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The Spring Virtual Public Interest Interview Program (Spring V-PIIP) brings students another opportunity to interview with employers hiring for summer and post-graduate positions. The guide below will walk you through the steps to take before you reach the bidding (application) stage and how to submit your bids (applications) once you get there. Refer to this guide as you go through the process, rather than read it in one sitting.

So that we can effectively manage this recruitment program, all participating students are required to adhere to the deadlines, policies, and procedures detailed in this guide.

Spring V-PIIP Timeline

Spring V-PIIP Timeline

  • Employers Available for Review: Wednesday, January 27, at noon

  • Virtual Interview and Resume Collection Bidding Opens: Thursday, January 28, at noon

  • Virtual Interview Bidding Deadline: Thursday, February 4, at 11:59pm

  • Resume Collection Bidding Deadline: Thursday, February 11, at 11:59pm

  • Interview Selection Opens: Tuesday, February 16, at noon

  • Interview Selection Deadline: Thursday, February 18, at 11:59pm

Step 1: Accessing Symplicity CSM

Step 1: Accessing Symplicity CSM

Upload your applications for the program through Symplicy CSM. Symplicity CSM accounts exist for every Harvard Law student. Please use the following information to access your account:

  • Username – Your HLS email address (e.g. jsmith@jd23.law.harvard.edu)
  • Password – Your HUID
    Note: Your password was originally set as your HUID, but is customizable once you login. You can use the “Forgot Password” link on Symplicity CSM homepage to recover your password.

Please contact OCS if you have questions about your Symplicity CSM account.

Step 2: Review and Research Participating Employers

Step 2: Review and Research Participating Employers

Beginning on Wednesday, January 27, at noon, you can review the participating employers and the positions they are recruiting for in Symplicy CSMCarefully review the employer information in Symplicity CSM, as it includes detailed information about the positions, requisite materials and qualifications.

Navigating the Employer List in Symplicity CSM

  1. Click the menu button in the top left corner.
  2. Click the Recruiting Programs tab in the left margin, followed by Scheduling.
  3. Review the blue box that contains important information and links.
  4. From the Session dropdown menu below the instructions section, select either “2021 Spring V-PIIP” or “2021 Spring V-PIIP Resume Collections.”
  5. Click the More Filters button if you would like to refine your search by keyword (e.g., employer name or location) and interview date.
  6. Click the Review button next to an employer name to see more details, including the mission of the organization and position details for which the organization is recruiting.

Step 3: Prepare Your Application Materials

Step 3: Prepare Your Application Materials

Spring V-PIIP employers are permitted to request a variety of application documents, including resume, cover letter, writing sample and references. You should use the time leading up to the start of and during the bidding period to prepare the documents you will need to submit. Review OPIA’s guidance on public interest resumes and cover letters.

Uploading Your Application Documents to Symplicity CSM

Before uploading your application materials, review all documents for errors and accuracy.

  1. In Symplicity CSM, select the Documents tab from the left navigation.
  2. Select the Add New button.
  3. Create a unique label for your documents. For Resume, include “Spring V-PIIP” in your document label. Note: If uploading multiple versions for different employers, this is where you should differentiate among documents. Employers will not see this label. Do not use the same label name as a current or previously deleted document. Doing so has resulted in errors in the past. Always use a unique label name (e.g., JSmith_Resume_8_1_2021.)
  4.  Select the appropriate Document Type (resume, cover letter, etc.).
  5. Under File, click Browse to select a document to upload.
  6. Click Submit. The upload process converts Word documents to PDF documents. The conversion may take a few minutes to complete, depending on student traffic.
  7. The conversion is complete when “Ready” appears in the Status column. Be sure to review the PDF to confirm that your application document was properly converted. The PDF, not the Word document, will be sent to employers in advance of the interview date. The Word document is available in the system for your records.
  8. If you are uploading multiple versions of a document, use the Make Default button in the Options column to select the version that will automatically attach to all bids. You may manually choose another version of a document during the bidding process.

