Thinking about moving to a new country? A question I am consistently asked by lawyers is "what do I need to include on my CV when preparing for an international move?" As specialist legal recruitment consultants here at Kensington Parry we have configured a 'tried and tested' template that we always use for international job applications. Whilst CV preferences differ between everyone, these are the four things that we have found are consistently requested in a CV.
1. Personal information
It goes without saying that you should have your contact details on your CV. The only details that are needed are means of contact, address, email, and phone number. Anything more than that is excessive and unnecessary – that includes pictures.
2. Education/ Admission
Writing the date of admission (month and year) is very important to ensure that law firms will place you at the right PQE level. In terms of your qualifications – include year dates start to finish, the university attended, and the full name of degree conferred and make sure to mention if you achieved honours or were the recipient of any scholarships.
Experience is by far your most important section, so pay the most attention to it. When describing your experience, include the main details of what work you have done as well as information about the practice group. It is important to remember to include the month and year you started work as well as the name of your employer and name of practice group. If you rotated be sure to include information about the time spent in other teams. It is worth giving a small explanation about the practice group and client base and summarise the matters undertaken.
When international firms are looking at lawyers experience, the most important thing to include is what sort of matters you have been working on, and the size of them. Law firms really want to know what you have been doing for all those years at your firm, and therefore what you will be able to do for them in the future.
Some people say this mixed bag information is unnecessary, but in our opinion, law firms like to see all-rounders. In a competitive market when candidates have similar experience, a holistic balance can really make your CV stand out. Things to include:
· Academic achievements and activities – were you dux of your school? University medallist? Champion Australian high jumper? Represented your university in an international moot? These are all things that demonstrate commitment, perseverance and hard work – qualities that employers are keen on seeing.
· Memberships – young lawyers associations? Specialist legal associations? Commitment to furthering your career and networking is a big plus on any CV.
· Interests – be creative and unique, but not too OTT. Anything that’s a bit different is always memorable (just be memorable in a positive way), and your interests can ensure a good culture fit for the firm. Be sure to include any languages in here.
If you need any assistance with the preparation of your CV for an international move, please reach out to one of our team today.