CV Review for Overseas Lawyer (South Africa)
in Careers Advice, CV Writing

CV Review for Overseas Lawyer (South Africa)

Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides free CV reviews, provided you are happy for your CV to be posted on the internet with our advice.

This is a review for an overseas lawyer from South Africa.


First Impression

On first glance, easy to read font and I like the block heading to split the CV up into sections. However, I would say that it is unnecessary to restrict your CV to 2 pages anymore. CVs of 3 or 4 pages are very common. Most CVs are submitted via email so its very difference reading a CV on a screen as to a paper copy. Therefore, you do have more room to play with and can add more detail if you want to.

Personal details – looks fine as it is. If you have a Linkedin profile might consider adding it in. Not strictly necessary but we are seeing more CVs with it on and it adds a bit of professionalism.

Professional profile – first half is fine where you say what you are and do. However, the second half from “possesses a proven track record…” is subjective and I would probably take this out. Anyone can state that they are adept at this that and the other so I would stick to facts. Plus it would make your professional profile succinct and easier to read.

Key Technical Skills and Expertise – I don’t think you need this section and it is just taking up space. You’ve already stated what your key skills are on your professional profile.

Career Summary – we’d normally expect your current role to be the one with the most detail. However, I can see your recent roles have been short term contract work so I can understand why you have set it out like you have. I noticed you have worked at x and y twice, following on from each role. Could you combine the dates so you only list the firm once? It would seem less like a long list then and give you some more space to add in some extra details about your last few roles.

For your main role with Attorneys I would switch the sections around so your responsibilities are listed first followed by your key achievements. I would also leave a line space between the sections.

Education and Qualifications – the board exams and Attorney Admissions Exam don’t mean a lot to anyone in the UK as we don’t have them so the bit that potential employers will understand is your LLB. Therefore I would indicate what result you obtained as long as equivalent to a 2:1 and above. Also, if you have the equivalent to A Levels I would list them if again you have decent results.

Additional Info – if have a driving license add in here, you can also add any specific legal software you have used. You mention using e-discovery software earlier in your CV but haven’t listed it under IT skills.

With regards interests – triathlons and half marathons is a good one to write but you might want to list and specific competitions/races you have competed in.

References – fine, nothing to add. You can keep it like this or if you have references put their names, role and contact number/email on your CV.

Jonathan Fagan

Jonathan Fagan LLM FIRP is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment. He has been recruiting solicitors and legal support staff for law firms and in house legal departments for over 20 years and handles roles from junior fee earners through to partners and law firm sales/purchases. A non-practising solicitor on the Roll since 2000, he is also the author of a number of legal career books, which are available at You can contact Jonathan at