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CV Advice

One of the first things you should do when looking for a new role is reviewing your most updated CV and making sure it is up to par with your sector's standards. This task may seem daunting, but optimising your resume is not as hard as it sounds.

Our legal and compliance recruitment specialists have listed the three main tips one should consider when reviewing their CV. The below CV advice will help you make your resume stand out from the crowd and land a first interview for the role you desire.

Tailor Your CV to the Job

This is probably the most important piece of advice, and unfortunately, it is also the most laborious. Once you have written the 'perfect CV' you will need to change it to cater to the job description and perceived needs of the employer.

If you do not quite fit the job description when it comes to experience, try and illustrate comparative tasks you have undertaken, possibly using industry specific synonyms. Alternatively, give examples of times when you have had to learn a new skill when you did it quickly and delivered.

Be Concise and Highlight Your Achievements and Key Experience

Be concise: two pages is good, one page is better. You want the person reading your CV to know that you can provide information in a distilled and easy to understand fashion. That's part of the reason they will want to hire you.

Some key things to highlight:

  • Education at the top, especially if you are applying for a junior position

  • What legislation/regulations/products/sectors are you experience in? Provide examples of how you have implemented your knowledge

  • What geographic areas or regulators have you operated in or with?

  • What have you created and where have you added value? You are essentially marketing your candidacy, so think of the projects or key areas of your experience which you felt was valuable. E.g. Designed and developed an online system for the onboarding of all new clients, and for reviewing and approving financial promotions.

  • What key companies have you worked with and on what basis? Include positions held and correct dates including months.

  • How many people reported to you?

Write your experience in the past tense, for example: Advised sales and product colleagues, Conducted monitoring and forensic reviews, Reviewed financial promotions, Drafted ISDA Master Agreements.

What to Avoid

Avoid overly colourful and creative CVs, financial and legal employers are not usually looking for people with graphic design flare. Additionally, photos/portraits are not advised.

Other general tips

  • Avoid any mistakes and ask a trusted colleague in the industry for feedback. Better yet, ask one of our consultants at Rutherford for some pointers.

  • Your CV should be reverse chronological (i.e. most recent experience at the top). Above that at the very top should be academic achievements.

  • If you are short on space consider dropping interests, information about your family, marital status, drivers license or excel skills (unless relevant).

  • If you have something key in your employment sitting on page two, do everything you can to get it on page one or even in the top half of page one. Hiring managers attention spans are short!

  • Include any management exposure in detail if relevant to the role, including team size and challenges. Where you do not have this talk about mentoring or non-official leadership exposure you may have had.