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What NOT to write in a CV or covering letter - Part One

As recruiters we spend a lot of time advising lawyers how to write a CV. Although we touch on what not to include, the main focus is on what should be going down on paper: the depth of content and the relevant academics and qualifications.


But perhaps we should be focusing a little more on what not to include. Here are a few genuine extracts that, if you chose to use them, will ensure your chance of obtaining an interview will be slim at best*:



Bold statements of self-worth

  • “I strive to be a complete self, replete with academic fulfillment”.
  • “I like to avail of any opportunity that gives me a chance to prove myself as an inquisitive human”.
  • “[I am] well liked, motivated and enthusiastic - the sort of person you want on your team for a crazy deal”.
  • “A contentious and energetic solicitor”.
  • “A great lawyer, as expected from my training”.



Communication is key

  • “I have advanced interpersonal and communication skills”.
  • “A people’s person having entrepreneurial bent”.
  • “I'm very good at communicating with people and can handle a highly diverse range of personalities.”
  • “Dexterous in scrutinizing, inspecting and guiding in all legal matters with effective communication, leadership and problem solving skills”.



Not one to brag a about

  • “Highly competent user of Internet”.



Experience fail

  • “Even though I do not have any previous experience in the area of Competition Law I still believe that I can make a substantial contributions to your antitrust team”.



Up for a challenge

  • “I will be happy to stand an interview at any time of your convenience to explain the possible uses of my long and varied experience….to your esteemed establishment and am prepared to face the most difficult questions ever known to law”.



Research skills need some improvement (NB – we are NOT a law firm)

  • “While researching opportunities I found that your law firm, being one of the leading firms in London is practicing in the fields of competition law, company law, and contracts on which I would also like to concentrate through my career”.



Flattery will get you nowhere

  • “Your firm portrays a unique ethos and carries an extraordinary set of values, which goes to ensure exceptional individual development within a team setting, thus making it an institution that I would be delighted to be a part of”.



No seriously, it really won’t

  • “Being very well aware of the fact that you will choose the best, I would be honored to find myself among them in order to occupy an intermediary position between your company and its clients”.



We are not worthy

  • “With my diligent, hardworking and affable personality, I grant you the capability of fulfilling all the requirements of being part of your team”.



And finally, the great career aspiration

  • “I have a very high interest in becoming a competent person”. Good for you.



There are others. Many many others. But we’ll save those for another day.



*Spelling and grammar errors are candidates' own!



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Articles by Robina Clough

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