Uploading your HLS Transcripts

Some employers expect you to send your unofficial HLS transcript in advance of your interview; official transcripts are not necessary for this program. If you bid/apply through Resume Collection program, employers may request that you submit your unofficial HLS transcript.

Secure a copy of your unofficial law school transcript from Helios in advance of bidding. Please contact the Registrar’s Office if you experience difficulty.

  1. In Symplicity CSM, select the Documents tab from the left navigation.
  2. Select the Add New button
  3. In red font, there is text that indicates to “click here” to upload an unofficial transcript. When you do so, the screen will refresh and “Unofficial Transcript” will be checked. Note: In contrast to resumes, Symplicity CSM allows only one transcript to be uploaded at a time. 
  4. Create a label for your document. Employers will not see this label. Do not use the same label name as a current or previously deleted document. Do so has resulted in errors in the past. Always use a unique label name (e.g., JSmith_Transcript_8_1_2021).
  5. Under File, click Browse to select a document to upload.
  6. Click Submit. The upload may take a few minutes to complete, depending on student traffic.
  7. The upload is complete when “Ready” appears in the Status column. Review the document to ensure that the upload executed properly.

Uploading Your Undergraduate and Other Graduate Transcripts

Although uncommon, some employers may ask for your undergraduate and/or other graduate transcripts. Because it may take your previous academic institution(s) some time to process transcript requests, you should send your request well in advance of interviews. Make several copies. You do not need to upload your undergraduate and other graduate transcripts to Symplicity CSM in order to participate in V-PIIP.

Step 4: Bidding for Spring V-PIIP Virtual Interviews, January 28 at Noon - February 4 at 11:59pm

Step 4: Bidding for Spring V-PIIP Virtual Interviews, January 28 at Noon - February 4 at 11:59pm

Bidding is the act of applying through Symplicity CSM. Remember that you cannot submit bids for any of the sessions until ALL your application materials are uploaded to Symplicity CSM.

It is important to research employers in advance of bidding to determine which organizations are of interest to you.

Bidding for Virtual Interviews

  1. Navigate to the Spring V-PIIP section. After logging in to Symplicity CSM, select the Recruiting Programs tab using the left navigation. Then, select Scheduling.
  2. Pick a session. Depending on what session the employer you want to apply to is participating in, select either “2021 Spring V-PIIP” or “2021 Spring V-PIIP Resume Collections” from the Sessions dropdown menu below the instructions section.
  3. Review employer notes. Click the Review button next to an employer for which you plan to bid. It is critical that you review the notes provided by employers with special attention paid to the employers who require specific backgrounds or experience in order to qualify for an interview. Some may also require you to apply directly through their application portal.
  4. Rank your bid. From the Bid dropdown menu under the “Bid Details” section in the right margin, select your rank for each bid (1 being the highest). Once you have ranked a bid, it will be noted with an asterisk in the dropdown menu. Note: Bid “ranking” is a requirement for all employers within Symplicity CSM, but ranking your bid is not a factor for employers who are pre-screening / pre-selecting applicants. Employers will not see your bid. All employers participating in Spring V-PIIP will pre-screen and pre-select candidates for interviews. 
  5. Select application documents. Your default application documents will be automatically selected during the bidding process. If you want to submit an alternate document, select your choice from the dropdown menus in the right margin under the “Bid Details” section. Most employers require additional documents (cover letter, writing sample, etc.,) and to successfully submit your bid you must upload and select all required documents. You can change your application documents for a bid at any time.
  6. Finalize your bid. Click the Apply button in the right margin under the “Bid Details” section to submit your bid. You can change your bid ranks as often as you like and submit an unlimited number of bids until the close of bidding on Thursday, February 4, at 11:59pm for the 2021 Spring V-PIIP virtual interviews and until Thursday, February 11, at 11:59pm for the 2021 Spring V-PIIP Resume Collections, at which time your bids will become final and included in the application packet that gets forwarded to the employer. No preference is given to bids submitted earlier in the bidding period, but you are encouraged to bid as early as possible so as to avoid any last-minute issues that may prevent you from finalizing your bid list.
  7. Repeat the process above for as many bids as you plan to submit.
  8. Save a record of your bids when complete.

