So you’ve worked hard and completed your LLM, and we’re proud of you! Your CV should enhance and boost your employability, but it is not enough to put the word ‘LLM’ in your existing CV and hope it impresses the employers. With more and more candidates boasting about their PG qualification, you need to spend more time on your CV and give it a chance to stay at the top of the pile.
The keyword you must keep in the kind is ‘professional’. Remember to use language, tone, and presentation of your CV as per the profession’s traditional values.
What should you include in your LLM CV?
One of the most important things to include in your CV from the employer’s perspective is – a good reason to hire you. This means your CV must reflect the skills and experience that a particular company is seeking, so always review your CV before sending it forward, tweaking it here and there if needed. In simple words, your CV must include all important things that are of real interest to the company.
If you studied a specialism in LLM, highlight relevant modules. For instance, your LLM was in Intellectual Property, and you’re applying for a retail eCommerce giant, highlighting your grades in the Cyberlaw module could grab their attention. Similarly, if you’re applying for a media house, mention your dissertation on regulation around newsgathering, rather than merely stating ‘LLM Intellectual Property.’
Include achievements, not just responsibilities, and provide specific examples. Include figures where possible, like, if you were responsible for any budgets, however small? Did you improve any process? If yes, then state the percentage increase in efficiency. If you don’t have any significant work experience, then state your educational achievements, and present them in figures if possible. Were you in the top 2% of your class, for instance?
A bullet-point summary of your experience at the top of the CV could be a great selling point. But keep it short and simple. This is different from the flowery mission statement that appears in many CVs.
Provide complete and up-to-date contact details with a professional-sounding email address.
What should you leave out of your LLM CV?
A CV is meant to capture the essence of your professional life, so you don’t need to jot down the entire life history, be selective. Interviews provide the opportunity to the employer to know more about you while your CV is supposed to tempt them to invite you for one. So leave out the flowery statements, like, “I’m a creative go-getter who’s keen on achieving goals, will save your valuable space.
Write your CV without using pronouns and avoid words like ‘I do this, ‘I do that’. Lies and embellishment should be avoided at any cost. It feels great to cast yourself in a better light, but if it is dishonest, it could catch up one day.
Do not use jargon and also leave out personal info such as date of birth, your personal characteristics. These are not required since in many countries, it is against the employment law to discriminate on the basis of personal traits.
Also, do not ever include your photo, unless you’re applying to be a model!
The importance of presentation in your LLM CV?
The format of your LLM CV should reflect your intended audience. If you are applying to US employers, you must know that a CV is called a resume in America, and make sure your resume is presented in a US-friendly format. The same applies if you’re applying for a company in UK or any other parts of Europe. Different countries have different expectations of how long a CV should be, whether your education should come first or last, and if you should include your hobbies or interests in your CV or not.
Maintaining professionalism in your CV is the key, and say no to gimmicky fonts, creative colors, or fancy scripts. Unfortunately, your CV is not the right place to show your quirky or funny side.
Sticking to black font on a white background helps make your CV easy to read. Fonts such as Calibri, Arial, or Verdana are professional-looking fonts you might want to try.
Keep your CV precise and cut out unnecessary info, as this will allow you to include a lot of ‘white space’. Not having enough white space can make your CV look cluttered and is not eye-pleasing.
The Final Check
It is vital that you don’t send your CV in a hurry. Print it out and keep it aside for a few days if you can. Reviewing it on paper with fresh eyes will help you spot errors and inaccuracies. It will also help you determine whether the font size is too large or too small or whether you need to increase the spacing and other typesetting matters. You can also ask your friend to cross-check your CV so they can identify the areas to be corrected and give you feedback.