TIMETABLE AND SOME TIPS FOR TRAINEESHIPS WITH SKO IN 2021:
We are recruiting for two trainees, to start in late summer/early autumn 2021.
Our trainee recruitment process is simple and, we hope, not too onerous to participate in- all you need to do initially is send us a letter and your CV. We have designed it to find people who we think will thrive, grow and stay, with us. People who have the right outlook and motivation and who want to become technically excellent lawyers in a fast-paced, intellectually demanding and endlessly fascinating area of the law. People with potential.
The closing date for applications is 4th October 2019. We want a copy of your CV and a covering letter telling us why you want to be a trainee at SKO. Tell us about the skills, characteristics or experience that you have, that you think will help you be a good trainee at SKO.
Every application we receive will be reviewed by at least one director. We will shortlist a small number of people to attend an early evening reception at our offices. Invitations will be sent out on 9th October 2019 with the reception taking place on 28th October 2019. We will then shortlist for interviews, which will take place at the start of the week of 11th November 2019 and it is then likely that there will be second interviews at the end of that week.
Letters and CV's should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and cc'd to email@example.com. We need to have your email no later than midnight on 4th October 2019.
WHY WE HAVE DEVELOPED THIS TRAINEESHIP RECRUITMENT PROCESS:
The covering letter and CV:
As a solicitor at SKO you will spend a lot of time writing- emails, briefing notes for clients, and drafting contracts and pleadings and so on. You will need to be able to identify the relevant issues, provide succinct, jargon-free and persuasive advocacy and do so in a way that keeps a professional tone. We want to see if you have the nascent skills that you will need to be able to communicate well in writing.
Inevitably a significant number of applicants don’t get through the first, papers, sift. In our last trainee recruitment process we received 139 applications and 21 people were invited to the reception. Applying for jobs is an art, not a science and we recognise that. There is no one “killer” covering letter or CV. There are a number of common threads, however, about the covering letters and CVs that have worked for us in this process in the past, and which made shortlisting more likely:-
- We instinctively warmed to covering letters that were on no more than one side of A4; those which used a clear font (consistently) and which adopted a professional tone. Try and find the tone that you would use if you were writing as a solicitor to another solicitor. We know who we are, so avoid telling us that we are top ranked in the Legal 500, and tell us instead about you and why you want to work with us.
- The CVs that we tended to gravitate towards were those that were on a maximum of two sides of A4 and were well laid out, easy to read and aesthetically pleasing. The CVs we liked did not over-employ lots of different fonts and injudicious use of bold, underline and italics. We need to have the basic data about the qualifications that you have but we do not need a surfeit of information about the marks you got for various exams and courses, across the board.
- We were interested in CVs that felt as though they had been tailored to our vacancy – ones where people had pulled out examples of things that they had done that resonate with the kind of work that we do and that focused on interaction with people, whether it is volunteering, employment, caring roles or extra-curricular interests and activities. Don’t assume that we are only interested in extroverts or people who have, apparently, over-achieved- we are as interested in the people of limited sporting prowess, who have doggedly persevered as members of poor teams, as we are in the captains of stellar teams!
At the reception you will meet most, if not all, of the solicitors at SKO. Each member of the SKO team has responsibility for a few applicants, who will be allocated between us on a random basis. You will need to find your allocated SKO person. They are tasked with the job of ensuring that they speak to you and make you welcome! They can answer any questions that you have about us as a firm, and the kind of work that we do. Each of the allocated SKO members will have read their applicants’ CVs and covering letters in advance.
The purpose of inviting people to the reception is twofold – firstly we want to be able to give you information about the firm and the kind of work that we do and to give you the opportunity to speak informally with us. The other function of the evening is to allow us to get a chance to meet you- we are acutely conscious that CVs and covering letters do not tell the whole story about who a person is.
We are looking for people who are able to manage in both smaller and larger groups. We want to see that you are able to make others feel relaxed and comfortable; that you are good at listening and interested in other people. We use the word, ‘manage’ deliberately here- we are not expecting people to be polished networkers.
We are individuals who have a wide range of approaches in our personal and professional lives and we find that the clients who gravitate to each of us are similarly disparate in their outlook. There is no, single, SKO character trait or style, so be yourself: see if you think you would like to work with us and let us see if we can imagine you sitting at the opposite desk.
The interviews will focus on us finding out more about you and then involve some problem-solving and competency based discussion- no preparation will be required and we are not testing your knowledge of black letter law. The purpose of this part of the interview is to allow all applicants- whatever your background, experience and knowledge- the chance to shine and to show us how you think and process information.