Training Contract Applications
Now that the training contract and vacation scheme application period is in full swing, we decided to gather together top tips from our current and future trainee cohort about the Cripps application process.
At Cripps we encourage you to be yourself. The application process is very much about finding out your personality and how it will fit in and grow within the firm, so make sure that this is shown in your application. As Zoe Cartner, a current first seat trainee explained “Cripps will very quickly be able to tell if you’re not being yourself – they have a very good lie detector when going through applications and are much more interested in individuals rather than baby lawyer clones”. Cripps does not expect you to complete any aptitude or online tests. There are no trick questions – they want to know about you, your hobbies and interests, your background, and why you would make a good fit. When you get to the interview stage it is much more of a two-way conversation than a formal interview. It is as much a chance for you to get to know Cripps as it is for Cripps to get to know you.
Research, Research, Research
Make sure that you not only research the firm and the market we operate in, but that this comes across in your application. There is a wealth of knowledge both on our website and elsewhere, including blogs, knowledge pieces and profiles in relation to employees at all levels within the firm. There really are no excuses for not knowing your stuff! Simply saying that you’ve read an article written by us or about us in many cases will not be enough. For example, you may know that we have recently merged with Pemberton Greenish, but what does that then mean for the firm and your potential future within the firm?
Additionally, don’t just copy and paste from one application to another, make each application unique, ensuring you actually answer the question that is asked. One useful tip I was told when making training contract and vacation scheme applications was to try and link different answers throughout the application together. Do not treat each question in isolation.
Long term investment
Another key thing is to show that your long term plan is to stay at Cripps; you are interested in staying beyond your training contract. You are not just using the firm as a stepping stone for a career in the City. Cripps invests a lot of time (and money) in their trainees’ future so it is only right that they expect a level of commitment from you.
Although the majority of trainees are from or have links to Kent, don’t let not being from Kent or attending University in Kent put you off. Freddie Pawlick, a current paralegal and future trainee at Cripps explains “if they like you, they will offer you a training contract, even if there is no obvious link to Kent”.
Resilience is Key
As I’m sure most trainees will tell you, don’t give up if at first you don’t get offered a training contract. It takes time! You may hear stories of people getting a training contract off the back of one application, but this is very rare. A lot of people don’t realise that the application process is as much about your fit to the firm and their culture as your commercial awareness or academic success. If they reject you there is normally a legitimate reason. Make sure you ask for feedback and actually look through it before making other applications or attending your next interview. Part of the process is being able to learn from your mistakes, to grow as a candidate. Emily Revel, a final seat trainee said “perseverance is key, knock backs will happen but keep going!”.
Just because you didn’t get offered a vacation scheme place at a firm, don’t let it put you off applying for a training contract. Several of our future trainees didn’t get offered a place on the vacation scheme but went on to be offered training contracts after ringing up or emailing HR and asking for feedback and learning from that for their training contract application.
One trait that is highly sought after in the legal profession is attention to detail and having typos or grammatical errors within an application can be the difference between getting an interview or not. Leave an application over night, or if possible for a few days and look back over it with fresh eyes. Even better, get a friend or relative to look through it. This links in to organisation as well: don’t leave your application until the last minute as it will show.
Last but not least, good luck! If you are interested in a training contract with us, please click here for more information. Applications close on 31 July 2019. Alternatively if you are interested in a vacation scheme place with us, please click here to find out more. Applications close on 30 April 2019.