Why have I had so many rejections for paralegal roles when I have six months experience?
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
The answer 9 times out of 10 is…. you haven’t structured your CV right!
We will so often see CV’s where it is like a game of Where’s Wally trying to find the relevant information.
A firm is likely to receive well over 100 applications per role, here are our top tips to make sure you are giving yourself the best chance for your amazing experience to be noticed.
The Importance of Dates
There is no indication of the time period here, so you might have been there for a year, or an afternoon, there is no way to tell. If the person looking at CV’s is on their 64th one, and have another 200 hundred to screen, chances are they will just move onto the next application.
Months are key to give context to the length of your employment. If you don’t have them on your CV people will assume you have something to hide, and assume you have been there less time than you might have been.
In case we haven’t made it clear, if months aren't on your CV, go add them now!
The Importance of Departments
99% of the time the first person to review your CV will be someone in the HR team. It is safe to assume they will not have a legal background, so it is up to you to make sure you are demonstrating what experience you have clearly.
If you had 3 seconds to look at a CV, and were looking for corporate experience, which version would be easier to find?
You may think it’s obvious you have transactional experience from the bullet points right?? But would you know that if you didn’t have the experience yourself?
The Importance of Detail
This can be a little bit like Goldilocks finding the perfect porridge…. It can be too much or too little, and there definitely is the perfect balance!
Let's take this example when applying for a commercial litigation paralegal role.
Think about how long you worked there for, and use bullet points to make sure the main bits of experience are easily found. Try not to use too many filler words, as these do make finding the key information more difficult.
If you have received a number of rejections, have an objective look at your CV. Have you highlighted that 6 months relevant experience, is it obvious to someone in HR? If not it is worth spending some time to really get that right.
If you are struggling with what details are the most important for a paralegal to have on a CV, check out our other posts which are specific to practice areas.