“Your CV structure is excellent, I found all needed information quickly.” is a great phrase to hear from an interviewer to open the first round interview! Getting to this point means passing various gatekeepers, which requires understanding the screening/recruiting process and a CV model that delivers segmented information specific for each involved decider.

Understanding the Recruitment Process:

Legal screening and recruitment always follows the same path. Have a look at the following infographic or click here to enlarge it.

legal_screening_and_recruitment_process_infographiclegal_screening_and_recruitment_process_infographic

The Recruiter scans hundreds of resumes for keywords and keyphrases trying to find a possible match for his clients.

The Employent Summary (3) delivers a quick overview of your former positions and is perfect for him to find what he's looking for and to quickly talk the HR manager through your profile on the phone when introducing you as a possible match to the employer.

The HR Manager becomes aware of your background, requests your CV to be sent over and compares the Skill Summary (2) with the job requirements and forwards it to the Hiring Manager who focuses on this Skill Summary (2) for evaluation and finds additional details in the Employment History (4) where required. He now forwards the CV to two further deciders for final evaluation::

The Specialist (who may be directly reporting to the Hiring Manager) has deep knowledge in the skill field the company is looking to hire for so he checks the Employment History (4) in detail for a possible match and reconfirms the match to the Hiring Manager.

The Senior Manager, who is particularly interested in finding someone who matches the corporate culture and is a good fit for the overall team. In order to do so he matches the Profile (1) with the job description (team player, self-starter, quick learner, quick adaptor, etc) and reconfirms the match to the Hiring Manager.

- Depending on the staff structure there may be more than one evaluation Specialist, or if not avvailable, the Hiring Manager might play that role.

- For direct applications the procedure above has the exact same structure, with the exception of the Recruiter being left out of the process.

All involved deciders have the same target: They want to make the right decision! To give them what they need for this decision, follow these CV optimization suggestions:

 

Creating your CV with our template

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CV-Template-(RTF) I CV-Template-(PDF)

Header:

Include all your contact data in the header of the CV. Make it easy for the hiring manager to reach you. Use a high profile email address like you@yourname.lawyer or you@yourname.attorney instead of some freemailer or your ISP standard one.

Profile:

Highlight your general strengths in the profile.
Make sure the make requirements from the job description are mirrored as accurately as possible in there.
If you don't meet some of the main requirements, mention that you have a strong interest in the field and that your development in it is exactly what you are looking for in your next job.

Skills Summary:

Try to keep the Skills Summary to two or three paragraphs.
Give it more general titles that represent two or more positions you held if needed to achieve this.
Keep the one most relevant to the position you are applying to on top (even if it is not the most current one).

Employment Summary:

Insert a High level overview matching your Employment history.

Employment History:

Insert Internships and/or law school projects if you have little to no Employment History.
Correspondingly leave out projects and reduce internships to one-liners, when the employment history in your CV gets longer.

General structure:

Keep Profile, Skills Summary, Employment Summary and Education on page one.
Feel free to add another page if Employment History space is insufficient.
Try to keep it to maximum of three pages in total.
Try to match the wording of the description of the job you are applying to.
Do not make up experience that you don't have, but if you have dealt with matters listed in the advertised job requirements, mention that in your CV, even if it was only temporary.

Checklist:

- Is your CV updated based on LawCareers.com.pub suggestons?

- Has your .LAWYER or .ATTORNEY web and email address been created?

- Is your professional Social Network page optimized and up to date?

Great! You may want to proceed to your active jobsearch now: Worldwide Legal Career Database

 

When invited to the first round interview:

Bring a printed portfolio of your former position(s) to the interview, that features work samples (one or two pages). You will always be asked to provide examples how you dealt with certain situations in the past, and this will support you during the interview and provides a written reference for the later decision process. Make sure that you bring enough printed copies of the portfolio and of your CV for all participating interviewers and yourself!

This CV structure does not only stand out from competitors, it also delivers the specific information each decider needs in a segmented way without being repetitive.
Now that you have learned how the screening process works and how your details need to be presented - which version do you think gets you the invite to the interview?: The standard CV template you may have been presented in law school or the LawCareers.com.pub one?
Your dream job is attractive to others as well; hunt for it properly.