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Former solicitor with ancient and dusty CV in need of help

(16 Posts)
GettingGoing Sun 10-Mar-13 01:17:11

Peter, I would post this as a new thread as it won't get seen here. I think you have to pay a fee too.

Peterhd Thu 07-Mar-13 21:38:56

Hi, would any mothers looking to return to work with a legal background and based in Northern Ireland be interested in doing checks for renewable energy leases? I posted an ad on gumtree and was hoping for more interest from people looking to get back to work than I actually got.

westcoastnortherner Mon 04-Mar-13 01:48:17

Try Giraffe CVs. I had mine done there

Revengeofkarma Mon 04-Mar-13 01:13:38

These days, you want to definitely be with more than one agent. Many of the jobs are, or at least start out as, exclusive to one agency. If you're not listed with them, you won't get put forward. Some are better than others. Taylor Root always has the flashy jobs, but they freely admit it is hard to get on their list to be put forward (and to be honest, for candidates their service is RUBBISH. They get loads of applications because of the jobs and treat the candidates like shit. And these are guys who've placed me!) Michael Page is good, Hays is good, Ziegler &Kinsella (newish) is same as Taylor Root but without as many jobs, Pure is good.

If you do find the gap thing a problem, consider short term work to get your cv up to date. Law Absolute very good. Law Professionals is ghastly. Very rude. Don't even bother.

If you look on The Lawyer, you'll find loads of jobs and the agencies listed accordingly. Generally, I'd call the agent rather than use the rather blind e-mail service. A three minute call to discuss who you are and show your interest can open up doors to other jobs, even if the one you call about isn't suitable.

Dededum Fri 22-Feb-13 19:52:55

You might try and brush up your skills. Maybe an understanding - 'since I last worked X,Y & Z has changed but I intend to go on this course to get up to speed.' There are always 1 day CPD courses you can go on.

Also Association of Women Solicitors (AWS) run returners courses.

NellyTheElephant Fri 22-Feb-13 19:47:47

I started work a few weeks ago, officially after 4 years out, but actually more like 6 yrs as the very small amount of work in the interim was some extremely part time consultancy work - a bit of contract reviewing at home maybe half a day a week.

Firstly I'd say don't panic too much about the scary looking gap in your CV. I was very honest and simply said 'career break at home with my 3 children'. Much to my surprise no one really seemed to care about my time out. It was hardly even raised in any of the interviews I had. Sure, some bits of law move on, but really most people seemed to think this wasn't an issue and if I was good at the job once then I soon would be again (I live in hope!).

Regarding tidying up the rest of your CV, send it out to a couple of trusted professional friends. I know it's a bit embarrassing, but that's what I did and they came back with great comments and questions that spurred me on to rewrite and focus on it.

Regarding actually getting a job, I tried looking myself - pulled a couple of interviews through contacts etc, but nothing came of it so I did join an agent. Most things that came up were maternity leave cover, which is a great way to get a foot back in the door, and i would certainly have done that, but then a permanent job came up which I was lucky enough to get and now here I am, back at work and feeling rather useless as I can't remember how to do anything..... Help!

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 22-Feb-13 12:13:52

Hope your DS is better.

I'd agree with other posters, you will find lots of inspiration and examples online.

You could search "your competition" on LinkedIn too, see what those with similar jobs near you say on their LI profiles.

Your "professional headline" (the bit after your name) is one of the most important bits on your LI profile, as it effects where you come up in research results. So if people (agents) are looking for somebody like you then they will find you.

So something like "Experienced xxx East Anglia". Again see what others in your industry do. Make sure you have a pic on there too.

If you really want somebody to write your cv you can advertise the "job" on It is a site full of freelancers, you post the role (be specific as you can be eg" Write 2 page CV for legal xxx" as you want to find somebody who has experience of legal careers I would have thought). It doesn't cost anything to post the "job" and then freelancers 'bid' for the task with info about them and a price. The freelancer pays commission to PPH out of the amount they charge you.

I am sure someone will do it for a reasonable price. I am a freelancer and have seen people asking for cv help on there.

I would approach local firms directly to see if there are any opps. And if you can start networking in legal circles do so.

Good luck.

emsyj Fri 22-Feb-13 12:03:03

I think realistically you will need to use a recruitment consultant if you are to find a job - very few jobs are advertised other than through recruiters and you may need to be quite actively 'marketed' to get an interview. It's a shame you're not in the north west as I can highly recommend Saika Sarwar at Hays, but she's based in Manchester. I've always found her extremely professional and she has also helped several of my friends to find jobs, none of them have had any of the issues you describe (which I have had with other recruiters myself, so I know what you mean).

I think you are best getting a recommendation for a good recruiter. Jobs are hard to come by at the moment even for those with relevant, recent and solid experience - you will need someone backing you to get you in the door I would think. Can you ask around some former colleagues?

PaddingtonsMarmalade Fri 22-Feb-13 11:52:27

oh crikey! DS was ill yesterday/last night so just back now to check up. Thanks v much indeed for the tip re part time property litigator role - will see if I can track it down (am in East Anglia so trying to avoid a commute but think that's v unlikely tbh).
Will also stop fiddling around the edges with my LinkedIn profile and sort that out <gives self a huge kick up backside>

HappyAsEyeAm Fri 22-Feb-13 09:09:51

I saw that job too! Its 30+ hours a week (with flexibility) for a 5 years+ PQE, in London. Good luck, OP.

NoThankYouToSideSalad Fri 22-Feb-13 09:00:18

There is a part-time property litigator position advertised on Timewise jobs. I think it is Pro Legal who are the recruitment agents. Good luck!

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 21-Feb-13 15:15:46

I agree about LinkedIn. Join groups and join in discussions about things in your area, and of course, sell yourself in your profile.

Are you on Twitter? Its not for me (I'm not jobhunting) but there are loads of groups and sector specific discussions that I was completel unaware of befoe I looked at it before Christmas. Worth a look.

redandwhitesprinkles Thu 21-Feb-13 13:22:56

Join linked in, Facebook for job hunting. Look at other people's. I would rather take my chance with recruitment consultants than pay but it is up to you.

PaddingtonsMarmalade Thu 21-Feb-13 13:20:47

Thanks Happy. I have thought about recruitment consultants but I've had a few bad experiences with them (putting my CV forwards for jobs outside of my practice area and in another situation making my current employer aware that I was applying elsewhere - which was quite uncomfortable). So I was going to try to avoid them if possible.

Maybe this is something people don't do then.....

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 21-Feb-13 11:30:34

A recruitment consultant will usually go through your CV and make suggestions. They tend to have their own 'how to write a CV' leaflets/publications too. All free!

Good luck with getting back into work.

PaddingtonsMarmalade Thu 21-Feb-13 07:22:24

I was wondering if anyone knew of/could recommend a CV drafting service? I've been a SAHM for 5 1/2 years, was a real estate litigator and now need to go back (gulp) to fee earning. I've reworked my CV but it is in need of some significant work in that it currently looks a leeeetle bit shit. Also, as money's a bit tight, it hopefully wouldn't be a service that cost a small fortune.

Any and all suggestions very gratefully received smile

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