Advice

‘Should I say I’m an incoming vac schemer on LinkedIn?’

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76

It’s been tough to get onto these schemes, but after seeing criticism online, now I’m not so sure

In the latest instalment in our Career Conundrums series, one student who has secured two vacation schemes is unsure whether to make these publicly known on their LinkedIn profile.

“Hi, Legal Cheek. I’m a second year law student and I’ve managed to secure two vacation schemes this summer.

It’s been tough to get onto these schemes and I want to share these publicly on my LinkedIn profile as a way to connect with others who might be on them while also sharing my achievements.

I’ve seen other students list ‘incoming [firm name] vacation scheme student’ as the job title on their profile and thought to do the same, as it’s small wins like these that keep me focused on my end goal, which is to get a training contract. However, I’ve recently seen criticism online from some (including lawyers) that they’re not real jobs and it’s best avoided.

The reaction has been rather mixed, with some saying you should only do so once you’ve secured a training contract (e.g. ‘future [firm name] trainee’), so now I’m not sure what to do. What are your thoughts on what’s appropriate?”

If you have a career conundrum, email us at team@legalcheek.com.

76 Comments

Trainee

Absolutely not. You can make a post to celebrate your achievement (and congrats on getting into two vac schemes!), but I always find it tremendously obnoxious when people put “Incoming Vac Schemer” as their job title. Save it for when you’re a “Future Trainee”.

(195)(9)

Anon

I mean even then the future trainee stuff is a bit much. You have the TC and you can call yourself a trainee… when you’re a trainee. You weren’t putting future Durham or Oxford or Bristol LLB down on your LinkedIn to the extent you had one. There is no need to feel the pressure to show the world you are doing something with your life.

(130)(17)

Anonymous

I agree, I think that once you start your vacation scheme you should write vacation schemer, and once you’re a trainee you should write trainee. I think it’s so unnecessary to write future this and future that. It’s the same as somebody writing future cashier or future restaurant manager

(30)(9)

Anonymous

Putting that you’re a future trainee is useful, as you’ll likely get approaches by agencies looking for people to do a few months of paralegalling (which is easy money tbh). But nobody is going to give a damn about whether you’re a future vacation scheme student or not.

(93)(1)

Anon

There’s just no need for it. Keep it to yourself, get your head down and get your training contract.

At the of the day, it’s a placement, not a job

(33)(2)

Nigel jackson

It’s a bit Alan Sugars apprentice to put this on LinkedIn, it only helps people not like you

(5)(0)

Go for it

LinkedIn is mostly used by current students to not so humbly brag, but that’s kind of what the platforms for, nothing wrong with sharing it. Yeah it’s not a ‘real job’ but it’s better than people adding virtual schemes anyone can attend, and you will be paid for them. Only thing is whether you’re okay with having put that on your profile if you then fail to convert to a TC as people at uni can be bitchy about it. Entirely up to you, if you want to put it on your profile you’re not harming anyone

(27)(40)

Why not

You’re overthinking it. Do what you want. Never publicly seen anyone get mad at vac schemes and call them ‘not real jobs’, but what does it really matter anyway?

(40)(9)

Bob

Incoming vac schemer is even more obnoxious than future trainee, which is saying something.

(98)(5)

No. They aren't real jobs. Be a bit humble.

Absolutely not. Juniors and other stakeholders at the firm who see this will laugh, which means when you arrive, you’ll have a tougher time connecting with them as they’ll constantly know you as that person who couldn’t wait to tell everyone they on got a 2 week work experience scheme.

Source: Junior at a firm who overhears this type of thing during vac scheme season.

(95)(10)

Be realistic

As if the juniors or other stakeholders are going to remember the name of the profile they saw on LinkedIn that made them scoff 2 months ago.

What were the names of the last 3 people who put up “Incoming Vacation Scheme” at your firm on LinkedIn?

(20)(13)

Anon

Why take the risk that you will be remembered for this though? What possible benefit is there to doing this? There are only potential negatives.

(10)(1)

Archibald Pomp O'City

“Juniors and other stakeholders at the firm who see this will laugh, which means when you arrive, you’ll have a tougher time connecting with them as they’ll constantly know you as that person who couldn’t wait to tell everyone they on got a 2 week work experience scheme.”

