How to stand out: applying to a law firm

by Sep 30, 2019

Crafting the perfect resume can be difficult, particularly when trying to tailor it to your ideal role. With each field looking for different things from their candidates, it’s important you understand how to best present your skills to suit your industry.

Sally Layson of Speed and Stracey Lawyers is back this month with more career advice for those of you looking to work in law. Drawing from her own experience, she talks about the do’s and don’ts of creating a CV tailored to a position in law.

Design is important

Please be aware that law firms are usually quite conservative. Don’t use colour on your CV, and definitely don’t put a photo on your CV. We want to judge you on what your skills and experience and qualifications are, not what you look like! You’re not going for a job where your appearance is relevant. 

Clean up your online presence

But remember: we will Google you! So get yourself a LinkedIn portfolio and have a professional photo uploaded there (UTS Careers can help). You don’t want the first photo of you to be you getting drunk on a Saturday night! And actually, Google yourself. Get rid of the things that will mean someone might not hire you. Make sure that what an employer can see is professional. 

Prioritise your skills

Make sure you have your most recent experience and qualifications at the top. We don’t want to know about your job you had 5 years ago, we want to know what you’re doing at the moment. We don’t want to hear about your primary school or high school, we want to hear about professional qualifications!

Be detailed about your experience

If you have worked in the industry before, be detailed about the type of experience you have and what areas of law you have worked. 

Be personable

Please give something about you other than education and experience. We want to see what you like to do and get to know you better. But don’t say you like to travel: that’s a red flag. What employer wants to hire someone who is going to work for a short time and then head off and travel? 

Be concise

Don’t include non-relevant skills like you have a driver’s license or any awards or achievements from primary school (or even high school if you’ve been out of high school for more than a year or so). This is not an application for UberEats or Deliveroo! 


Featured image courtesy of Unsplash

Sally Layson

Sally Layson

Speed and Stracey Lawyers

These views are not necessary the views of Speed and Stracey Lawyers.