in Careers Advice, CV Writing, Job Applications

CV Writing and Job Applications – 10 Tips for getting noticed

CV Writing – Tips for Getting Noticed
Here are 10 top tips from us on how to get your CV noticed by employers:

  1. Make sure your CV is extremely detailed and contains all the work relevant to the application you are making. Information such as details of billing levels for the past 3 to 4 years of practice, examples of cases dealt with, details of additional work undertaken that was not just fee earning, such as supervising staff and business development, and full information on the number of files worked on at any one time are all useful.
    2. Include testimonials from former clients giving details of where they met you, how you obtained their business and their thoughts on you as a practitioner.
    3. Put together a draft business plan demonstrating how and where you would be looking to obtain work both for yourself and the firm you are trying to join (only really relevant for senior roles).
    4. Include references from recent former employers and a solicitor who knows you in practice.
    5. Include your last staff appraisal (if fairly brief and very positive).
    6. Telephone or email the recruiter or firm before making the application to discuss the role; then send over the CV and the extra information (together with proof of ID and residence) and then follow this up with an additional email to check that it had all arrived safely.
    7. Be more interested in telling the employer what you can offer them. So many candidates get this confused. Job applications are not there for you to tell somebody all about yourself, but rather to tell somebody or indicate to them what you can do for them by providing evidence. Without doing this, job applications can be very poor indeed.
    8. Send the CV as a Word document, not pdf.
    9. Do not attach a covering letter by email but put this in the email body.
    10. Don’t delay on applying and sending over a CV, particularly if applying via agents.

Jonathan Fagan is MD of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment – contact him on

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