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Article written by Renee Richards, Law LLB student.
We understand writing applications can be daunting, especially at the start of the new academic year. With that in mind, here are The Student Lawyer’s best tips to ensure the application process goes smooth sailing.
Know the firms you are applying to inside out
Do your research. Research the employers of the firm. What posts have they made on their websites? Are there any high profile deals they have made recently or even before? What sets them apart from other firms? What recent news would affect their teams and how and why? Does the firm run any events targeting students, and if so, which was most influential?
Knowing the organisation and their areas of practice inside out will help you to stand out. It can also present you as a commercial thinker, which proves to be very helpful in interviews.
Build your personal brand
This certainly will help to set you apart from others in your applications. What skills have you developed recently, and how would this help you in a legal environment? What societies are you in? For example, working in retail over the Christmas period can show your ability to work in a high paced environment. Be creative and remember to always link this back to the firm you are applying to.
Building a strong personal brand can also help you prepare a strong “elevator pitch” while networking. This is a quick introduction which can inform employers about yourself, as well as the experience you have acquired in relation to the position you are interested in.
Network, network, networking
Networking can lead to wonderful connections as you learn from others who have gone down the same path as you. New experiences can teach you, and professional contacts can be willing to help you check your CVs and cover letters if you ask nicely enough. If you find the idea of networking daunting, you can practise with a member of your University Careers team or a family member/close friend to improve your confidence.
Referring to step one, knowing the firm inside out will allow you to ask well thought-out questions when networking.
Set yourself appropriate deadlines
We would advise to start applying for work experience schemes as soon as possible. This ensures you meet the deadlines for the firms during application season. This will also provide you that peace of mind before university assignments start!
Have a checklist ready
Consider this when you apply for the firms:
1) Have you networked with someone from the firm before you applied?
2) Do you know the firm inside out?
3) Is your commercial awareness up to speed?
4) Do you have someone who can help you with tips on how to have a strong application?
5) If not, there are many webinars available for this online.
Best of luck,