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HOW TO MAKE A CV?

RESUME: As per the dictionaries, Resume means and includes a description of academic and work history. It has been noted that often we confuse CV with Resume. CV is the abbreviation for Curriculum Vitae. Unlike Resume, which includes academic and work details in brief, CV includes the details in paragraph form. Once a person enrolls into a professional course, the importance of CV shoots up. This is because, at that stage they seek good internships, trainings and at a later stage good jobs and for this purpose it is mandatory to possess a strong and attractive CV to attract the employers attention. Never forget that it is the CV which one possesses, forms the very first image of the person. If the employer doesnt find your CV interesting, he will never reply back! In legal field, maintaining a good and balanced CV is a must, especially for students aspiring to go for private firms and PSUs. Always remember you will be carrying this CV throughout your life so you shall start working on it from now itself. We shall now focus on key areas for making a balanced CV.

Area 1: INTRODUCTION Start your CV with your name on top in bold and clear letters followed by your postal address, contact number and e-mail id. Writing the institutions name on top is not mandatory.

Area 2: CAREER OBJECTIVE Briefly explain your career objective which includes your motive behind applying to the employer, your capability and what benefits are you expecting from the organization. This part of the CV is very crucial as it has a strong impact on the employers mind which gives him the very first impression about your ability and personality. Hence, you need to be very accurate, positive, precise and focused while dealing with this part. Do not exaggerate this part uselessly as it tends to create a negative impression. Also, keep in mind the place you are applying to i.e. in case you are applying to litigation firm, it would be immaterial to mention that you have a sound knowledge of corporate laws. In this case the employer will not even care to read the CV further. Kindly refer to the mentioned example here:

EXAMPLE1: (Simple and short paragraph when applying for internship to a law firm, recommended for freshers) To procure an opportunity to intern with a law firm which will offer early responsibilities, learning opportunities and the opportunity to maximise my potential. EXAMPLE 2: (Sounds more professional) Seeking a responsible career in an organisation where I can utilise my skills, knowledge, to work at my level best. To grow with the organization and deliver best possible service. Work hard to achieve the targets and goals keeping in view the legal mission and vision.

Area 3: EDUCATION Divide this part into another two parts which shall include both professional education and schooling. 3.1 Professional Mention the professional course being pursued (Eg: B.A., LL.B (Hons.)/ BBA., LL.B (Hons.) etc.) along with the name of the university. 3.2 Schooling Write down the schools name and the city from where you passed out 10 th and 12th (or equivalent) along with the board (C.B.S.E/ I.C.S.E) and the year. Mentioning the subjects is not mandatory. You may also write down any other course being pursued or completed. For example: Course of Company Secretary, Chartered Accountant, Diploma (in law related subjects like Cyber law, Human Rights etc.) It is upon your discretion to write down the marks obtained.

Area 4: WORK EXPERIENCE Here you can mention the details of work(s) successfully completed in past or any part time work being done, preferably related to legal field, for example you can write about online job related to proof reading of Supreme Courts or other High Courts judgments or experiences gained in socio-legal or purely legal NGOs. Experiences gained in part time jobs like call centers, shopping malls etc are of no use.

Area 5: INTERNSHIP AND LEGAL TRAINING Mention the names of organizations/ lawyers/ NGOs/ Library interned under and the dates of internship. Also, briefly describe what you did and what you learnt. If you dealt with cases do mention the names of a few cases. EXAMPLE 1: (For NGO) Human Rights Law Network, New Delhi 5th December, 2011- 5th January, 2012 Researched on the case related to human rights in India and assisted the co-workers in researching on the guidelines issued by the Supreme Court of India in the case of ABC Vs. XYZ. EXAMPLE 2: (For Library) Library of Indian Law Institute, New Delhi 22nd May, 2012 to 21st June, 2012 Utilised the library to acquaint myself with journals and books related to law and received formal training by the librarian on how to use the journals and retrieve case laws. EXAMPLE 3: (For Senior Advocate of Supreme Court) Mr. ABC, Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India 28th May, 2011 to 2nd July, 2011 Assisted in preparing briefs and drafting Special Leave Petition and Writ Petition for appearance before the Honble Supreme Court of India on cases involving the Law of Contracts, Land Acquisition Act, Criminal Law and Constitutional law. Also, researched on the cases of Environmental law, Consumer Protection Act and Specific Relief Act. EXAMPLE 4: (For a law firm) Fox Mandal, Noida 1st June to 1st July, 2012 Researched on cases related to Electricity Act, 2003, Companies Act, 1956 and Copyrights Act. Attended conferences with the clients and assisted the associates in drafting notices for them.

