Example CVs and cover letters: The career changer

This example CV and cover letter is for someone who's looking to change their career, and making a speculative approach.

The candidate

Robert Brown has recently found himself out of work after his legal practice closed due to financial reasons. He was a solicitor and partner in the firm for 24 years. He’s now looking to change career and is considering being a college lecturer.

He hasn’t seen any advertised positions but has decided to send his CV to a few different colleges to see if they have any vacancies. Robert specialised in criminal law and is writing to college law departments as well as journalism departments. He feels that his expertise could be put to good use there, especially with regards to court reporting.

Have a look at his CV and cover letter to see how he has tailored them to the role.

The cover letter

Robert Brown

1 The Lane

The Village




Ms Anne Smith

Journalism Department

The College

The Street

The City



Dear Ms Smith

Following our recent telephone conversation, I am writing to enquire as to whether you have any vacancies on your lecturing staff. I am an experienced lawyer and I believe my skills and knowledge could be put to good use teaching criminal law to journalism students at your college. Please find enclosed a copy of my CV for your consideration.

I am interested in becoming a teacher as I want to pass on the knowledge I have gained in over 30 years working in criminal law. I know that law is part of the curriculum for journalism students and I feel I could contribute to the teaching of this subject.

Throughout my career I have worked on a wide range of criminal cases and have regularly appeared in court on behalf of clients. I have a sound knowledge of criminal procedure and contempt of court. I’m also aware of the Press Complaints Commission and Ofcom.

I have strong communication skills from working with a range of people which I feel would be put to good use when teaching a class full of students. I also have experience mentoring trainee lawyers and monitoring their progress.  

I’m looking to explore new challenges and feel I would be a strong asset to your lecturing staff.

I look forward to hearing from you and would be pleased to discuss things further.


Yours sincerely

Robert Brown

The CV

Robert Brown

1, The Lane, The Village, Scotland
Tel No: 01001 001 000 Email: robert.brown@fakeemail.com 

Personal Statement

An experienced solicitor whose knowledge of criminal law would be beneficial when teaching a class of journalism students about court reporting. Worked as a partner in a firm for 24 years and have over 30 years court room experience. Have a passion for helping others gained from mentoring trainee lawyers and keen to develop a career in lecturing.  


  • Strong communication skills developed from working with a range of clients
  • Confident when speaking in front of large groups gained from court room experience
  • Able to accurately communicate ideas through writing and good at explaining things
  • Can cope well with high pressure situations and have good time management skills developed from managing large case loads
  • ICT literate
  • Possess good leadership and organisation skills gained from managing a legal practice


Andrews and Brown Solicitors                 April 1991 – March 2015


  • Established and operated a criminal law practice
  • Developed a wide experience in criminal law
  • Managed a team of eight including paralegals and junior solicitors
  • Mentored trainee solicitors within the practice and monitored their progress

Law firm                        July 1988 – April 1991


  • Responsible for providing accurate and effective practical legal advice to clients
  • Negotiated with other solicitors and their clients and represented clients in court
  • Researched law precedents and prepared case notes and questions

Law firm                        July 1986 – July 1988


  • Completed a traineeship in a private law firm
  • Worked with qualified solicitors in preparation of both criminal and civil cases and attended court hearings

Law Clinic                      September 1984 – May 1986

  • Worked as part of the Law Clinic at university, representing members of he public who could not afford a lawyer and were not entitled to legal aid
  • Developed skills in negotiation, interviewing and advocacy


The University, The City                September 1985 – June 1986 

Diploma in Professional Legal Practice

  • Trained in the practical skills for a practising lawyer

The University, The City                September 1981 – June 1985 

Bachelor of Laws (LLB)

  • Specialised in criminal law during honours year


Admitted Solicitor                    July 1988

  • Admitted as a solicitor after completing two-year traineeship


  • Enjoy sport, music and reading as well as spending time with family and friends
  • Keeping up with the latest law developments


Available on request