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SJP Law Solicitors in Hull and East Yorkshire

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SJP Law’s top 5 tips for getting the most out of Careers Fairs

Many law firms, including SJP Law, look to recruit for their training contract places two years in advance.   If you are hoping to start your legal career straight after completing your studies, you will need to submit your application in the summer between the second and third year of your law degree (or before you start the GDL if you are a non-law graduate).   Make sure you check application deadline dates!  

So with this in mind, attending law conventions and careers fairs are a great way to find out more about law firms and what they have to offer before you start applying.  To help you make the most of these events, we have prepared our Top 5 Tips:

Introduce yourself with confidence, smile and make eye contact.  Be prepared to deliver a ‘mini pitch’.  This might include your name, your degree type and what year of study you are currently in and your career goals.  You could also include your extracurricular experiences to show your skills and strengths.  Relax, you are merely having a conversation.  Be yourself and show your personality.

  1. Come prepared - do your research

    Before the fair, review the list of firms who will be attending and do some research.  Read their website to get background information on the areas of law they specialise in, where they are based, etc.   Review their recruitment pages to see what work experience and job opportunities they offer.   Prioritise the firms that align with your legal interests.  Make a note of any specific questions you want to ask on the day.   Asking pertinent questions about the firm demonstrates that you have done your research and have a genuine interest in that firm.

  2. Make a good impression

    The fair is an opportunity for you to gather information, but is also the perfect opportunity to make a good impression with a firm that could be your future employer.  If you make a good impression, it is highly likely that your details will be passed to Human Resources or the hiring manager to keep an eye out for your application.

    Introduce yourself with confidence, smile and make eye contact. Be prepared to deliver a ‘mini pitch’. This might include your name, your degree type and what year of study you are currently in and your career goals. You could also include your extracurricular experiences to show your skills and strengths. Relax, you are merely having a conversation. Be yourself and show your personality.

  3. Dress appropriately

    Avoid overly casual dress.  You want to make a good first impression and help the firm to see you as part of their team.  Show that you are serious about your career by dressing like a professional.

  4. Make the most of your time

    Typically, fairs are quietest at the start and towards the end.  Utilise these times to have one to one time with representatives from the firms you have prioritised.

    Avoid going round the fair in big groups, this could hinder your ability to get your questions answered, and you want to stand out as an individual.

    Avoid asking questions where the answers are readily available on the firm’s website. The fair can be busy during peak times, so it is likely you will only have the representative’s attention for a short amount of time. Use the time to find out more in-depth information, find out about the firm’s culture and what you can do to make yourself stand from the crowd when applying to that firm.

  5. Take notes

    If you have spoken to someone at a firm you are hoping to apply to for work experience or a training contract, make a note of their name so that you can personalise your cover letter by including who you spoke to and what you learnt from them. If you don’t have a notepad with you, ask for their business card.   If you didn’t get chance to get all of your questions answered, follow up after the event by email or Linkedin.

Most important of all, enjoy the event!

For more information about careers at SJP Law follow us on social media @sjplawcareers

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