Legal recruitment consultant in glasses reading a CV

Don’t forget the basics of a job search – a well-written CV and getting advice from an expert


27 years (gulp!) - that is how long I have been working within the recruitment industry. Thinking about it floods me with emotions of feeling old, wondering where the time has gone, but it also made me reflect on the market and how the recruitment industry has evolved during this time.


When I started recruiting in the 1990s, candidates were sourced from adverts placed in newspapers and industry-specific publications, often responded to with a hand-written CV in the post. Resumes were faxed to clients for review (I can clearly remember the hours spent next to the fax machine waiting for the confirmation slip to come through!) and our candidate database was very limited with only basic information stored, such as the candidate’s home phone number, or pager if you were lucky!


How things have changed; the arrival of the internet, emails, job boards and, more recently, social media, have certainly had a massive impact on the recruitment industry and the pace it operates at.


Despite this, two things have remained consistent throughout my career - CVs and the role of a recruitment consultant.


CVs are still predominantly a key part of the recruitment process, whether you are applying direct or via an agency. Having reviewed so many over the years, I thought I would share a few top tips:


  • Aim for a succinct, punchy style but don’t try to squeeze your CV into one page
  • List your roles in chronological order
  • Provide more detailed information on recent and/or relevant roles
  • Where possible, do provide real examples of cases/work that you have been involved with to highlight your skills and experience
  • Never be afraid of stating the obvious in relation to your skills and experience
  • Break down and include all your academics and professional qualifications
  • Include any academic or other prizes
  • Only include languages in which you are fluent
  • Do include ‘other interests’ but this does not need a lot of detail
  • There is no need to include anything about referees, law firms will only ask for these after you are accepting an offer
  • Obviously, never lie on your CV!

Many of these tips may appear obvious but it is surprising how many are not adhered to. Remember that your CV often presents the first opportunity for you to sell yourself and your skills and, as we all know, first impressions count. So regardless of your level of experience, it is still worth investing time and effort in compiling your CV.


Despite advances in technology and the growth of portals and in-house recruitment teams, the role of a legal recruitment consultant remains more important than ever in 2022. Many consultants, like the very experienced teams at Chadwick Nott, offer a consultative approach to their services. They are up to date with the latest market knowledge and trends so they can guide candidates and hiring managers through any recruitment process with the benefit of many years of experience. This can involve providing feedback on your CV, assisting with interview preparation and techniques, career development opportunities, advising on salaries, benefits, and bonuses, or simply providing you with a feel for a firm’s culture. This consultative service - getting to know our candidates and clients well - is something that we pride ourselves on at Chadwick Nott and it is probably why I have been doing this job for 27 years!


If we can assist with your CV or if you would like to discuss any aspect of the legal recruitment market, please get in touch with me or another of Chadwick Nott’s specialist consultants.


Charlotte is a very accomplished recruiter, having spent over 27 years recruiting legal and IT professionals in a wide range of locations. For the last 19 years Charlotte has specialised in securing locum, interim and document review roles for legal candidates at all levels, from Paralegal to Senior General Counsel in the Midlands, Northern Home Counties, East Anglia and the North. 


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