A Critical CV Check (Blog 1)

When I first received an email from my mentor, I was in the middle of reading a very dense law case. The email was a welcome relief from a long day of studying, and it made me feel both nervous and excited! I was worried about writing too much back (waffle syndrome), so kept my email short and polite. Over the next few emails, I arranged with Luciana’s assistant to meet her the following month.

The meeting was to take place in London. I made sure I prepared beforehand as I had never travelled to London alone before. On the train to London, I went over all the things I wanted to ask Luciana. I got on the tube to Westminster with plenty of time before the meeting. I reported to reception and I was greeted by Jason, who works with Luciana. We sat in the cafeteria and Luciana soon joined us, at which point Jason left. She had had a busy day as I expected, but was welcoming and friendly. I was very nervous though and all my preparation seemed useless when sitting there in front of a successful female politician. Luciana did most of the talking and emphasised the importance of having practical work experience in this climate. I told her that I work at a small high street immigration law firm, and she was very encouraging – it was this sort of experience which I needed to keep building up. At times I struggled to think of specific questions, but Luciana kept the flow of conversation going. I had brought my CV with me and asked her to take a look. She glanced over my CV and told me what worked and what didn’t work – e.g. “why don’t you put your twitter on here?” to which I meekly responded “I didn’t know I could” “Yes, put it on, why not?!” Her enthusiasm was infectious and I left the meeting feeling motivated for the future. However, I also felt disappointed in myself for becoming so shy suddenly and forgetting half of my questions. This was actually a positive I guess – this is the first time I had sat with a professional and seen my CV through the critical lens of a potential employer.

A day after the meeting, I began to make changes to my CV which Luciana had suggested. Reading it again I realised how weak I sounded – I was underselling my achievements; employers can’t read modesty after all, they will just see a weak CV. I emailed Luciana with my amendments and she replied swiftly. She said my CV looked stronger and that there were a few further additional changes I could make if I wished to. I was grateful for her time and I made a promise to myself to be more confident the next time I was to meet/contact her.

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