The legal profession offers a wide variety of options for career seekers from employment law, criminal law, commercial, company and contract law as well as the various roles within each sector.
In your legal career there will are a number of key competencies that you should be able to demonstrate in a legal CV
Put simply key competencies are the skills you possess which demonstrate your ability to do the job and these key competencies should be emphasised throughout your legal CV.
Listed below you’ll find a list of key competencies for those pursuing a career in the law. Depending on what level you have reached in your legal career and what type of law you are practicing you may find that a couple, some or many of these competencies can be used your legal CV.
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Contract law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Tort
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Competition law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Intellectual Property law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Pensions law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Privacy law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Companies law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Data Protection law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of Consumer law
• Qualifications/knowledge & experience of HR law
• Provide advice on legal issues, legal developments, policy setting and questions
• Ability to draft contractual and other legal documentation
• Up-to-date legal knowledge to ensure compliance with relevant policies & legislation
• Effectively manage large complex and multiple projects
• Ability to manage time efficiently
• Experience of negotiation and management of costs
• Ability to report promptly and accurately on specific cases and trends
• Maintain accurate case records
• Ability to evaluate risks vs benefits of different options
• Ability to escalate key issues for decision/ information using appropriate judgment
• Identify issues that go beyond the specific project/activity requested by client/business
• Ability to manage expectations well
• Ability to use a variety of strategies and techniques to influence and persuade others;
• Ability to articulate and educate business colleagues on key legal issues and developments;
• Excellent written and verbal skills
• Strong analytical and drafting skills and sound commercial judgement
• Good communication and interpersonal skills
• Proven ability to work as part of a team and to deal directly with clients
• Ambitious, personally driven with a strong work and team ethic
• Ability to effectively influence and communicate cross-functionally
• Creative, resourceful, detail-oriented, highly organized
• Sound strategic thinker with strong analytical skills
• Apply planning and organising skills in co-ordinating work
• Ability to outline time-frames and work to deadlines
• The ability to deal with confidential information discretely and sensitively.
Once you have decided which of the key competencies fit best with your experience then you can start to build them into your CV. Remember you need to provide solid, real life examples to prove those key competencies. It is not enough to say you can do something you must be able to verify your claims.
Your CV is your own individual marketing tool – you are selling yourself to the employer and as such the language you use in your CV is critical.
The following is a list of ‘good’ selling words and words that help to highlight your strengths, when used to describe a skill that you hold or a task that you have achieved.
These words are ‘extra boosting’ selling words. These words serve to really emphasise a skill or achievement.
Of course with all CVs the golden rules still apply
No longer than 2 sheet of A4 paper
No spelling mistakes
Simple, clear formatting
Keep your CV concise