If your pre-application research consists solely of consuming published information (whether written, video or audio) you may find your applications are dead in the water before you start writing them.
To breathe life into your applications and set yourself apart from the masses you need to be doing additional research through personal interaction.
You should spend time with people already working in the profession to develop your own unique knowledge, connections and experiences.
You can then utilise these to good effect in the recruitment process.
Why Personal Interaction Is So Important
Interacting with the right people will undoubtedly increase your chances of success.
> Firms Like To See Evidence of It
> You Will Make Better Decisions
> You Will Find Answering Motivation Questions Easier
> You Will Receive Invaluable Recruitment Advice
Firms Like To See Evidence Of It
Firms like to see evidence you have done your research thoroughly enough to develop an understanding of key areas.
For example, what does the job entail, what makes that firm unique and specifically why you want to work for them over other firms.
If you don’t seek to meet the firm’s representatives, or at least a range of other firms’ representatives, you may find your understanding falls short of where it needs to be.
And when firms spot gaps in your knowledge they will most likely put you on the “No” pile.
You Will Make Better Decisions
The knowledge you develop from personal interaction will help you make more informed decisions about which firms are the right fit for you.
These decisions are critically important to your chances of success.
Until you meet firms in person you are working solely on limited information from law firms’ marketing materials and third parties.
It’s a bit like online dating with the aim of marriage. Would you want to choose “the one” from online profiles only or would you prefer to meet with them first to understand them better?
Answering Motivation Questions Will Be Easier
If you have personal interactions to reference you will find it helps you give more convincing answers to motivation questions such as “Why this firm?” and “Why commercial law?”.
For example, a great way to demonstrate your motivation to a firm is to say: “One of the primary reasons I want to work for your firm is because of [INSET FACTOR] which I learnt from one of the trainees at the [XYZ] law fair.”
This is much better than overused cliches such as “I am passionate about working for an international commercial law firm like XYZ due to its leading reputation in banking”.
You Will Receive Invaluable Recruitment Advice
Meeting people already inside the legal profession is a great way to get advice on how to succeed in the recruitment process.
I have seen this advice be instrumental in many candidates’ success and it can be obtained in many ways. For example, it might come from a question you ask in a one to one conversation at a law fair, or it might come from a law firm’s career presentation you attend.
Others Are Doing This, Are You?
If you are not prioritising this research through personal interaction you are seriously harming your chances of success.
I guarantee other candidates will be doing this as part of their career pursuits and they will be in a much stronger position because of it.
So why not join them?
Seek out opportunities for personal interactions, prioritise them in your schedule and make the most out of each and every one of them.
When you come to your applications and interviews you’ll be glad you did!
Image: megan ann