31 January is a big date in the recruitment cycle, with dozens of law firms closing applications for their work placement schemes on that day (although be aware that there are plenty just before and just after the 31st too). We hope that you don’t need to be told that these formal schemes are generally the best possible gateway to winning a training contract and, as a result, places are keenly contested.
Details of which deadlines are approaching are available at www.lawcareers.net/Solicitors/WorkPlacementDeadlines.
If you are planning to make some applications over the next few days, bear the following tips in mind:
Be selective – you cannot make very many applications at this late stage. Plan to make a handful at the very most.
Be realistic – look at the standard of candidate a firm looks for. What are their minimum criteria for instance? Select firms whose requirements you definitely satisfy. Your chances are much better!
Be specific – every firm is different, so every application needs to be different. If you think that you could send your application to another firm with minimal alterations, you’ve not made it specific enough.
Be a perfectionist – a slapdash application is far worse than no application at all. You’ll still have nothing to show for it, but you may well have queered your pitch for the future with that firm. Every sentence should be honed, spelling and grammar must be impeccable, and every claim about yourself should be backed up with evidence. This is what it takes.