Will failing to convert a vacation scheme to a training contract put off other firms that I apply to?

April 25, 2022

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3 min read

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As competitive as it is to secure a vacation scheme, it can still be competitive to get a training contract offer following the scheme. There is a common misconception that not converting a scheme to a training contract will hinder your future attempts, but this is largely false. It is an excellent achievement in itself to have even gotten a vacation scheme, so you should be incredibly proud of yourself! Currently, due to Covid-19 and turbulent economic and political conditions, the job market is at its most competitive, with it being extremely difficult to get in as an applicant. Any experience within the application process is an achievement and can be used to springboard you for future applications!

Here are some ways in which you can use your previous vacation scheme experience to your advantage and help secure a future training contract:

TIP 1: Ask for feedback

If you have done a vacation scheme, it is likely that graduate recruitment or the people you worked with will offer feedback on your work and your assessments. Once some time has passed, it is beneficial to arrange a call with graduate recruitment. This may be useful in highlighting your areas of strength and weakness and answering further queries you may have about future applications.

TIP 2: Act on the feedback

Once you have talked to graduate recruitment, it is fundamental that you take note of the feedback and reflect upon it. Allow this to help you build upon an already well-established foundation, and to encourage yourself to continue improving on yourself. Usually, the feedback will be easy to improve upon and, once implemented, will give you an edge that will help you succeed in the future.

TIP 3: Maintain and grow your network

Despite not landing the job at the firm, it is useful to maintain and grow your network from the vacation scheme. If you are seeking to apply again, proactivity in contacting already-established connections within the firm will be helpful in seeking further guidance and feedback for the next application process. Even if you do not reapply, established and maintained connections will always be useful for future endeavours.

TIP 4: Decide whether this route is for you

Importantly, the vacation scheme will have highlighted to you whether this is a route you would or would not like to pursue. This is critical to future applications, as you can use this experience to further highlight to law firms why you are genuinely interested in the career path and why you would be a good fit. It could also help you learn what types of law firms are best-suited to you too – not all law firms are the same!

TIP 5: Highlight your vacation scheme experience in future applications

Your vacation scheme experience can be extremely useful in future applications. On the one hand, it shows that you already have first-hand experience working within a law firm. This is critical as many applicants will have not gained this experience because of how hard it is to secure a vacation scheme, and will provide you with an edge. On the other, it will show your continued commitment and resilience to pursuing a legal career. As this attitude is necessary to becoming a solicitor, law firms will value this and it will reflect positively in applications.

Lastly, it is important to remember that your hard work will pay off! As it is commonly said, every door closed will open another. Therefore, sometimes, all it takes is perseverance, trial and error, and the right moment to find the best firm for you.

Report written by Sofia Antipatis

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