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Adding extra value to job applications

Recently we have achieved almost the impossible and potentially placed a conveyancing solicitor in London. The post is for someone to build up a department within an expanding firm and the candidate has been very grateful for the opportunity, having been made redundant by his last firm who he was with for some years.

I received an email from the candidate a few days ago which gave me food for thought and perhaps other candidates too as this candidate was clearly intent on adding extra value to his position.

He emailed to say that before he joined he would be going into the firm to meet all the staff and get acquainted with their IT systems. He would also look at establishing his systems for dealing with the conveyancing and spend some time assessing how to achieve this.

Not only this, but he would also go to brokers and estate agents in the local area and introduce himself and tell them that he was opening a new department at the firm.

He would also start to put together his strategy for marketing and see what work he was going to do to attract business in.

I thought this was very interesting as I have advocated this to candidates in the past who have politely listened to me but one gets the feeling that they either view you as completely insane or rightly over the top.

However, this type of approach adds real value to your worth to a firm. Once you have accepted a post, it does not stop there and you automatically join the firm and work. If you make an effort to either speak to the firm beforehand or go and see members of staff to see how you would fit in, and also whether there is anything you can do before you start, you automatically create the impression that you are enthusiastic and would be an asset to the firm. If you start on this footing it often is the case that you will carry on in a similar vein. With this in mind and worth to your self and put in the partners’ mind that you are a candidate worth holding onto and nurturing as opposed to simply being there to earn fees and stay in the same role for a long time.

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten Percent Legal Recruitment ( You can reach Jonathan for comment at or visit our website for details of our services including all aspects of recruitment and career coaching.


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