Nick Fear – consultant in our Birmingham office – on the secret to securing a newly qualified position

It is amazing how quickly NQ season seems to come round every year. It is an annual event in the calendar of the nation’s recruiters where the market goes crazy and the futures of junior solicitors are decided. I’m often asked what the secret is to ensuring that you have the position you want at the end of the process. Here goes...

It is a difficult one but firstly it helps to make the mental leap that you are in this for yourself and that you need to ensure you secure the right position for you. Preparation is – of course - key. The earlier that you get the first draft of your CV prepared the better as those candidates who have already registered with us are getting advice on how to improve them as well as ideas to help get extra experience in their final seats. It is also easier for us to arrange to meet candidates at this time of year as things are a little quieter. For a recruiter, meeting a candidate face to face makes a world of difference as it enables us to talk knowledgeably about you to our clients and to sell your personality as well as your skill set.

A lot of people are also surprised to hear that there are NQ jobs available now. Many of our registered candidates are applying for positions and securing interviews already. We are speaking to more and more people who are not prepared to wait for NQ positions to be released within their own firms so they are getting out there whilst competition is thin. This kind of pro-activity pays dividends and we are predicting that many will have secured positions before the end of May.

Another key piece of advice is be sensible, be realistic and ask yourself a few questions... Although this list in by no means exhaustive!

~ Do you have a second or third choice discipline?
~ Do you have flexibility on locations?
~ What happens if you secure a role in one discipline but would really prefer one in another?
~ What happens if you accept a job and then a better position becomes available?

After five years’ working as a legal recruiter one thing has become clear... those candidates who are prepared, realistic, sensible and recognise that they need to look out for themselves usually get what they want. Whilst those who hang around until July, are very narrow minded on what they will consider and do not understand how competitive the process are usually the ones who are still searching for a job in December.

For further information please contact BCL Legal or call us on 0845 241 0933.