Ask A Graduate Recruiter Anything!

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Yes, I’m perceiving it in that way because I did a lot of prep and research into the firm and when the time to show it I didn’t mention the more sophisticated points that I know would sound good.

I’m really hoping my other answers showcased it.
The interviewer may have not needed your sophisticated points - they may have been happy with the answer you gave if it came across in a genuine way.
 

thewaythecookiecrumbles

Distinguished Member
Gold Member
Jan 14, 2021
59
93
The interviewer may have not needed your sophisticated points - they may have been happy with the answer you gave if it came across in a genuine way.
Thanks for this Jessica, I'm just trying to reassure myself. Would you also say that in the final interview they're assessing more if you're a good fit especially since they shortlisted through a prior interview?
 

Jessica Booker

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Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Thanks for this Jessica, I'm just trying to reassure myself. Would you also say that in the final interview they're assessing more if you're a good fit especially since they shortlisted through a prior interview?
Don't worry - I know these things can be worrying and it's not uncommon for people to feel like this. I am too trying to reassure you that things might not be anywhere as bad as you currently perceive them.

In all honesty, it is more than fit even at this stage - they are still assessing other criteria (skills, abilities, attitudes). It is just the candidate pool is much smaller by this point and so they can invest more time into assessing candidates thoroughly.
 

TCLA1234

New Member
May 13, 2022
4
0
Hi @Jessica Booker, one more question on references. I have been asked to provide my activities for the past 5 years on vero. After putting in my education and summer internship last summer I have filled the last 5 years (and it comes up with a tick). Is it still necessary to put the jobs I have done in the last 5 years in there if this comes?

If it is necessary, should I stick to paid employment, or should I include work experience and unpaid things in there as well?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hi @Jessica Booker, one more question on references. I have been asked to provide my activities for the past 5 years on vero. After putting in my education and summer internship last summer I have filled the last 5 years (and it comes up with a tick). Is it still necessary to put the jobs I have done in the last 5 years in there if this comes?

If it is necessary, should I stick to paid employment, or should I include work experience and unpaid things in there as well?
Yes, you will need to complete any employment too during this time.

You should also include anything that was on your original application. It likely to be flagged up if anything you put in the employment section of your application form is then not submitted in the Vero form.
 

Law1099

Esteemed Member
Jan 18, 2021
80
250
Hi Jessica, I am due to do the sqe next year with the firm I have my TC at. They haven’t told us anything about the sqe except the rough date it is starting and there are conflicting things online. I am trying to plan ahead to see where I can live for that year as I don’t live in london where the ulaw/bpp will be. If the programme is like the sqe that ulaw had put out where it is 10 weeks and then a 10 week break - then I am hesitant about taking a year long lease in london. However if they do a top up course then I would want to stay. Anyway, the firm said we will find out in due course but it is kind of stressing me out. Is it ok if I call them/email them and ask if there is any more info?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hi Jessica, I am due to do the sqe next year with the firm I have my TC at. They haven’t told us anything about the sqe except the rough date it is starting and there are conflicting things online. I am trying to plan ahead to see where I can live for that year as I don’t live in london where the ulaw/bpp will be. If the programme is like the sqe that ulaw had put out where it is 10 weeks and then a 10 week break - then I am hesitant about taking a year long lease in london. However if they do a top up course then I would want to stay. Anyway, the firm said we will find out in due course but it is kind of stressing me out. Is it ok if I call them/email them and ask if there is any more info?
Of course - they may not have the information yet but there is absolutely not harm in asking and you can explain it is to help you plan where you move to and what kind of rental agreement you get into.
 

scheherazade

New Member
May 24, 2022
1
0
Hi Jessica, I am a non-law graduate and will be doing a VS this summer with a firm which requires non-law graduates to complete the PGDL prior to starting the SQE. I have already studied the entirety of the SQE1 syllabus as I was originally planning to take the SQE1 exam in July this year (but had to postpone it as it would clash with my VS). In your opinion, how likely would it be that the firm would be willing to waive the PGDL requirement in this situation? I would ideally like to sit for the SQE1 in the next available sitting in Jan 2023 while the content is still fresh in my memory. Thanks!
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hi Jessica, I am a non-law graduate and will be doing a VS this summer with a firm which requires non-law graduates to complete the PGDL prior to starting the SQE. I have already studied the entirety of the SQE1 syllabus as I was originally planning to take the SQE1 exam in July this year (but had to postpone it as it would clash with my VS). In your opinion, how likely would it be that the firm would be willing to waive the PGDL requirement in this situation? I would ideally like to sit for the SQE1 in the next available sitting in Jan 2023 while the content is still fresh in my memory. Thanks!
I would raise this with the firm during your vacation scheme - one to speak to Graduate Recruitment about. Its really hard for me to say what their preferences would be where we are so early into the SQE.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hey Jessica, should/could you mention upcoming vac schemes in the Please set out below any additional information which you feel is relevant to your application question?
Yes, this is a great place to include information like this. All you have to say is the firm name, how long the scheme is and if you know it, which department you’ll be sat in. It doesn’t need any more explanation/description than that.
 
