Even in these unusual and challenging times, Wales is still able to welcome its latest cohort of law graduates into the world of work. But now the focus turns to securing that first job, which is the next challenge for university leavers. With Welsh job vacancies down 55% year-on-year in June, competition for opportunities is going to be fierce this summer. Not that it should put off prospective applicants, though. There are still some useful ways to enhance your prospects.
Got a particular field in mind?
To start with, it can be a huge advantage if you know which branch of the legal sector appeals to you most. As part of your studies, you’ll no doubt have at least an introduction to the many various fields and specialisms that are available.
For those interested in civil litigation, applying to a firm of professional negligence solicitors is one way to kickstart your new career. Or perhaps immigration law is an area of expertise that appeals most to you, especially with the implications of Brexit soon to become very real.
Whichever branch you choose to take, it will influence the rest of your preparations.
Ensure your CV is up to date
Your CV is often the first chance that a potential employer will get to find out more about you. If it’s not up-to-date and – importantly – tailored to the area of law in which you wish to work, it can end your hopes of landing that dream first job. When updating your CV, make sure you have your academic achievements and relevant work experience detailed.
Course modules and work experience
At any given opportunity, it’s well worth referring to each and every aspect of your university studies that’s relevant and applicable to the role you’re applying for. In your CV, cover letter and (hopefully) interview, being able to talk about the modules studied and work experience gained can show how you understand the theories – and how to put them into practice.
What makes you stand out from the crowd?
A legal practice will want to know you’re able to do the job – and understand what’ll be asked of you. But it’ll also want to hire an individual who fits their ethos or can work well with others. Think about what makes you stand out from all the others applying for the position? What soft skills can you offer and what experience do you have that no-one else can compete with?
Know more about firms you approach
It’s all very well to have a polished CV and a smooth interview technique – but it all counts for little if you know little about the firm you applied to. Each one in their own specialism is trying to stand out from competitors. So, what is it about a specific one that appeals to you most? Is it the company mission? Corporate responsibility? Workplace culture? Or something else?
By knowing exactly what you have to offer and everything about the company you wish to offer it to, you put yourself in a strong position to take that first step in your legal career. After all, it is what you studied so hard for over the past few years. Now is the time to make it count.