The March 2021 edition of our journal included the exciting announcement that our partner, Simply Law, was undergoing the biggest transformation in its 18-year history. It is with great pleasure that we can now tell you the next phase of this relaunch is live. As well as having a brand-new look, the site is jam-packed with new and exciting features as well as old favourites that have been updated or revamped – all perfectly designed to make your job search a whole lot easier.
One feature that has had special attention paid to it is candidate profiles. Candidate profiles mean that jobseekers can better showcase their talent, including professional credentials, formal qualifications and awards, as well as soft skills, hobbies and personal projects.
Candidate profiles are designed to set you on the path to your dream career through:
Connecting you with more career opportunities
Recruiters regularly search our candidate profiles to discover top talent, meaning impressive candidates can be contacted directly with career opportunities.
Speeding up the application process
Jobseekers can seamlessly apply for jobs with just one click using their Simply Law profile as well as their CV.
Increasing your chances of reaching the interview stage
Recruiters often use candidate profiles to confirm who they would like to interview; having an outstanding profile is an opportunity to really stand out. In fact, your profile could be the difference between you or another jobseeker reaching the interview stage.
In this article, Simply Law provides a complete rundown of what to include in each section and how to make it stand out from everyone else.
Start with the basics
All good profiles will start with basic information – your name, location, profile picture and contact details. Contact details are essential so that recruiters can get in touch with career opportunities.
When uploading a profile picture:
- Make sure it is a professional representation of yourself
- Use a high-resolution image
- Ensure your face takes up 60% of the frame
- Avoid distracting backgrounds
Capture their attention with an executive summary
The executive summary is similar to a personal statement but shorter. This is an opportunity to briefly highlight where you’re up to in your career, describe what you’re passionate about and explain how this contributes towards you being an excellent employee.
- Keep it brief but make an impact – this is a potential employer’s first impression of you
- Set yourself apart from everyone else – make a recruiter want to continue reading your profile
- Be enthusiastic – don’t be afraid to share what you’re passionate about
In your candidate profile you can include information on your current circumstances, but it’s also a good idea to include your preferences, such as location, salary and contract type, for upcoming opportunities.
For example, if you’re currently based in London, but are seeking opportunities in Manchester, you can amend your preferences accordingly.
This will help set expectations with recruiters who may be interested in contacting you about career opportunities. Outlining your preferred terms will save time discussing vacancies that are not suitable.
Executive summary example:
From a young age, I dreamed of working as a Lawyer. My parents practice law, so it has been a big part of my life. I finally joined law school at the age of 19, after achieving top marks in all my subjects at college. I spent five amazing years at law school learning my craft. From law school, I joined Burges Salmon as a junior. During my time there, I worked my way up to be a senior member of the team. As I am keen to progress my career further, I am looking for opportunities to take my skills and experience elsewhere and flourish in a new role.
Include hard and soft skills
The legal industry is built on hard skills such as legal knowledge and experience, and while these are essential, soft skills are also extremely valuable to employers.
Soft skills include things such as people skills, listening skills and time management. You could be the best Legal Secretary in the world, but if you don’t work well with your fellow colleagues, this would be a big problem for your employer.
When building your candidate profile, be sure to include a range of hard and soft skills that are relevant to the roles you are applying for.
List relevant professional experience
Similar to the skills section, only include professional experience that is relevant to the roles you are applying for. While it can be tempting to include the history of your entire career, recruiters don’t need to know about your paper round from 30 years ago.
- List your experience in chronological order, with the most recent appearing first
- Draw parallels between the experience you’ve previously acquired and the roles you are applying for
- Remember to include how your role contributed towards the business’s goals. For example, instead of writing, “My role was to reduce the law firm’s costs,” you could write, “By implementing X,Y and Z, we reduced the law firm’s costs and increased revenue by 10%.”
- Interpersonal (people) skills
- Time management
- Ability to remain calm in a crisis
- Positive attitude
- Attention to detail
- Commercial awareness
- Working under pressure
- Written communication skills
- Problem solving
Showcase certifications, academic qualifications and professional credentials
This section of your candidate profile enables you to detail the qualifications you have achieved over the years. Recruiters will use this section to ascertain whether you have the right qualifications for the job.
- List your credentials in chronological order, with the most recent appearing first
- Only include qualifications that are relevant to the roles you are applying for
- Upload supporting documents to verify your achievements
- Don’t include incomplete qualifications without good reason (such as it explains a gap in your academic history)
- Don’t include expired qualifications; if you have to include them, make it clear that these are expired to avoid misleading recruiters
- Remember to update your candidate profile as and when you acquire new qualifications
Show off your communication skills
Detailing your language proficiency is a key area within the candidate profile.
Some employers are actively searching for bilingual professionals, so it is important to display each language you can speak – and how fluent you are within each language.
Remember to be honest when listing your language proficiency, as recruiters may ask you to provide documentation to support your claims.
Highlight personal projects
Are you a volunteer? Part of a sports club? World champion at chess?
Though not related to a specific job role, personal projects can give additional insights into your personality, attitudes and behaviours. They can also highlight additional skills, such as dedication, empathy or enthusiasm, which could be qualities a recruiter is looking for.
Shine a light on awards
Listing an award is a fantastic way to stand out from your fellow jobseekers. Employers love to read about accomplishments rather than a list of job responsibilities.
Awards or honours demonstrate that you perform well and deliver results, which are desirable traits to employers. By highlighting these achievements, you’re much more likely to be invited to an interview.
Your award could be:
- Awarded from a professional association
- A scholarship
- A graduation distinction
- Extraordinary results in examinations or tests
- Employee/volunteer of the year
The award could also be something you achieved as part of a team. For example, “I was part of an 800-strong team that won the ‘Law Firm of the Year’ award.”
Some final things to consider...
Complete all fields
It’s really important to take the time to complete all the fields that apply to you. An incomplete profile won’t be visible to Simply Law recruiters, and you could miss out on career opportunities as a result. Besides, an incomplete profile is hardly going to impress any recruiters.
Put the time in to make it awesome
If you’re serious about your career, creating a great candidate profile is time well spent. It’s your passport to unlocking career opportunities and confirming to an employer that you’re the right person for the job.
Think about the following
How will your profile set you apart from other jobseekers?
What could you include to make an employer want to interview you?
Spelling and grammar – don’t give employers any reason to dismiss your profile.
Inject some personality
Recruiters aren’t looking for a robot, so don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your profile. At the end of the day, the most exciting people to hire are the people who are the most excited about what they do.
Keep it updated
Keeping your candidate profile updated is extremely important. Each time you build upon your experience or win an award, be sure to include it. You should aim to update your profile every six months, even if you’re not actively searching for a job. Who knows what opportunities may present themselves if a recruiter likes what they see?
Now you’ve discovered how to craft an outstanding candidate profile, all that’s left is for you to get started. Remember, once your profile is created, you can use it to start applying for vacancies on Simply Law.
Create your Simply Law candidate profile today – create a new profile.