Application Advice – Starting an application

Hey Everyone,

I hope that you are all okay and coping with new lockdown rules (whatever those may be). It really is such a weird world that we are living in at the moment !!

So as a lot of you already know, we are deep into application season. I’ve approached this cycle a bit differently. Instead of doing an array of un-tailored applications I have been focusing all my attention on one, yes one application. I don’t think I can even begin to say how much work has gone into this application. I’ve had calls with trainees, lawyers, attended every event possible including a virtual open day. This has taken me months which is a tiny bit scary but at the same time it shows the level of detail and thought that has gone into it. I’ve done draft after draft and am very nearly ready to submit. Now, I am not promoting putting all your eggs into one basket. I am intending on submitting more than one application this cycle but some applications haven’t opened yet.

When I was thinking back to a few months ago when I was starting the whole process I remembered how difficult it was to sit down and start writing. This application really means everything to me and I wanted it to be perfect however, I let perfection get in the way of starting it for so long. I spent days if not weeks planning it in my head but never put pen to paper. Being honest, I was scared of the first draft. I was scared of not being able to show my passion for the firm on paper. I had so much to say so how could I possibly put all that into a 250 word paragraph. Hours were spent trying to figure out how I could stand out from other applicants and as the weeks went passed I realised that I had nothing to show for it apart from a deflated mindset.

So, one day I said enough was enough and I sat down and put all these flowing thoughts down on a blank piece of paper. To anyone else it wouldn’t of made sense but to me it made perfect sense. I really took the time to plan answers out and put down bullet points I knew that I had to include. And then I wrote. Now, my first draft was shockingly awful and I was definitely not happy with it but it was the start that I needed. Your first draft isn’t going to be your final one but at least it gives you something to work with. The beauty is seeing your application come together and the build up to making that happen. I really wish that I would’ve had the confidence to put words on paper sooner. I think for me it came down to the fact that I didn’t truly believe that I was good enough for the firm. I thought it was out of my reach and that mindset is so toxic. Nothing and I mean nothing is out of your reach. I’ve had three trainees from the firm and other members of staff tell me how much of a perfect fit they think the firm is from me and it took me a little while to believe them.

If you’re struggling with starting an application for the same reason or any other reason just know that you are not alone in any way. Somethings that I found helped me …

  • Make a provisional mind map plan (with colours) – put down ket points that you want to put in your application.
  • Don’t try and do all the application in one day. Split the questions up into one question or a paragraph a day. This makes it feel less overwhelming and you’re still ticking things off your to-do list
  • Allow time for second and third drafts. Ask someone to look through your application for grammatical or spelling mistakes.

I hope that this helps some of you start your application and that it is the sign that you needed to start. Starting an application takes a lot of confidence and courage and you should be proud of yourself. Take your time and start early to give yourself the best possible chance of success.

If you’re still struggling drop me a message and I’ll do my best to help.

Evangeline.

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