Our top ten tips for interns

March 29, 2010 at 5:15 pm 1 comment

by Claire McEneaney

So, following a recent recruitment round for our new interns, we were absolutely inundated with applications.

A number of mistakes kept coming up in the applications we read so I thought it would be good to blog about our top ten tips when applying for internships and how you can make yours stand out from the crowd:

  1. Make sure you read the advert properly and submit all requested documents with appropriate file names. You’d be amazed – sending us a CV with cv_for_legal_jobs as the filename doesn’t exactly fill an employer with confidence that you know what their organisation does.
  2. Research the organisation thoroughly and make sure you display a clear understanding of its work and why you want to work there.
  3. Covering letters! A good one can make or break an application. A two-line note on your email with your attachments is not a cover letter! You should include: a) an introduction to yourself and why you are writing to us; b) why you are interested in working for us; c) what skills you could bring (with reference to the person specification); d) if you are applying from outside the UK please say something about why you want to work in the UK and that you are able to do so.  Cover letters should also be laid out in a letter format and should be no longer than one page.
  4. Ensure you state why your experience is relevant to this job – make reference to the person specification and the job description.
  5. CV’s – make sure you include grades, dates and names of organisations. CV’s should be no longer than 2 pages ideally. Please ensure that it is in a readable font – nothing smaller than 10pt; it makes our eyes hurt.
  6. Include something on your interests but do keep it brief – it helps to add a little personality.
  7. Make sure you use appropriate language for job applications – what’s funny to you may not be funny to an employer. You should also be careful of being too informal – its much better to err on the formal side when applying for work.
  8. Ensure your writing sample is on a relevant topic and no longer than two sides of A4.
  9. Make sure you proof read everything.
  10. Don’t be afraid to contact potential employers to discuss your application and to ask any questions you have about the application process.

We’re reopening the internship programme for applications again in September. Please sign up on our interns page to receive a notification when we do so.


Entry filed under: Admin.

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