It has been a while since I have written about how to write better CVs. These days I have been evaluating and interviewing marketing and sales plus admin person’s CVs apart from law students and lawyers – and I noticed something. Law students and lawyers are often much worse CV writers than the rest. We clearly know way fewer ways to communicate our expertise. Let me highlight at least one of those ways in which we could communicate our value through a CV much better.
What is almost always missing from a lawyers CV is a skills section. This can be a very important section that would potentially drive a lot of conversation during the interview – and you must draft this with utmost care.
It is one thing to say what kind of work you have done in the past, which is specified in the experiences section, and what you are trained to do reflected in the academic qualifications section. However, those sections often do not get the skills you bring on the table communicated clearly enough.
What are the skills that make you stand out? Why are you desirable as an employee, a manager or any job that you are applying for? There may be skills that you have which are not obvious given your previous employment or academic background – but could be very relevant for your job or the organisation. For instance, if you are a lawyer, your marketing skills or blogging skills can be very relevant. If you are a marketer, your negotiation skills can be very valuable to your employer. If you are a doctor but know how healthcare regulations or foreign investment process work, many healthcare ventures will be very excited about that.
This is why adding a section on skills may make a huge difference to your CV.
The alternative is to highlight specific skills while mentioning previous employments – though I feel a separate section is more likely to create interesting talking points.
As always, remember that whatever skills you mention in the CV – the goal is to create points that will be discussed during the interview later. Include those skills only with respect to which you have great stories you would love to tell.