your experiences during your training contract are like precious gems waiting to be unearthed. Each successful case, challenging project, and positive client interaction offer potential proof points for your future job interviews.

You need to learn how to showcase the skills and attributes you’ve developed in a way that resonates with future employers and colleagues.

Here’s a step-by-step approach to transform your training contract experiences into standout CV entries that demonstrate your value as a qualified solicitor:

  1. Beyond the Basics: Don’t just list tasks; focus on outcomes.
  • Instead of: “Drafted legal documents”
  • Write: “Drafted comprehensive property conveyancing agreements, ensuring timely transactions and exceeding client expectations.”
  1. Quantify When Possible: Numbers convey impact.
  • Instead of: “Participated in client meetings”
  • Write: “Represented clients in 10+ mediation sessions, securing favorable settlements in 80% of cases.”
  1. Highlight Skills, Not Just Knowledge: Employers want to see how you apply the law.
  • Instead of: “Researched complex legal issues”
  • Write: “Conducted in-depth legal research on emerging privacy law, developing a strategy to update company policies for GDPR compliance.”
  1. Spotlight Initiative and Ownership: Demonstrate your drive.
  • Instead of: “Assisted with trial preparation”
  • Write: “Developed a streamlined document organization system for a high-profile litigation case, saving the team X+ hours of preparation time.”
  1. Situation, Task, Action, Result (STAR): This is especially good for interview answers, but helps you structure CV entries, too.
  • Instead of: “Handled client communication”
  • Write: “Managed communications with a difficult client (Situation), diffusing tensions (Task), retaining their business (Action), and securing positive feedback (Result).”

Specific Examples to Consider:

  • Teamwork & Collaboration: “Collaborated with senior partners to develop a cross-departmental training program, resulting in improved knowledge sharing and efficiency gains.”
  • Client-Focus: “Initiated a client feedback program, leading to a 15% increase in client satisfaction ratings.”
  • Attention to Detail: “Identified discrepancies in a land registry deed, preventing costly errors and potential litigation for the client.”
  • Time Management: “Managed conflicting deadlines for multiple clients, prioritizing tasks effectively and ensuring timely completion of all deliverables.”

Remember: Your CV isn’t just a historical record; it’s a marketing tool. Here are some additional tips:

  • Tailor it: Match the language of your CV entries to the skills emphasized in the job descriptions you’re applying for.
  • Keep it Fresh: Make it a habit to update your CV after significant projects or achievements, so details don’t fade.

By transforming your training contract experiences into powerful CV entries, you’ll paint a vivid picture of yourself as a skilled, proactive, and results-driven solicitor, ready to hit the ground running from day one in your new role.