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LCN Says

Top 10 tips for summer vacation scheme applications

updated on 14 January 2020

The biggest vacation scheme application deadline of the year – 31 January – is looming. Over 60 firms have set their deadlines for spring and/or summer vacation schemes at the end of this month. Click the link for a full list of vacation scheme deadlines.

All firms require your application to be uniquely tailored to them, so every form you complete should be different. But you should also approach every application in the same way – take your time, carefully prepare your responses and pay attention to detail.

Here are ten pointers:

  1. Read through the entire application form before you start, keeping a close eye on all instructions.
  2. Plan where you will talk about your main achievements. It would be a shame to work a slightly tangential skill or experience into one answer when you turn out to be questioned directly on the issue on the next page.
  3. Don't complete the form with your caps lock on. Equally, don’t go entirely lower-case, as you will give the impression of someone without care or regard for grammar.
  4. Take care with the layout of your application. Consider writing the longer sections in Word and then copying the text over, checking that the formatting (eg, bullet points) have transferred properly.
  5. Don’t succumb to ‘copy and paste’ fatigue. If you can substitute the name for any other firm into your application and it still makes sense, you haven’t you’re your application specific enough.
  6. Don’t be tempted to use text speak (eg, “pls giv me job”). Write in full sentences and do not abbreviate words. Equally, do not use emojis.
  7. Make sure that there is some way of keeping a record of your application, and if you are lucky enough to be invited back for interview, ensure that you have reread it and are familiar with what you said!
  8. Read through your completed application at least three times before you submit it. Talking up your “excellen eye for deetail” will not get you the vac scheme place. It’s always a good idea to get someone else to read it, as they’re more likely to spot mistakes or omissions.
  9. Use a sensible email address that you will be able to access throughout the recruitment period (not boozyboi97@xxx.com).
  10. Submit your applications before the deadline. Applications are often reviewed in the order they are received, while last-minute applications tend to be of lower quality than those that have been carefully put together ahead of the final day.

You should also be aware that many firms have deadlines before and after 31 January, so check all the deadlines so you don’t miss a firm that interests you. Good luck!

For more application advice, read LawCareers.Net’s application master class and  guide to writing a CV, cover letter or application form.