Individual Nomination Guidance

Being asked to write about yourself positively doesn’t come naturally to us all but like many things, it is a skill that can be learned.
As you have been nominated for the Women in Law Awards, you have been asked to do just this! It may come naturally to some of you but for others, it may be a bit more difficult to know where to start. So we thought some guidance to help you on your way might be useful:

• Above all, it’s important that you tell a story, a story of achievement, innovation, development – it doesn’t really matter. The key thing is to get a focus on what it is you want the judges to understand about your entry and what makes you stand out from the crowd. So, make sure you don’t lose the narrative thread of your entry with unrelated information.

• Be honest with yourself (and us) about what makes you stand out. Deep down you probably know why you have been nominated so, without going over the top, be confident in highlighting those attributes or behaviour that make you stick out to the judges.

• If you are unsure or uncomfortable doing that, ask some of your peers and work colleagues why they think you have been nominated. They may be able to help you see your achievements from a different perspective and help you formulate your entry.

Ask your colleagues and peers for testimonials and include them in your entry as supporting material. Not only will these give your entry more gravitas with the judges, they could help you get an alternative perspective on your achievements.

Make sure that you stick the criteria set out in the entry form. The criteria can be quite loose for some categories, but basing your entry on something that happened three years ago rather over the last year isn’t going to get you very far with the judges.

• Several categories ask you to choose a project or legal matter that epitomises your exceptional qualities. Choose one that speaks to the criteria and then make sure you address each of them.

• It is easy to get bogged down in the detail or to assume what you are writing makes sense because you are so close to the matter in question. Be sure to read back the entry to yourself several times and ask a colleague to take a look to be sure that what you have written is clear to someone coming to your experience cold.

• This is perhaps obvious, but make sure you carefully proof read your entry for any spelling or grammatical mistakes. Having them in there isn’t going to disqualify your entry but they don’t necessarily go down well with the judges. And make sure you keep within the word counts: they’re there for a reason.

• Keep your language simple and easy to understand. You are not going to impress anyone by regurgitating a dictionary. And keep claims about your achievements measured and credible as too much hyperbole is likely to be counterproductive.

• Finally, a note about the supporting material. The judges are very busy people and simply won’t have time to read through reams of bumph. You are not writing War and Peace. By all means include some additional documents, but make sure they speak to your entry by adding colour and context. As mentioned before, testimonials are particularly powerful.

• That’s it really. It’s not rocket science, but we are aware that entering an award about yourself can be quite daunting.

And don’t be afraid to ask colleagues for help and support or even contact some of the other women who have been nominated to see how they have gone about it. And if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.