As TC Young starts looking for another trainee, I thought some candidates may welcome some tips for completing a trainee application form before pushing the send button ?
- ?Your application form and covering email will create a first impression. ?As a wise man once said you don?t get a second chance to make a first impression?!
- Read the application form carefully. Then read it again to ensure you understand the guidelines provided. An application form is not only an opportunity to provide your details, it is also a test ? can you follow basic instructions? Can you be relied upon to follow instructions from a line manager in the future? A basic error at this early stage will not help you when the people reviewing the applications are deciding who is good enough to make the first sift.
- Do your homework. Tailor the application form to the vacancy and the firm.? It may be time consuming but this approach will be a far more successful one.? Don?t be tempted to include the same answers you?ve used for previous applications. Different firms want different things. Unfortunately from a candidate?s point of view you may not know what they are!? From a prospective employer?s point of view, this helps to select the best candidates.
- The application form is your route to an interview. You need to ensure you sell yourself at the outset. Some of the information you intend to share at interview may never be heard, so don?t save it.
- Do not leave things to the last minute. Make sure you allow for all eventualities to ensure your application is received on time (problems with your email etc). As a trainee solicitor you will be relied upon to meet time critical deadlines for clients. A late submission suggests that you may not be able to do this ?
Competition remains fierce for traineeships. Some people are passionate about certain areas of law and they demonstrate that in the way they answer the questions and their experience to date.? Sometimes you will need to accept graciously that the particular traineeship wasn?t for you. Not because you aren?t good enough, but because in this instance there was someone just a little bit better.
And one final point, don?t tell us that ?you?re a motivated self-starter who thrives on challenges and is an excellent team player?.
I?hope these tips help to secure that elusive traineeship.