Thursday, 15 September 2011

Is your skills bank account in credit or overdrawn?

By Matt Oliver [guest writer]

If you are serious about your applications for vacation schemes and training contracts then you must have gone through the skills bank account exercise or similar.

If you don’t then its often a sign that you don’t want to see the results for some reason. Usually this is because you feel that you don’t have enough skills or that you don’t have the relevant skills.

Without doing the brainstorming exercise and committing these things to paper then you will never know. Often candidates will do this exercise thinking they don’t have enough skills and experience and when they are finished they are pleasantly surprised and much more confident about their applications.

Once you have done the exercise you will get a good bird’s eye view of yourself as a candidate and be able to see whether your skills bank account is in credit or overdrawn.

If you feel that you are light on skills and/or experience then the best time to do something about that is now. It is never too late. Do not become one of the applicants who knows there is a skills/experience shortage on their CV but buries their head in the sand and hopes they might get lucky with their applications.

You will hardly need telling that the job market is very competitive at the moment. Therefore you bury your head in the sand at your peril. The good news, however, is that there are a large number of applicants who will not even have this knowledge let alone be doing anything about it.

Therefore if you can take positive action now to top up your skills bank account through additional experience you will increase your chances of success significantly.

Even if your skills bank account is looking very healthy, until you secure a job it is advisable to continue to seek out experiences, activities and interests that will allow you to use and develop skills which are relevant to the job of a solicitor. This will not only give you a bigger pool of things to use on your applications but also more things to use in interviews as a way of backing up what you are saying about yourself. It also shows that you are a pro-active person who is keen to be taking on new challenges and learning new things which always goes down well with law firms.

This article is an extract from the eBook "21 Secrets to Successful Applications" written by Matt Oliver of Trainee Solicitor Surgery. Get a free copy of the full eBook here: FREE EBOOK


  1. Nice article. Very good point about continuing experience even if skills 'account' looks healthy.

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