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cycw

Well-Known Member
Jan 31, 2022
21
19
Hello Jessica, I wonder if you could offer me advice on how to answer applications questions that asks about the firm's challenges and opporunities in the future? How many points should I mention and how should I structure my answer?

Also I'd like to know how I should answer questions asking about which sector that the firm specialises in would develop the quickest in the next 1-2 years, again, how should I structure it?

With these two questions, is it worth drawing on current affairs or my own experiences?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hello @Jessica Booker how many bullet points should I include per role on a CV? I do a lot in my position and not sure what to prioritise on my CV.
There really isn't a set number unfortunately - I have seen as little as 1 and some that are over 20 bullet points.

It really depends on the length of the experience, the variety of experience within the role, and how it fits in with your other entries (e.g. are things superseded by more recent experiences or experiences where you did a similar thing but at a higher/more complex level).

I would use your discretion to think the following:

1) what are the most important elements to highlight?
2) where do I have similar or better experience?
3) what is self-explanatory?

My final point is that it isn't necessarily the number of bullet points that is the issue, it is usually that descriptions within each bullet point are quite lengthy. You should really be aiming for bullet points to be a line long (and ideally no longer than two lines).
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hello Jessica, I wonder if you could offer me advice on how to answer applications questions that asks about the firm's challenges and opporunities in the future? How many points should I mention and how should I structure my answer?

Also I'd like to know how I should answer questions asking about which sector that the firm specialises in would develop the quickest in the next 1-2 years, again, how should I structure it?

With these two questions, is it worth drawing on current affairs or my own experiences?
There isn't really a set structure to these answers - so it is quite difficult for me to give advice on this. The number of points really depends on the language in the question - some questions specifically state identifying one area (and so it is important to focus on one). And then another major factor will be the word count - a 500 word answer is likely to be able to cover multiple points much more than a 200 word answer. What I would stress is it is important to get a depth of analysis in these answers. Just identifying a challenge or opportunity isn't really showing depth. Explaining why it is a challenge/opportunity and how you would overcome it/make the most of it is the depth of answer that is really needed.

You can draw upon current affairs if they are closely linked to your explanation of what you identify. I don't think it is necessary to bring in your own experiences though - the question is not asking for your experiences, it's asking for your analysis. I think there is a real risk of not answering the question if you divert off to try and speak about what you have done in the past.
 

MissJ

Legendary Member
Premium Member
Jul 8, 2019
151
57
There really isn't a set number unfortunately - I have seen as little as 1 and some that are over 20 bullet points.

It really depends on the length of the experience, the variety of experience within the role, and how it fits in with your other entries (e.g. are things superseded by more recent experiences or experiences where you did a similar thing but at a higher/more complex level).

I would use your discretion to think the following:

1) what are the most important elements to highlight?
2) where do I have similar or better experience?
3) what is self-explanatory?

My final point is that it isn't necessarily the number of bullet points that is the issue, it is usually that descriptions within each bullet point are quite lengthy. You should really be aiming for bullet points to be a line long (and ideally no longer than two lines).
Thanks a lot Jessica :)
 

lawnoob

Esteemed Member
Premium Member
Jan 15, 2021
84
61
Hi Jessica!

I was wondering if it's okay to have a general interest in a lot of different practice areas of law, and is this something I should get across in my application? I have a broad interest in practice area but have some idea of which industries I'd like to work with instead. I ask this because I'm not sure if firms see this negatively (as in that I don't know what I want to do) but I am genuinely happy to be in any sort of practice area be it C&F, IPMT, etc. Will this be harmful?
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Hi Jessica!

I was wondering if it's okay to have a general interest in a lot of different practice areas of law, and is this something I should get across in my application? I have a broad interest in practice area but have some idea of which industries I'd like to work with instead. I ask this because I'm not sure if firms see this negatively (as in that I don't know what I want to do) but I am genuinely happy to be in any sort of practice area be it C&F, IPMT, etc. Will this be harmful?
I think this is fine and especially for firms who have a sector based approach (as long as your industry interest align with their sector expertise). The only time I think it would be an issue is if the firm has a very strong/particular niche and more than one compulsory seat in that niche.
 
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lawnoob

Esteemed Member
Premium Member
Jan 15, 2021
84
61
I think this is fine and especially for firms who have a sector based approach (as long as your industry interest align with their sector expertise). The only time I think it would be an issue is if the firm has a very strong/particular niche and more than one compulsory seat in that niche.
Thanks for your reply! Is it usually obvious when law firms have a sector based approach? Could someone give me some examples if possible? I thought most law firms had both practice areas and also sectors.
 

Jessica Booker

Legendary Member
Graduate Recruitment
Premium Member
Forum Team
Aug 1, 2019
9,245
13,796
Thanks for your reply! Is it usually obvious when law firms have a sector based approach? Could someone give me some examples if possible? I thought most law firms had both practice areas and also sectors.
Firms are usually very clear on whether they have a sector based approach or not, so I would check their website to see how they describe themselves.

The difference between having sectors (which most firms have) and a sector based approach is that in the latter, lawyers tend to only work with clients in the sector but they then tend to work across more a greater range of practice areas than a lawyer who works in a specific practice area but works with clients across many different sectors.
 
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