Finding a pupillage is hugely competitive these days. I find that I meet all the selection criteria of the chambers, but how do I make my applications stand out?

Identifying the X factor that makes one good candidate stand out from all the other good candidates is no easy task and what appeals to one recruiter may not appeal to another. As Im sure youre aware, there are some must-haves that usually equate to a good application: excellent academics, evidence of public speaking, relevant work experience etc. But there are probably two main ways to make your application stand out.
First, if you can meet all the usual criteria but more so, ie you dont have just good academics but impeccable academics; not just a couple of mini-pupillages but substantial relevant work experience; not just evidence of public speaking but the winner of a mooting competition; not just able to show evidence of good written skills but the winner of a recognised essay competition, and so on. Or, second, as well as having the usual must-haves, you also have something out of the ordinary on your application which catches the recruiters imagination and makes them want to call you to interview to find out more. If you have done something unusual in your life, or have an unusual interest or a particular gift, make sure you include it in your application.