “ambition”, “drive” or “outgoing nature”. These are just words, and the truth is you could take most people’s personal statement, stick it at the top of another person’s CV, and it would still look consistent. This makes it a pretty unreliable source for making a judgement on a candidate’s abilities. The key is to tailor it to your CV and qualify your statements. If you think you are driven to learn, make a reference to the fact you self funded your ICA qualification. If you say you have great stakeholder management experience, detail the sort of stakeholders you have to deal with and in what circumstances. Personal statements should be short, concise and to the point.
- Who is reading your CV?
Whether or not you are going via a recruiter, it may still be that your CV is going via HR. Very often HR professionals are juggling a significant number of roles at any one time and working across different parts of the law firm. If you are applying for a specialist role then there is a strong chance that they will only have a high level overview of what you do. If you use abbreviations in your CV define them the first time they appear. If you undertake complex processes explain what you do.
Make sure to review the job specification and match your CV to the requirements given there – chances are they will be reviewing your CV closely against that document. A good recruiter should help you map your experience to the job spec, especially if you are making a slight move in direction.
Another obvious one but dates are often missing from CVs. There is no need to include exact dates but a month and year for the start and end of each employment is a must.
- Keep things simple
Remember that your CV isn’t the only one that the reviewer has on their desk. At the end of the day it is someone (or several people’s) job to review your details. And everyone wants their job to be as easy as possible right? Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with a long CV. The 2 page CV is a myth, if you have more than 2 pages of relevant information then include it. No-one really thinks the total value of a 10 year experienced head of risk and compliance can be summed up in 2 short pages, but make sure your CV is easy to digest. Reduce the word count and keep things simple. Too often we see candidates convey a piece of experience in a long paragraph which could instead be conveyed in two very concise bullet points. You are not writing a dissertation, you are providing data about your experience.
BONUS 6th POINT!
- DO NOT PAY FOR CV EDITING
The only people that should be discussing how you should amend your CV are those people who really understand what you are editing it for. Not only will recruiters help you edit your CV for free but they understand what the people who are reading it are looking for. WEEDITCVS.COM are unlikely to understand what you do, everything they’ll tell you is guaranteed to be contained within this article, which you’ve just read! So there’s no need to pay to hear this again.