Why You Need a Good CV

Imagine that you are an employer with one vacancy to fill and an array of hopeful candidates’ CVs. What attributes would a CV have to possess to separate it from the pile? What would intrigue you about a candidate enough for you to take the next step to invite them for an interview?

You should view your CV as a marketing tool; a platform that allows the first direct contact with your prospective employer and a way to sell yourself as best you can. Remember that the first impression you make could potentially affect your progression up the career ladder or, even more so, the acquisition of your dream job.

Your CV will act as a reflection of you as a person and, as the recruiter has not yet met you, you need to ensure that your CV represents you to your fullest potential. The content, presentation and tone all work toward giving the employer an image of who you are. You need to focus all of your energy into showing off your value as an employee. What makes you an asset? How could your input positively impact their company? Take time to analyse the skills and attributes that you developed within your previous roles. Remember that if you are applying for a Legal Secretarial role, this is the perfect way to show off your typing, punctuation, organisational and presentation skills. Making the extra effort to ensure your CV is meticulously written and presented will make your skills speak for themselves.

Use assertive, positive and authentic language within your CV. This is the time to showcase the specific and unique achievements you have made along your career path. You are an individual, and your career has progressed in your own original way. Be bold and descriptive. Speak passionately but also clearly and concisely. Let the employer take an interest in you, by showing what is interesting about you. We all have strengths that distinguish us from others. Give examples of where you have added value within your workplace, and demonstrate your abilities with grounded statistics where possible.

Always try to tailor your CV to the position you are applying for. Tailoring your CV to each position shows not only initiative but also an active interest in the employer’s company. An employer will appreciate the effort you’ve taken to research the company, and including relevant and adapted information, rather than generic details, will give the employer confidence that you are passionate about gaining a role within their particular firm. Research each job role you want to apply for, and then think carefully about the transferable skills that you possess and why you would be the perfect match for that role. Consider writing a master document which you can then alter key areas of to fit each job description. Visualise the company’s image, ethos and needs to create a custom CV that appeals directly to each employer.

Your CV should always be sent with a covering letter. This is a professional way to introduce yourself separately, address your recruiter personally and support your ambitions to gain employment in the sector you are aiming for. As many as 40% of recruiters have said that they would disregard a CV which did not have a covering letter to support it. This information alone shows its value. 82% of recruiters also added that following up on a CV application reflects very well on the candidate. Chasing up an application a week or two later shows that you are proactive, assertive and still interested in the company.

The start of the new year is the prime time for jobseekers to start thinking about new career opportunities and a time to set new intentions. Refreshing and developing your CV gives you the best opportunity to support your New Year’s aspirations, therefore giving you the best chance of succeeding.

We provide CV help to any of our members who require assistance. Sending your CV for us to review before an employer receives it enables you to see ahead of time whether your CV best represents you and whether any corrections are needed. If you are a member, then please send a copy of your CV to cv@institutelegalsecretaries.com, and we will get back to you with valuable and constructive feedback within seven days.