Editor’s weekly: Ticking the right boxes

Most of you are probably nearing the end of the dreaded exam season and looking forward to a summer packed full of festivals, parties and sun-drenched beach holidays.

But before you get out the BBQ, burn your revision guides and crack open a bottle of beer, there’s one last item to tick off your itinerary – application forms.

With the competition for training contracts as fierce as ever and with some firms bringing application deadlines forward, you should be getting your forms in well before the traditional 31 July deadline.

For some of you that haven’t been to able to attend law fairs or open days, application forms are the first point of contact you’ll have with a potential employer so it’s really important to get them right.

Indeed, with some firms receiving in more than 2,000 applications for just a handful of vacancies a poor application is likely to go straight in the bin, especially in this market. So if you don’t want yours to suffer the same fate then have a read of our Application Forms survival guide (see story).

In a nutshell the key to filling in the perfect application form is to pay attention to detail. Make sure your form doesn’t have any spelling mistakes – that includes the spelling of the firm’s name.

Never be tempted to copy and paste because so many graduate recruitment advisors have told us that they regularly see the wrong law firm name that has been lifted off another application form.

Another top tip is to avoid regurgitating the firm’s graduate recruitment brochure or website such as listing off the deals it has been advising on as firms already know how great they are.

Lastly, treat every application you complete like an exam and you’ll have a very good chance of securing an interview. Good luck.