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You thought our CV Class ended with just CV Writing Course for Lawyers Part 1 and 2? Nah! We only covered about 90% of what is required for the perfect CV. You think that’s enough? Well the remaining 10% matters a lot and could make the difference in whether your CV makes the cut or not.

At this point, if you have not read our earlier posts on this, reading this might be putting the cart before the horse. Furthermore, if you don’t have a CV drawn up already incorporating all that has been written, then please do.
Did you just say shoot? Ok here we go!

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Make it a Page or 2.

Brevity matters. So ensure you keep it short and simple and straight to the point. The perfect CV is the one page or one and a half page CV. Your CV should not exceed 2 pages.

Is that harsh? Well life itself is unfair. You ain’t getting anything more than an initial 6 seconds (or even less) perusal of your CV. Try to ensure that only the best of you is seen in those 6 seconds.

If I have 6 seconds to peruse your CV, believe me, I don’t need unnecessary details like your state of origin, religious beliefs and marital status. Your name, address, phone number and email address is enough.

Next should be your educational qualification. Start from the highest qualification to the lowest most relevant. Your Nursery and primary school qualifications are irrelevant and I would even recommend the non-inclusion of your post-primary educational qualification to save space.

No Mistakes on Qualifications

Make no mistakes in the title or class of degree obtained. From the university you get a “Bachelor of Laws”. I see a lot of “Bachelor of Law” and that is wrong. It’s either a “Bachelor of Laws” or “LL.B (Hons)” for short.

For the qualification obtained from the Law School, that differs depending on the jurisdiction. For Nigerians, the qualification “BL” which many erroneously claim to have obtained from the Law School is a title and in full means “Barrister at Law”. How people came to associate that with the qualification obtained at the Law School was discussed in an earlier post on this blog “The New Wig and his B.L. Certificate”. You gotta to read that!

Still on the matter, the Nigerian Law School issues two certificates at the end of the Law School Programme; the first is the “Body of Benchers Qualifying Certificate” and a “Certificate of Call to the Nigerian Bar”. You can shorten both to “Call to Bar Certificate/Qualifying Certificate”.

For my Kenyan, South African and other non-Nigerian followers, find out the correct qualifications obtainable in your jurisdiction and include that in your CV.

When friends and mentees send me their CV for editing, every one out of three usually have erroneous, bogus or badly spelt qualifications. That really sucks! I mean applying for a job and you don’t know the right qualifications you possess or needed for the job is an applicant’s nightmare. Making mistakes in spelling them is as good as securing your career grave! No jokes or pun intended.

I mean, who is gonna hire you with that? No witch is chasing you from your village if you don’t get invitation for interviews, your CV just sucks and no employer will do himself the disservice of not trashing a badly written CV!


Like I said, a well drafted CV can cover up for any deficiencies in grades. Ivy League firms and some companies usually set a bar on the grades of prospective applicants. They usually ask for only applicants with a Second Class Upper Division class of degrees either from the Law School or University or from both. How do you deal with it if you have any deficiency in your grades?

A well written CV like I said, magnifies all the nice qualities you got and hides any deficiency. So if you have a Second Class Honours (Lower Division) then just leave you qualifications obtained as “Second Class Honours”, If other aspects of your CV like work experience jams real good.

Besides, where you have a post-graduate degree or diploma, that can cover for any deficiency in your grades at the graduate level. From experience, I have seen situations where employers on getting a well crafted CV with grades left at just “Second Class Honours” immediately send mails to inquire if the applicant had a Second Class Honours (Upper Division).

In just one rare case, the fellow was still invited for interview despite the fact that his grade was below what was required. That is what a well crafted CV should do for any Applicant. So magnify the grades when they are good but play it down when it is not so good. That is damage control.

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Like grades like age!

Just like grade, avoid including your age or date of birth except where the employer expressly requests for that in your CV. Many employers have their biases on age, sex, religious affiliation or ethnicity. So just ensure your CV gets the 6 seconds attention at least by not including such details.

A good CV can change biases and destroy prejudices especially after the holder of such prejudice has been soaked in the mesmerizing bliss of your well crafted CV.

Part 4 of the treatise will come up soon as soon as this post  receives 200 shares on all social media platforms and 200 comments. That is not too much as my records show that over 1,000 readers have read the older episodes of this “CV Writing Course for Lawyers”  You ain’t paying for this course, so please encourage my efforts.

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  Maduka Onwukeme is an Attorney, Creative Writer and Business Consultant. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook or on Linkedin