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Application forms and covering letters Kathryn McFarlane, Careers Adviser.

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Presentation on theme: "Application forms and covering letters Kathryn McFarlane, Careers Adviser."— Presentation transcript:

1 Application forms and covering letters Kathryn McFarlane, Careers Adviser.

2 Careers course Career Management Skills CV writing Application forms and covering letters - 22nd January Interviews - Date TBA

3 Targeting your applications Your skills, experience and qualifications Their criteria The overlap

4 Comments from a recruiter - CLs What do you expect a covering letter to include? Reason for applying to our firm Highlight unique selling points What pitfalls should students avoid when writing covering letters? Simply telling us what good law students they are Having one letter for all firms! We can spot them!

5 Covering letters Introduction - the purpose of the letter Why them? / motivation Why you? Concluding comments Now analyse some covering letters...

6 Covering letters - general tips Must not look like a standard mailshot Must make it clear what you are after Must be spell and grammar checked If you were the recruiter, would you want to interview this person? Remember - this will be the first document to be read

7 Comments from a recruiter - AFs What are the most common faults or mistakes on application forms you receive? Students who only demonstrate legal abilities. We are looking for practical lawyers, therefore abilities other than the law are important. Poor spelling Use of correction fluid

8 Comments from a recruiter - AFs What recommendations would you give to students about how to impress on application forms? Find something to highlight individuality e.g. work experience, personal achievement, a particular skill that could be useful in legal profession, e.g. engineering, medical or other practical skills. Neat application Answer all sections, even if only put NA.

9 Wide open spaces Please enter below any additional information in support of your application. If you require more space than is provided, please continue on a separate page.

10 Wide open spaces Use recruiter’s criteria Delete criteria already covered Use your full range of experiences to demonstrate remaining criteria Introduction and conclusion

11 Competence based forms Explicit list of competences Explore recruitment factors other than academic grades e.g.: Describe a challenging project, activity or event which you have planned and taken through to a conclusion.

12 Competence based forms - DOs Brainstorm a menu of activities before you look at the questions Fit these into the questions Brief answers Show relevance of activity Positive - plus keep the focus on you Outcomes - what did you achieve?

13 Competence based forms - DON’Ts Put in too little or too much detail Use vague, verbose or woolly statements Lose yourself in the situation Leave the selector to guess why something is relevant

14 Application forms - remember: Practice on a copy Get it checked Bring it to the Careers Service Keep a copy - you can use ideas from it next time!

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