Area 6: MOOT COURT Briefly explain the moot court participated in and the rank secured. Also specify your role in it. EXAMPLE: Was speaker in the team which secured 1st rank in the National rounds of Moot court competition organized by Amity University, New Delhi, on Tax laws.

Area 7: PUBLICATION AND PAPER PRESENTATION Highlighting the year in which the publication and presentation took place and mention the details of the paper such as: i. ii. iii. iv. EXAMPLE: 2012: Presented a paper titled Human Rights in India at National Seminar on Human Rights organized by Chanakya National Law University, Patna Title of the paper Where published? (In case of publication) Where presented? (In case of presentation) Organised by whom? (In case of presentation)

Area 8: SEMINAR, CONFERENCE AND WORKSHOP ATTENDED Mention the subject of the conference and the name of the organizer along with the date of the conference. EXAMPLE: Attended a conference on Judicial Review: Limits and applicability organized by Christ University, Bangalore, on 15 and 16th July, 2012

Area 9: COMPUTER SKILL This part has its own weight as sound knowledge of computers is mandatory these days. Here you need to mention about your online offline researching skills which involves using legal database sites like Manupatra, Hein online etc. Also, it must include offline researching skills on software like SCC (Supreme Court Cases).

Apart from that it should include your knowledge about Word, Power point and windows and also your typing skills.

Area 10: PERSONAL SKILLS Write your interests here like dancing, swimming, skating, dramatics etc and awards, if any, achieved in these.

Area 11: PERSONAL DETAILS Includes date of birth, fathers and mothers name and postal address, if not mentioned earlier.

Area 12: References Includes the name and designation of the person who is referring you. However, including this part in the CV is not mandatory. EXAMPLE: Prof. Dr. A. Lakshminath : Vice Chancellor (Chanakya National Law University, Patna)

Note: Kindly see to it that the formatting of the CV is done properly with uniform font type and font size and adequate line spacing. Improper formatting would make your CV look uninteresting and drab. Also, do not insert Word art, Pictures, Designs, logos etc.

INTERNSHIP AND LEGAL TRAINING

Internship: General Concept Internship is a short term practical training in an organization or a company wherein a student or a graduate is acquainted with the work handled by that organization. Students prefer internship in the company or organization related to their field which enables them to explore the area well. With the growth of different sectors like banking, finance, media, cinematography, engineering etc internships became a part of the curriculum so as to ensure all round development of a student.

Legal Internship Short term training in courts, under lawyers or in law firms etc wherein the students explore the legal field in proximity are termed as legal internships. The trend of internship in legal field grew drastically in the past few years with the introduction of National Law Universities. Today, internships play a major role in shaping the career of a law student. With good internships one can gain good experience in the desired area of law which acts as an add-on for the student. Here in CNLU an year has been divided into 2 semesters and at the end of each semester, we get around 1 month of vacation. This means that we have 1 month concrete time to gain practical knowledge. No matter what your ultimate aim is, (be it a Corporate job or litigation or UPSC or Judiciary or whatever) do not waste this time as it is a golden opportunity to take a giant leap. Remember, in Law, a CV with good academics will surely be appreciated, but a CV with good academics as well as good internships and other co-curricular will be appreciated more. Therefore you need to make sure you ensure all round development! Now, let us learn how to choose a favourable and suitable internship. Step 1: In the 1st year of 5 year B.A., LL.B (Hons.) course, students can choose from NGO, Library, Legal Aid Authority or any other governmental organization working on legal issues. However, one can also opt for NGOs working on socio-legal issues since sociology is one of the subjects in the curriculum of 1st year. Examples of some good and reputed organizations are: NGO:
1. Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (Situated at New Delhi, Jaipur, Patna etc.)

