updated on 20 June 2023
Last year I sent off more than 40 training contract applications but didn’t get one interview. What am I doing wrong?
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While we don't know much about your academic background or work experience, one thing that does jump out is the sheer number of applications you’ve submitted – 40 is a lot! There seems almost no way that you could be putting in the required amount of care and time on each of those applications.
Submitting around 10 carefully targeted, properly researched, checked and rechecked applications may prove more successful than dozens of identical applications.
Read LCN’s training contract masterclass for advice on your applications.
Applying for a training contract is a competitive process. You must market yourself in the best possible light, so make sure that your applications are the best reflection of your skills and experience. When choosing which firms to apply to, target them well by asking yourself the following questions:
Make sure that you also get as much help from any careers advice services that you can. They should be able to give you one-to-one advice or at least signpost you in the right direction.
How can your careers service help you ace the law recruitment process? Find out in this LCN Says.
In terms of your applications, we suggest that you spend approximately two days on each – researching the firm, writing a draft application, having someone else check it – to make sure that each application is polished and stands a good chance of being taken seriously by recruiters.
Use this article as your guide to writing the perfect cover letter, CV or application form.
A standard application form, including open-ended questions, can take between six and eight hours to complete. Some careers advisers we speak to advise making five to six vacation scheme and five to six training contract applications per intake. Review and check each application at least three times. Don’t underestimate the importance of carrying out meticulous research before applying. Check out the firm profiles on LawCareers.Net and then explore their website.
Identify which firms to apply to by considering the following:
For more information on training contracts deadlines visit LCN’s deadlines page. You can bookmark the firm’s directory page and save it to your MyLCN account; deadline dates will be added automatically to your personal calendar.