What a stupid comment. Nobody except the miserable sod who’s your “source” will care, let alone remember.

(7)(11)

Disillusioned associate

LinkedIn is a cesspit of over-sharers, virtue-signalling buffoons and recruiters. Maybe work on your self-esteem so you don’t feel the need to show off on social media or keep it limited to your family and close friends in real life?

You do sound like good lawyer material. In a few years, you’ll probably be posting about the ‘innovative and fascinating’ deal you worked on and liking posts about how the partner who’s ruined your life for months has been recognised as a market-leading bore.

Best advice for an incoming vac schemer – run a million miles from this profession.

(151)(7)

Anon

This is so true. When you are on the vac scheme, please, have a good look round. Is this something that really appeals to you? The early mornings, late nights, 18 hour days (and longer sometimes), holidays where you have to be on your emails all the time. And then there’s the internal competition, a&^e wipes and others you will have to deal with on a regular basis, many of whom are lovely though a surprisingly large minority are far from it.

Please think about this. The exit routes for pp lawyers are not easy once your career has progressed for a decade or so…

(20)(2)

CLR

No. “Incoming Vac Schemer” is not a job. And nor is “Future Trainee Solicitor”. Wait until you’re actually a professional – LinkedIn is a professional network, not a means of helping you stay “focused on your end goal”.

It’s like the constant tagging of HR/Grad rec people in posts about how “blessed” students are to be attending an open day…

(85)(8)

Shane

Amen to that.

(6)(0)

Ex grad rec

Start the vac scheme and then put it on your LinkedIn. “Incoming” means nothing until you’ve actually done it. Just be patient and add it to your LinkedIn when you start the scheme. It looks good on your profile to include vacation schemes but not when you haven’t even done them yet!

I’ve seen incoming open day participant and all sorts during my grad rec career and it makes me cringe!! Future trainee is totally fine though!

(56)(3)

To the Moon LLP

There is nothing wrong with putting a post about securing a place on an actual Vacation scheme (not a virtual internship haha) – but putting your job title as “Incoming Vac Schemer at X” is a big cringe. Also it makes it a nightmare when you’re trying to search for people who work at a particular firm but most of the results are students who attended the opening evening or speed networking event.

(38)(0)

Future Trainee

Go for it, you’ve worked very hard to secure the vacation scheme and it’s a good way to network with other people on the scheme and in the same position as you. Just try and avoid the large Oscar acceptance speech level posts about it, just a simple update to your own profile is sufficient.

(13)(48)

Past Trainee, Present Associate, Future Partner

Classic ‘Future Trainee’ response.

(81)(7)

Archibald Pomp O'City

Pretty mich the only sensible comment on this thread.

(2)(4)

Pls be careful

First of all, huge congrats for securing 2 vac schemes but I just wanted to emphasise a point made by ‘Go for it’. If you’re unable to convert either of your vac schemes to a TC or even a TC offer, how would you feel and what do you do then? I know someone who did their vac scheme last summer and they haven’t changed it since then…

(28)(0)

Archibald Pomp O'City

“If you’re unable to convert either of your vac schemes to a TC or even a TC offer, how would you feel and what do you do then?”

Delete their profile and get their appearance surgically changed, of course.

(8)(0)

Thoughts

Is it hard to get a VS? I thought getting a TC is the hard bit

(2)(33)

Non humble brags can get in the bin

The absolute worst is “training contract offer holder at X and Y”. 1) It doesn’t look good to any of the firms you hold offers with – you know you’re in a privileged position, just pick one; and 2) if you’re still interviewing and have your other offers on full display, do you really think that makes a firm cutting down hundreds of applicants/interviewees inclined to offer a TC to someone who has a strong chance of going elsewhere and is treating them as another option rather than THE option?

It’s simply nauseating bragging – just put “future trainee at X” when you accept.

(60)(4)

Roger That

If you do this then you are a bellend, plain and simple.

(40)(2)

No one cares really.

Admittedly, I did do this.

However, after getting my TC I kind of gave up on LinkedIn which I think most people do to be honest. I feel like most students use LinkedIn in the pursuit of their TC to boost their morale and online presence but, once they obtain it, they do not see the need anymore.

This also means they see through every post from “incoming Vac schemers” as they were once in those shoes.

