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The Oracle

Does it matter when I submit my training contract application?

updated on 07 July 2020

Dear Oracle

Does it matter if I wait until the deadline to submit my training contract application?

The Oracle replies

It is important to complete your training contract application well before the deadline for two reasons. The first is to avoid the possibility of a technical problem making you miss the deadline. The second is that many firms will either review applications as soon as they come in or review applications in the order that they were received, placing late applicants last in line for consideration.

The team at AllHires hears many agonising stories from candidates around deadline time: “Many have missed the deadline, not completed applications fully or made mistakes. Often the reports we get are of the candidate's screen freezing, page not loading and/or internet connection dying, all at the last moment. By taking your time, and not writing an application in a last-minute rush before the deadline, these problems would not make you miss the deadline.

“We are often asked, 'Can you reopen an application form for me to submit after the deadline?'. Firms mostly say no to this. How would you feel if you and thousands of others had submitted on time, only to find out that firms were allowing candidates to submit past the deadline? There are exceptions but the over-riding message is submit on time to avoid disappointment.

“Another popular cry for help is, 'I spent so much time on this application in the weeks before the deadline, but I logged in to submit and missed the deadline'. We know it's frustrating, but if you're spending huge amounts of time on an application, it's worth logging in with plenty of time to preview your application form and to submit.

“If you have already submitted training contract applications, you can add supplementary information by logging in on the firm's application form homepage. For this, the message remains the same; don't wait until the last minute.

“So please don't make us (or, more importantly, you) sad by missing the deadline. There are many advantages to submitting well in advance."

There is a perception that applications submitted close to the deadline are often lower in quality than those completed early. Give yourself the best chance of of securing a training contract by being organised and working on your applications well before the deadline.