The summer is fast approaching and whilst for some of us thoughts are turning towards suntan lotions and which exotic holiday destination we are jetting off to for others its a crucial time in their career. Over the next couple of months firms will be announcing which trainees will be appointed into Newly Qualified roles and the NQ market will once again pick up in a frenzy of busy activity.

To not be appointed into a seat which you are keen to pursue your career in can often by dis-heartening and as an Newly Qualified your thoughts will turn to the job market. The first step will be to look at the job boards and to see which recruiters are advertising which roles. When you apply to a recruiter make sure you send a full CV and a covering letter. Your CV should cover your most recent career history to date and should fully detail all seats undertaken in your training contract. Tailor your CV for the role you are applying for and make sure you include relevant transactions and experiences. Think about what will make you different from other Newly Qualified and include that information. It is important to remember that future employers may be receiving as many as 40 CV’s for one role so you need to make sure your application stands out. Most firms are more than happy to help their Newly Qualified solicitors if they are not being kept on so ask if it is possible to be given a reference prior to you leaving your existing firm. This can be a really powerful tool to use at the initial stages of your application as it provides the future employer with an additional testimonial of your ability.

Work closely with your recruitment consultant we are here to help you at every stage in the process and to help you get a role. If you have already been put forward for a role please make sure you tell us, duplications of CV sends do not go down well with clients and can sometimes be viewed in a negative fashion. Let us know the best way we can contact you, if its tricky to talk in the office but texting you is easier then we will contact you by your preferred method of communication in order to arrange interviews and give you feedback.

Preparing for the interview is absolutely crucial; we will help you as much as possible providing you with information on the firm, the people whom you will be meeting and the structure of the interview. We will also need you to undertake your own preparation and research and to also prepare questions to ask at interview. All sounds simple but getting the basics right is crucial. On the day of the interview make sure you have a clean smart suit, well polished shoes and appropriate footwear the old adage “you only have one chance to make a good first impression” ism a cliché but very true. Allow plenty of time to arrive at the interview and make sure you have copies of your CV and any references you may wish to leave with the client. Make sure these are on good quality paper and in a folder.

At the interview ask articulate well thought out questions and find out as much as you can about the firm. This is your potential future employer and clients will be looking for a keen level of interest from you. Have well thought out answers to questions which are highly likely to be asked such as why would you want to join this firm, why are you interested in this area of law. If you feel the interview has gone well ask the interviewer if they propose to take you to the next stage, a slightly tricky moment but if the interviewer has any reservations this is often a great opportunity to negate them at the final hurdle.

If all goes well a successful job offer will hopefully be made and you will have secured your position for the future. If you are in the enviable position where you have more than one offer on the table please keep your recruiter in the loop. We need to keep our clients informed, even if it is to tell them that you won’t be accepting their role. Importantly you may be stopping another Newly Qualified from being appointed.

Above all communication is key, talk to us we are here to help you every stage of your career and hopefully this will be the start of a long working relationship.