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Applying for roles?

We have all been there. Sending out applications daily but not getting any response. Guess what? You are the reason and you have the solution.

Watch this before you send your application

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Ask the interviewing employers for feedback. They are obliged to provide it and it's all gold dust for your next interview!

Not getting any interviews?

We hate to say it, but it's likely your application was not up to scratch, and/or you did not meet the minimum criteria, and/or they just had too many applicants and it got super competitive. Also, there's probably no point in applying for a family law paralegal role that requires at least a year's experience if you have never worked in family law before. Ask yourself:

Did you do a cover letter demonstrating how you meet the skills and experience required? Did you check your application first and make sure it sounded cohesive and did not have any typos? Did you at least say why you want to work there? Did you meet all the necessary criteria?
If they have asked you to do a cover letter, then they expect you to outline how your skills and experience meet the role specification. You will not get on the shortlist otherwise.

Your cover letter and CV

Landing the right role is one thing, but to get to that point, you need to do a winning application, which is a bit of an art form. Remember, many candidates do not get past stage one of the recruitment process because they did not submit a proper cover letter when asked to, or do not fit the minimum criteria. Here are our top tips for your cover letter:

This is your opportunity to make a good first impression so use a confident positive tone Do not regurgitate your CV, they already have this with your letter Demonstrate with examples, how you meet the skills/experience in the personal specification/role description Have a look at their website and say something about why you want to work there Keep it to a maximum of two sides of A4, likewise with your CV

Here are our top tips for a successful application

Tips for a winning application

Personalise your cover letter and CV

If you have been asked for a CV and cover letter, you need to do a personalised cover letter outlining how your skills and experience align with the role, and why you want to work there. Do not simply leave the holding text that is often pre-populated on the cover letter template. You probably will not get a call back if you do not show you have put some effort into the application.

Demonstrate with examples and provide the what, why and how

If the application asks you to demonstrate a skill they require, then give them an example of when you have done something similar. Also, try and go into explain the scenario, what you did, and what you learned from the experience. This applies to your interview as well.

Highlight your relevant achievements

Whether you have a slim CV or have done many different things, highlighting the more relevant things you have done will make much more impact. Try to extract the relevant required skills for the role from all your previous work experience even if it seems unrelated, you would be surprised how many candidates leave out crucial transferrable skills on their applications.

Refer to the person specification

If the job description has a person specification for the role, then you need to address how you meet these requirements in your cover letter and try and address as many points as you can. As long as you meet most of them, you are still in with a chance and you can often mitigate for what you lack by demonstrating you are bright and a fast learner.

Why do you want to work there?

Tell them why you want to work there because it shows you have taken an interest in the organisation and their work. Have a look at their website and check out some of their latest cases. Or if it's a charity or not-for-profit, have a look at their last annual report or other resources on their website.

Make sure your application is concise, cohesive and correct

Check for typos and grammar. Use your spellcheck and Grammarly because in this day and age, there is no excuse for these errors and it looks sloppy. Make sure you do not write too much and try to include the most relevant experience. We say keep your CV and cover letter to a maximum of two pages.


The interview

Once you get to this stage, then it is a matter of preparing for your interview and making sure you feel as confident as you can. Here are our top interview tips:

Know your CV inside out Look up the interview panel on Linkedin Do some research into the organisation Prepare an answer to a question about a difficult situation at work and how you resolved it Ask an intelligent question at the end and ask them what their next steps are in the process Dress to impress

Use the STAR method to plan your answers to interview questions and show your skills and experience on a CV, cover letter, or application form. 


What employers tell us

We have been talking to legal employers for years and they all say the same things. Many decent candidates do not get past stage one of the application process because of errors or omissions in their application. We think this is totally avoidable and unnecessarily prejudices, good candidates.


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