In today’s blog, law career consultants Caroline and Brett take the pen to celebrate the end of exams with students of the Dickson Poon School of Law and offer some ideas to help navigate your next steps during the summer.
Time for summer!
The exam season is over for another year! Congratulations on reaching the end of what has been the most extraordinary of academic years. We hope that you enjoy a well-deserved summer vacation and, if restrictions allow, you reconnect with friends, family and enjoy social activities.
As you place those revision notes to one side, your thoughts may be turning towards careers. Maybe you’re wondering how to fill the summer vacation with meaningful activities that will look good on your CV? Are you wondering if virtual work experience is worthwhile? Are you concerned about upcoming application deadlines?
Our 5 (actually achievable) tips to success in summer 2021
We recognise that the world of careers and employability can be daunting, so here are our 5 top tips to do as you head towards the summer break. The following activities are all about focusing on your professional self – and you can do this even if you haven’t yet secured opportunities, or if you are feeling lost in ideas about developing your employability. It can be tough navigating between taking time for your wellbeing, and the feeling that you “need to achieve more” – but go along at your own pace and consider what suits your current situation best.
Do a CV review!
You should view your CV as a document which will evolve throughout your academic and professional lives. So, it requires regular maintenance! Did you know that the Careers & Employability team has a CV Pathway to help you review and get feedback on your CV completely online? The Law Careers KEATS site also includes lots of tips, advice and examples of good CVs.
If you haven’t lined up an open day, mini-pupillage or vacation scheme, remember that all is not lost. The arrival of virtual internships has been a positive development during the past 12 months. They are free, accessible for King’s students through Forage and can be completed at your leisure. With employers such as Ashurst, Clifford Chance, Deloitte, King & Wood Mallesons, Linklaters, Pinsent Masons, PwC and White & Case featured, there are of plenty of opportunities to develop key employability skills and your knowledge of different industries. And don’t forget to include completed virtual internships on your CV!
Be strategic…and realistic
Drafting application forms and cover letters takes lots of planning, research and time, so it’s important to be strategic. Like it or not, employers want you to tailor your application to their business. And they also want you to do well in your studies! This is a great test of time management. We encourage you to submit a smaller number of well-researched applications to organisations which you are really interested in. And remember to book an appointment with a Careers Consultant if you want a second pair of eyes across your application before your click ‘Submit’.
Skills, skills, skills
Most employers value general work experience which you may have gained during your studies and vacation periods. This may include volunteering through the Legal Clinic, having a role on a student society committee, working for the Student Union, doing shifts in your local supermarket, or contributing to a family-run business. The role may feel very junior to you, but a prospective employer will want to gather evidence of roles where you have demonstrated key transferable skills such as time management, teamwork, communication, customer service, initiative, working under pressure, etc. Don’t undervalue what you have done and be prepared to use examples from all work experience in your interviews.
It’s never too early to develop your networking skills – this is likely to form an important part of your career journey. Did you know that King’s has its own alumni mentoring programme for current students to match with and discuss about all things careers? Sign up for King’s Connect here. You can also access tips about how to network and use LinkedIn through our Careers & Employability KEATS site.
We hope you’re ready for summer! But remember this: We offer interview practice and guidance through the summer and can help you with virtual commercial group exercises, virtual legal case studies, careers workshops, support with your applications, vacation schemes and training contracts, and much more. Book an appointment and access the latest vacancies through King’s CareerConnect.
Brett Galloway & Caroline Lindner
Law Careers Consultants