04 March 2019

What are we really looking for?

Application forms can be a scary process, we know how it feels we’ve all been there, but get it right and it could be the first step to an amazing career at Burges Salmon.

I can honestly say we don’t ask difficult questions just for the sake of it, nor are any of the questions we ask designed to catch you out. We ask these questions to gain a better understanding of who you are and what you could bring to the Burges Salmon, after all it’s the people which make the firm - what we really want to see from your application form is the real you.

Before you start

I highly recommend having a look at the whole application form before you start to get a good sense of all the questions and what we might be looking for. Have a real think about how you will respond and if you have any relevant experiences you can include to support your response. We aren’t expecting everyone to be the captain of the rugby team or head boy or girl, we just want you to be able to provide us with evidence to the answer you have provided.

Do your research and take the time to prepare, have a look at our website, recent news, social media and have a think back to any of our events you attended or career fairs where you met us. Try to incorporate your research into your answers, this will make you stand out and show us you’re committed to this opportunity.

Filling in the form

Take your time and read the questions. Before you start your application form make sure you have time to complete it, whilst we don’t expect you to sit there in exam conditions you don’t want to be interrupted every 5 minutes or have to stop half way through.

For our apprenticeship application forms, hints and tips are provided for every question to help you to understand what it is that we are looking for in your response. Our top tips are to make sure you structure your answers clearly, provide a response to the question that has been asked (not the question you want to see) and finally stick to the word limit, don’t use 5 words when 1 will do.

Try to use different examples in your response for each question (this is a good tip for the interview too) and be prepared for us to ask you follow up questions about each example – so make sue they are genuine. Remember we are interested in the part you have played in the scenario and your contribution, not necessarily what the end result was. Remember to use the research you conducted prior to filling out the application form, think about relating your response with our core values and culture.

When you think you're done

When you've answered all of the questions I would strongly recommend re-reading your responses to make sure you haven't repeated yourself, Most importantly when reading through your application form ask yourself 'is it clear I’m applying to Burges Salmon?' We expect your application to be tailored to answer our questions rather than ‘copy and pasted’ from a previous application - if you can add another's company name and submit it for a job with them, you’re unlikely to reach the next stage.

Another top tip which I can't stress enough is proof reading. Get your mum, dad, brother, sister, a friend, your neighbour or your teacher to proof read your application. The biggest mistake we see time and time again is the spelling of Burges Salmon ....it is very important to get this right.

Good Luck

All of us here at Burges Salmon wish you the best of luck and I hope this has given you some good ideas about how to tackle the application form. If you have any questions regarding the application form or any part of the selection process please pick up the phone or drop me an email but please remember I won’t provide you with a model answer to the questions.

We pride ourselves on having an inclusive culture so if you require any responsible adjustments please don’t hesitate to let me know. We hope to see you soon.

For more information on our apprenticeship scheme, visit our apprenticeship page.

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