Step 5: Resume Collections Bidding, January 28 at Noon - February 11 at 11:59pm

Step 5: Resume Collections Bidding, January 28 at Noon - February 11 at 11:59pm

Some employers that do not recruit through the virtual program will instead collect application materials through the “2021 Spring VPIIP Resume Collections” session. You may submit an unlimited number of bids on resume collection employers. Each resume collection employer on which you bid will receive your resume and any other application documents they have requested. Employers will follow up with students they would like to interview. We strongly encourage you to submit bids for all resume collection employers of interest to you.

Remember that you cannot submit bids for the “2021 Spring V-PIIP Resume Collections” session until all of your application materials are uploaded to Symplicity CSM.

Bidding for the Resume Collections

Follow the same steps as described above in step 4 for how to bid for Spring V-PIIP Virtual Interviews with two notable adjustments:

  1. Select “2021 Spring V-PIIP Resume Collections” from the Sessions dropdown menu.
  2. Select other documents, including transcripts. All resume collection bids must include any additional documents requested by the employer, in addition to a resume. To bid successfully, upload your materials in the “Documents” section first, then associate the relevant documents to your bid. Resume collection employers may also request unofficial transcripts.

Step 6: View Your Interview Schedule and Make Your Selections, February 16 at Noon - February 18 at 11:59am

Step 6: View Your Interview Schedule and Make Your Selections, February 16 at Noon - February 18 at 11:59am

HLS policy prohibits students from interviewing during scheduled class times.

Viewing Your Interview Schedule and Making Your Selections

  1. In Symplicity CSM, select the Recruiting Program tab in the left margin, followed by Scheduling.
  2. Choose “2021 Spring V-PIIP” from the Session dropdown menu. If you have been selected for an interview, click the Accept Preselect button in the Invitations column and select a time to sign up for an interview. The interview will then appear in the Scheduled Interviews tab.
  3. Once you have selected an interview time, you can view your interview details by clicking on the Scheduled Interviews tab and selecting the interview date link for each interview.
  4. If you have not been selected for an interview, the Invitations column will note “preselect declined.”

Notes

  • If you did not receive interviews with employers on which you bid, it is because of one of the following:
    • You were not selected for an interview by the employer.
    • The employer cancelled the interview schedule due to low student interest. In this case, a notification will be sent informing you that the employer(s) have transitioned to resume collection and the employer will be contacting you separately to coordinate an interview outside of our program.
  • All employers on which you bid will receive your application materials, even if you are not assigned an interview with that employer. If interested, the employer will contact you directly for an interview outside of our program.

Acceptable Reasons for Canceling an Interview after Selecting Your Interviews

  • There is a valid illness or emergency.
  • You have accepted an offer of employment, in which case all remaining interviews will be canceled.
If you need to cancel an interview after February 18, please email Micah Nemiroff with the request and reason behind the cancellation.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Does my bid ranking matter?

No. Bid ranking, while a requirement in Symplicity CSM, has no impact on your ability to secure an interview. Employers will not see your rankings.

To whom do I direct application materials?

The name of the contact will be listed in Symplicity in the “Additional Requests/Information” section for each position.

Do I also need to apply directly to the organizations on which I bid?

In some instances, additional application requirements are outlined in the additional details section for an employer. Please follow any additional application guidance that is provided.

Does it matter when I bid during the bid period?

No. You may bid at any point during the bidding period. When you bid does not impact your ability to secure an interview. You can also update your bid materials at any time during the bid period.

How will the interviews be conducted?

The interviews will be conducted using a third-party platform, InternX, or, in some cases, an employer’s preferred platform (e.g., Zoom, WebEx, etc.). More information will be provided closer to your interview date. For general guidance, please refer to OCS’s page on using InternX.