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Eight tips to write your Curriculum Vitae (for the Italian market)
Eight tips to write your Curriculum Vitae (for the Italian market) 
A professional CV is equivalent to a business card. Those who receive it should instantly get an idea of the candidate’s skills and achievements. Here our consultant Filippo Mazzotti presents eight tips on how to write a professional CV and how to avoid the most common mistakes.
Firstly, there is no 'right' or 'wrong' way to write a CV. Every industry has its own requirements for candidate selection, therefore every legal professional may have a different experience of what is required. However, there are 'best practices' that can help highlight the strengths of a professional profile and make it more effective and easy to read.
  1. Be brief

    A CV that is very long is often left unread. Try and incorporate your experience in no more than two pages. If you need to make a list of specifics (e.g. a list of significant transactions you  were involved in, publications, speaker engagements, etc.), you may do so in a separate PDF file, which should not be longer than two pages.

    The same is true for cover e-mails. You will make a greater impact if the email is concise and to the point. Cover letters which are too long and full of detail often suggest the candidate does not understand  the purpose of a cover letter, and what you are specifically trying to achieve.

  2. But not too brief

    We often receive emails that only include the link to a LinkedIn profile, or a simple 'see enclosed CV in response  to the position advertised'. If the email is very brief, it may suggest that the same email and CV have been sent automatically to multiple recipients, therefore lacking 'personalisation' and not tailored to the position.
  3. 'Tailor-made' CV and cover e-mails

    Always  try to submit a CV that is tailored’ for the position you are applying for. Focus on your practice, experience and the expertise required for the role, highlighting the aspects of your career that are closer to those required for the position.

    Generally speaking, one may think that the more expertise, experiences and examples included in a CV, the greater the interest. We have observed that this is not always the case, especially with individuals with cross-sector expertise. Do not feel like you have to include every little detail of your previous work history, this may confuse the reader.  Most partners and HR professionals are incredibly busy and won’t always have time to read the whole CV.
  4. European Format? Not necessarily

    The European Format CV can be very useful for public procedures or private tender notices that require it explicitly. However, we have found that in most cases it is not considered as direct and easy to assess. We recommend to use a simple layout that makes it easier and quicker for the employer to find the information they are looking for.
  5. Translation, formatting, grammar or spelling mistakes and typos

    We often receive CVs and cover e-mails containing formatting, grammar and spelling mistakes. We also often find incorrect translations from Italian into English. Unfortunately these inaccuracies can be a  reflection of the candidate’s failings, and are not likely to be offered an interview.
  6. If you write about yourself, use a few key words, and support them with facts and concrete evidence

    We are particularly referring to the ‘soft skills’ section with phrases such as: 'I am an ambitious person', 'good teamwork skills', 'excellent analytical skills', 'ability to work under pressure', or 'excellent people skills'. We suggest to summarise your abilities in a few, clear key-words, by simply indicating  three main strengths (e.g. 'team player', 'result-oriented', and 'flexible').

    It is important to be aware that these are subjective qualities and that they could gain further 'objectivity' if they are supported by the details of the background and of the training and the professional events they are linked to.
  7. Photos? Not essential

    Personal photos reveal a lot about gender, age, ethnic group, religion and physical characteristics of the candidate. In some countries (e.g. United Kingdom) employers are not allowed to ask for this kind of information, so adding a photo might work against you.

    We suggest you do not include your photo unless explicitly requested.  If a photo is required, it is preferable to include a professional one.
  8. PDF format

    We  advise to always send your CV in PDF format as it is easy to read and cannot be modified by the recipient.
How should you apply for new opportunities?
The  mass mailing of a CV to several different companies and  multiple positions all at once could lead to a poor representation of the candidate. It implies laziness and a lack of commitment to a particular role and company. There are several alternative ways to get your CV into the market to help find a new role.
  • Professional relationships: building professional relationships with people within your field and letting them know you are available to new opportunities can be very useful in this respect. And even if not immediately, building long term relationships could help you further down in your career. 
  • Working with a recruitment agency: agencies have strong connections with the market and can give you much faster access to new roles. At SSQ, we work with the leading domestic UK and US law firms and many of the top corporate and financial institutions. We have long standing international relationships and often work with clients exclusively. This gives our candidates access to opportunities in the market which they could not find elsewhere.  
For more information about how to develop your professional growth, please contact Filippo Mazzotti.
Recruiter Hot 100 2016.

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