The Christmas break and the start of the new year often gives you the time to reflect on your career and make decisions on whether you are in the right place.

How do you get ahead of other candidates?

This is a competitive market, so how do you give yourself the edge? Using a specialist recruitment agency can help get you in front of the firms you want to work for, and the positions you want.

At CRA we have contacts in both legal firms and in-house legal teams, meaning we have the connections you need to make the right move for your career.

How to get the most out of CRA?

We are here to help you. We can help you with your CV, answer any questions you might have about the placement, and help you with your interview technique. No question is too small!

Consider all your options

With a legal career it can feel like your only options are in private practice, however in-house roles are growing, and the possibilities are endless.

In-house positions can be found in a variety of businesses and can offer a great fit for candidates in terms of job satisfaction and career progression.

Being in-house means you are immersed in the business and its growth, and your workload may be more varied. In private practice you may mind you become less commercial as your work will be more focused on one area.

Write a great CV

Your CV is the first thing your potential new employer will see, so make it count. Avoid clichés like “hard working” and “trustworthy”, instead demonstrate these values in the content itself.

Your CV should be no longer than 2 pages. Be clear, concise, and relevant to the role. Always remember to check and recheck spelling – accuracy is key!

Social media

Think about how you present your personal brand on social media. Are there images on there that you wouldn’t want an employer to see? If so, then delete them. If you would like to keep your life on social media private, then lock your profile down to friends and don’t add your potential new employer or colleagues.

One platform that will benefit your career is LinkedIn. Make sure you have a professional photograph, avoid selfies and holiday images. Make sure your profile is up to date and accurate.

To gain exposure with recruiters or potential employers, join relevant groups, webinars and discussions. Look out for networking and local events that could help you build important connections to progress your career.

Resign professionally

You have been offered your new position and you are eager to start. However, it’s so important to remain professional from resignation, through your notice period, until your last day.

The world is getting smaller as we all become more connected, so maintaining a good reputation is imperative.

Here are some things to consider when resigning and leaving:

  1. Have you signed a non-compete agreement in your current role? You must check this before you resign and if you are unsure, seek advice.
  2. Once you have made the decision, write your resignation letter, but deliver the news to your boss in person. This is respectful, and the letter is just a formal confirmation of the conversation. Make sure that your letter includes an end date which is in line with your contractual notice period.
  3. Make sure you have all your personal possessions cleared from your desk before you resign and have all work-related items ready for handover. You need to be prepared for your current firm to ask you to leave immediately, especially if you are going for a competitor. Equally be prepared to work your full notice period to the standard they expect from you.

Even if you hated your job you must keep professional at all times. The legal profession is a small world and you don’t want to burn any bridges that may cause you problems in the future.