2. Human Resource Law Network (HRLN) (At Patna, Pune, Mumbai, New Delhi etc.)

3. Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (At Devdoongri, Rajasthan) 4. HelpAge India (New Delhi) 5. Goonj 6. Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI), Patna Library: 1. Indian Law Institute, New Delhi 2. NLU, Delhi 3. NLSIU, Bangalore 4. NALSAR, Hyderabad 5. Library of any other Law School

Legal Aid Authority:


1. National Legal Service Authority (NALSA), New Delhi

2. Delhi Legal Service Authority (DLSA), New Delhi 3. Legal Service Authority of any State

Governmental Organisation: 1. National Commission for Women (NCW), New Delhi 2. National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), New Delhi 3. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi
4. National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), New Delhi

The above mentioned organizations are some of the best options available for 1 st year students. However, you can also intern in reputed local organizations of your state.

Another important factor of internship is its duration. One should intern for atleast 30 days i.e. 4 weeks. In case where the situations arent favourable, you may opt for 21 days i.e. 3 weeks internship. Remember, 4 weeks internship is always appreciated. Please note that opting for internship at court or under a lawyer or in a law firm wont be a good option as you may be questioned at the time of employment regarding the worthiness of internship, as 1st year is too early to intern at such places. It creates a wrong impression of yours!

Step 2: When in the 2nd year, you start with law subjects like Indian Penal Code, Code of Criminal Procedure, Law of Contracts, Law of Evidence, Transfer of Property and Family Law. This is the time when you need to have a rough idea about your interests so that you can figure out appropriate and best suitable place to intern so as to meet your needs. In case you cant figure out exactly what to aim for then you must go for the preferred places mentioned below to ensure that you dont waste your time sitting idle. This will help you grow your skills in the area on which you intern and thus will help you figure out whats best for you. The preferred places for internship during 2nd year are: i. ii. District Courts High Courts

It is recommended to choose a reputed Lawyer/Judge of either the District Court or the High court and try working on both civil and criminal matters. This would ensure an all round development and would help you strengthen your researching skills. (**Reputed Lawyers are preferred because they tend to have variety and a number of matters.) Try not opting for Supreme Court at this stage as things wont be much clear to you there. Unlike District Courts and High Courts, at the Supreme Court of India, the pace of work and the level of work are very high which would certainly not help you understand the basics of the laws and procedures.

Step 3: 3rd year is generally considered as the stage where you need to pull up your socks and prepare yourself for your aim. By this time try figuring out the major areas of interests and your ultimate aim. Generally at this stage people come up with the idea of litigation, litigation firm, corporate firm, judiciary, UPSC etc.

The preferred places for internship during this year are: i.


ii.

Supreme Court Law Firm (Tier-2, Tier-3, preferably Litigation firm)

By the end of 5th Semester that is the 1st half of the 3rd year one gets well acquainted with the major laws and the procedures. Thus, at this stage one can opt for Supreme Court and Law firm preferably litigation law firm, at the end of 6th Semester. The basic motive behind internship till this stage is to explore the legal field and to get in terms with your interests. However, the motive changes from exploring to seeking job, in the next stage. I would recommend that even if you aim for corporate, try not interning at a corporate law firm in 3rd year. This is because till 3rd year, we dont have an in-depth idea about major corporate laws. Also, litigation law firm and SC would serve as an add-on for the corporate job seekers.

