First Impressions Count

“First impressions count”.

We all know that this is true but we may not know just how little time we have to actually make a good, lasting first impression.  There have been various time limits discussed and some say that it is the first seven seconds of meeting that the person will have formed an impression of who you are.  If you are meeting someone for the first time you want to make it a positive, lasting impression and begin the meeting by starting off on the right foot.  Your dress and appearance is important, as is a positive outlook and speaking slowly and clearly.  Similarly if you are fronting a new shop or business you will  need to make a good impression with new and prospective customers.  The same attention should be given to presenting your Curriculum Vitae (C.V.) when looking for new employment.

As a law firm we get to see lots of C.V’s from law students and budding lawyers who wish to join our organisation.  In most circumstances, the student or lawyer will have fantastic educational qualifications. This does not mean, however, that their C.V. will be engaging.

As lawyers we have to read numerous documents on a daily basis and we like things to be ‘to the point’. Sometimes less is more. We like to see something original and something that we will remember about the personal qualities of the potential candidate that will set that person aside from the others. A law student will not have had extensive experience in the business world of law but they may have done some work experience in a law office and this should always be recounted.  If the law student has not had any experience in a law firm then all is not lost. If the candidate has a career history then, as a prospective employer, we would want to know what that experience entails and how that experience could be beneficial to your career as a lawyer.

We would recommend that you avoid using clichés such as “Likes going out”, “Likes the cinema” or “Reading and travel”. We want to be engaged in your C.V. and be interested enough to give you a formal interview.

Good luck!