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    As law folk we spend a lot of time applying for various legal roles be that vacation schemes, training contracts etc.

    With this in mind I was hoping we could discuss such matters and what to include, what not to include, what to focus on and what to skim over during the writing phase of such application.

    The covering letter, if you have the chance to send one, will grant the person selecting applicants a first impression of you. It should not be longer than one page. In this should be included a general introduction, who are you, what you want and why. You should then go on to talk about the firm your applying to. Why them, is it their ethos or their specialisation etc. Follow this up with what you can offer that firm, pick some examples that can demonstrate your suitability to that role. Do not go into too much detail as that can be a further discussion point in the interview.

    The CV is your last chance to impress. Don't lie but also don't sell yourself short. The length of ones CV is often a discussion point resulting in a varying amount of opinion. Personally, I believe one page is fine, two is the maximum. Don't think a five page CV would impress the selector more than a one page CV, remember they will probably have hundreds to look through so make it short and sweet. If your running low on space you can exclude some of your contact details (only if you sent in a covering letter). If your academic achievements are high then list them first, some firms would appreciate knowing which modules you have/will take(n) as part of your degree. If academia is/was not your strong point then focus on extra curricula activities first. Don't lose faith, remember that a lot of firms look for at the person overall and not just the results.

    If you have had any work experience then include this next. Be sure to mention what you gained from the experience and the skills you brought to that occasion. Hobbies and Interests are used to show the type of person you are. Don't make things up here as you may be caught out in the interview stage. When you list something, briefly say why - if you can demonstrate a positive characteristic through this then do so. I enjoy volunterring for ..... because .... ; or At university I was part of the mooting/debating society where I learned .... and was able to ... etc.

    Any other hints/tips/advice feel free to add.


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