Applying for summer vacation schemes

Dear Oracle

I'm busy completing applications for summer vacation schemes. Can I include informal placements that I've got lined up for February?

The Oracle replies

It is definitely encouraged to include details of forthcoming informal placements as long as they are confirmed. Any and all legal work experience will be a valuable addition to your CV, while you could also find links between the firms you’re currently applying to and those you're doing work experience at - for example, do they have a similar practice? Do they have similar clients? Are they competitors? Furthermore, briefly mention the broad area of work that you are pursuing (and make sure the firm to which you apply also does the same work) so that you can prove your interest in a particular field.

The deadlines for most Easter and summer work placement schemes are at the end of January, with many more coming thick and fast over the next few months - they're fast approaching, so take a look at our dedicated vacation scheme application deadlines page for a full list. And you may or may not know that vacation schemes normally get filled up well before their deadlines: recruiters get so many applications that it makes much more sense to look at them as they come in, rather than wait for the deadline to pass. Some firms even interview before the deadline. So the advice is normally to get yours in as soon as possible.

This can be tricky if you have work placements lined up that you want to include in your application. Rather than wait until you've done the placement before submitting your form, bear in mind that most online application forms allow you to add extra information after submission - but only up until the deadline. You should therefore be able to submit your form in advance and then add more work placement info later on, once you've completed it.

For more advice on making vacation scheme applications, see LCN’s practical guide to online application forms and our tips on formal application writing.

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