Step 4: Crucial time! By the time you reach 4th year you must have a clear and sound knowledge about the area of your interest and eventually you need to strictly focus on it. This stage matters a lot for students aspiring for corporate job, job in legal departments of Banks, litigation, litigation firm job and PSU jobs. Such people need to strictly intern at related places. Slight mistake would harm your CV very badly so wise steps are needed to be taken here. For those students aspiring for jobs litigation or litigation firm, the best available option would be: i. ii. Senior Counsel of national repute of the Supreme Court of India Tier-1 Litigation Law Firm

For Corporate job seekers, the best options would be: i.


ii.

Tier-1 Corporate Law Firm Leading Banks of India (ICICI Bank, Citi Bank etc.)

It is important to note that interning at Tier-1 law firms is a must as they would enhance both, your CV and your experience, drastically. This is because they tend to handle the leading cases of India and it would be quite an achievement!

Also, one may opt for internship in the legal department of IT companies or PSUs depending upon your interest. This may also be done during the 5th year. Another option which is open at this stage is internship under a Supreme Court Judge. Such internship would acquaint you with the working procedure of the Judge and would allow you to closely watch the working of the court. Even there you can enhance your researching skills as the Judges sometime require notes and briefs on the matters listed before him. Apart from this, internship under a Judge is an opportunity of its own kind and is highly appreciated.

Step 5: In the final year you can preferably intern at different law firms (litigation/ corporate) or under different lawyers depending upon the area of the interest. If needed opt for extended internship, even our University appreciates it. Also, in case you find a place suitable for you, try repeating the internship at least once. This would look good on your CV and would bring in confidence in the area of your interest and also widen the opportunity for Pre-placement offer from the employer.

It should be noted that I have compiled this document with the help of my experience and suggestions which was given to me by my seniors. Thus, in my opinion, this should be the initial approach for shaping your CV, gaining experience and developing your skill in the legal field. However it is not a benchmark and may vary from person to person depending upon the needs and wants. You are the better judge so you can figure out what would suit you the best!

Some DOs and DONTs


i.

Make it a habit to figure out where you want to intern at the starting of the semester itself. Once you figure out, make sure you apply atleast 3-4 months prior to the date of internship. This principle can work up to Supreme Court. Once you start aiming for law firms, you may need to apply 6-12 months prior to internship in order to make sure you get thru. Upon joining make sure you are always on time for the office and never be in a hurry to leave. Always be hungry for more and more work. Develop this habit as in future, big law firms might ask you to stay back until 2 or 3 am or even more. Always be in neat and tidy formals with polished formal shoes and properly comber hairs even during the weekends. You join offices to work and not to show off your wardrobe. It is highly recommended to intern for a period of not less than 4 weeks. In case you have more days in hand extend the duration to 5 weeks or 6 weeks, as it suits you. More the experience you have better will be your CV. Whenever you are assigned work make sure you accept it even if it doesnt fall in the area of your interest. By this you can create a positive impression of yours, in the office. Maintain a positive attitude and body language and keep in mind, you will be interning for the sake of knowledge, skill and CV and not for having fun and making friends. Take internships very seriously as you tend to represent your University there. One slight mistake could ruin your and your universitys impression in the office. Spend some time talking to partners, associates or lawyers during break. This would help you in networking which you can use at a late stage. Work well, put in the best efforts and skills and prove yourself as an asset for the lawyer, firm or company. This will increase your chances of getting the job at that place. Always remember, marks can never reflect your knowledge. Academics undoubtedly are important but it is not the most important criteria. If you prove yourself capable of handling work, the employer will appoint you. It is recommended to maintain a diary about the cases on which you have researched. This would help you refer to it at a later stage and also incorporate it in the CV. Another important thing is do not bunk internship until and unless required. In case of absence make sure you inform the HR or the concerned person over phone or by e-mail.

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Discussion on internship is a very interesting topic and also very complex too. 1 st year is too early to decide your ultimate goal but atleast you should have a rough idea. Eventually, once you start interning and when you reach 3rd year, you yourself will be able to find out what you should opt for and what you shouldnt.

Compiled by: Archit Rajpal 7th Semester, 4th Year Chanakya National Law University, Patna archit_raj13@yahoo.co.in