– By Lizzy Maseko, Chief of Staff at LAW FOR ALL.
If you’ve gone on more job interviews than you can remember, you will know that no two are the same. Whether it’s the specific company or the person conducting the interview, there are always different variables that you need to deal with, while trying to best “sell” yourself. Of course, there is a common denominator with all job interviews: you must be as prepared and informed as possible. So, here are some CV tips and interview to-dos for those who want to stand out in the legal crowd.
What does LAW FOR ALL look for in a candidate?
LAW FOR ALL is all about attracting and developing top legal talent in South Africa-as our policyholder must receive the best possible services; however, the company also looks for someone who fits its ethos. We need to foster a working environment where everyone feels valued and empowered, so a candidate, firstly, needs to fit seamlessly into an inclusive and diverse workplace.
CV tips to help make you a stand-out candidate
It’s vital to remember that your CV is your first impression, so, of course, you have to make a good one from the get-go. Here are other elements you should take cognisance of:
- Format your CV in a way that clearly and effectively showcases and summarises your skills, education and work experience.
- While you aren’t applying for a graphic design position, think about adding some colour or design elements that reflect your personality and help make your CV more visually appealing.
- Be sure to list your work experience in reverse chronological order, meaning put your latest position at the top. Make sure the dates of your employment are stipulated.
- Only list your most relevant duties under each job (recruiters don’t want to read essays)
- Always add reference and their contact details
- Make sure that your contact details (mobile and email) are correct and easy to find
- It’s not 100% necessary to add a photograph, but it is recommended. You will also want to ensure the image is clear and professional.
- Ask a friend or family member to read over your CV to check for spelling and grammar errors
- DO NOT lie on your CV- not only is this dishonest- it is also illegal.
Aside from CV tips, another question I get asked often is whether or not a cover letter is necessary. It’s great to use it as a short and sweet introduction to who you are and what you’ve done. Don’t go into too much detail about your work experience because that is what your CV is for.
The next step: how to put your best foot forward in a job interview
Great! Your CV was impressive, which means we will want to meet you face to face to get a better idea of who you are. Much like your CV, the interview is also an opportunity to make a good impression, and that starts with being on time for the scheduled meeting. Being on time means you are respectful and punctual- two qualities we look for in candidates. It’s also essential to look the part: if the job has a significant client-facing element to it, you should dress professionally and neatly. From there, you just have to be yourself in the interview and let your personality shine.
Top tip: Always do some research on the company you are hoping to work for. One of the most common job interview questions is, “ What attracted you to the company?”
Join the LAW FOR ALL family
So, with these top tips and insights in mind, take some time to spruce up your CV and let us know who you are! We are always on the lookout for top legal talent and dynamic individuals who can help forward our mission of making the law affordable and accessible for all South Africans.