You may not know it but you are a sales person. When you are making applications for vacation schemes and training contracts you should treat is as a sales job.
One of the golden rules of sales is to sell the benefits not the features. Now it may be taking the analogy too far to say that trying to get a training contract is like trying to sell a hoover but there are similarities.
To sell a hoover you need to sell the benefits to the customer. And to sell the benefits you may first have to find out a bit about the customer to know which things about the hoover will benefit them. You can then explain to them the benefits to them of certain features such as it being bag-less or easy to store.
When it comes to selling yourself to a law firm in your applications you need to do similar things. Firstly, you need to find out about the firm so you know what they are after and what will benefit them. Thankfully, most firms provide you with much of these details in their graduate recruitment materials or in their job descriptions. They will say what they are looking for, what they see as important in their trainees, etc.
Far too many applicants miss these signposts and just plough on regardless with the sort of application they think the firm will want to receive. However, if you first find out all the things the firm has said about itself and what it is after this is a much more solid foundation for your application.
Once you have done this you then need to sell to them the fact that you, the ‘product’, can deliver these things for them. You sell to them the benefits of having you as an employee and how the main benefit is that you can fulfil the role they are seeking to fill.
With this knowledge you can then proceed with tailoring your application specifically to the firm in question. Think about the skills, attributes and competencies they are after and then work hard on drafting your applications to display them in yourself.
This article is an abstract from the new University endorsed Trainee Solicitor Surgery eBook “21 Secrets to Successful Applications”. For more details and to get a free copy of the eBook click here.