OP – if it helps you stay motivated, go for it.

Yes, many people find it cringe but no one remembers the authors of cringey posts they see online.

A trainee, associate or partner may see “Incoming Vac Schemer at xyz” and scoff. But they will not remember that post 3 minutes later.

If you want to showcase your achievements, go for it.

(9)(20)

Anon

Nobody remembers the posts unless that person is coming into your firm, regardless any posts will do the rounds on a few Whatsapp groups!

(15)(2)

anon

Future trainee at least has some merit – back when I put it I managed to get a paralegal role through it as recruiters would specifically search for that term.

However, incoming vac schemer / vac scheme offer hold / tc offer holder is a mess

(48)(0)

Associate MC

I don’t see a problem with people putting it as their ‘headline’ on LinkedIn – I mean there is all sorts of nonsense used these days.

However I don’t understand people who put Future [Vac Schemer]/[Trainee] as an actual role. You then get alerts to congratulate someone on their one year anniversary as ‘future trainee’ which is just bizarre!

(13)(1)

Anonymous

Just add it when you have actually done it and you actually have the relevant experience to talk about. The only reason to add it as an “incoming” vac scheme (or future trainee, for that matter) is either (1) if you’re somehow expecting it to lead to another opportunity before you have even done the vac scheme, or (2) as a pure humblebrag.

“Future trainee” perhaps carries a little more credibility in allowing you to connect with your new colleagues before you start, but that’s with the knowledge that they will probably spend at least 2 years working with you. “Incoming vac schemer” has the same energy as “future gap year charity project oik”.

(6)(0)

Trainee

Please don’t do this. You will look like a complete idiot, and prejudice your chances of securing the training contract. Take this advice from a trainee at a law firm who overhears all of the comments people make about vac schemers.

Future Trainee at X firm is totally fine.

(26)(3)

Mumps

I judge my trainees on their LinkedIn page. If they have done anything more than the bare minimum on it then it is a black mark.

(11)(15)

You’ve had your fun with the sectioning. There’s going to be no more sectioning today.

Writing Incoming Vac Schemer reeks of insecurity, low self esteem and a constant need to impress others and be validated. You will fit right into this profession.

(42)(0)

An honourable man

You’re pissing on their bonfire!

(6)(0)

Mark Crorigan

This vac scheme… could be the one?

(2)(0)

Anonymous

I’ve found this to be the case. A LOT of people in corporate law seem like hopelessly insecure people. Especially a lot of the ‘career’ types…who know they aren’t likely to get an attractive other by conventional means and so dedicate their entire life to building their own ‘fortune’ in a law firm, only to realise they’re old and alone. (Women mostly but not exclusively by any means…)

I’ve met too many of these types.

(20)(20)

Lol

There are some female baddies in law it’s the nerdy law firms like S&M

(8)(4)

Lol's Daddy

At partner level?… Really?…

Why would a notably attractive woman work her ass off when she could just find a high powered/earning significant other? This isn’t intended to be a sexist remark, and yes there will always be outliers, but generally speaking it doesn’t make much sense, and empirically I have not seen much to support your claim.

(6)(40)

Anon

You say it’s not meant to be a sexist remark, but it sure comes across that way. Might want to check yourself on that.

huh to mr female basher

Quite a few female lawyers have bfs, husbands and even children, particularly in the city. So, not sure which area you’re referring to.

(16)(4)

Lol's Daddy

People really don’t like hearing the uncomfortably truth do they.
I was referring specifically to law firm partners… Not ‘female lawyers’ as a whole subset.

No one is ‘bashing’ females. I didn’t say it was right or wrong to go down any particular path, just uncommon/meaning the vast majority of female partners that I have could probably not have the lifestyle they want without their own high paying job…

(3)(14)

Lol to to lol daddy

Yeah okay mate lolz

hehe

the fact that you have to rely on outdated and wildly misogynistic claims to make a point just serves to prove that you do not have a valid argument. for someone who wants nothing to do with the profession and hates the people in it so much, you seem to have a lot of time to sit on Legal Cheek and moan… may I suggest returning to Reddit?

Managing Partner

I wouldn’t use it as a job title, however I would create and post content about the experience either during or after, and of course include it in your experience section once complete.

(7)(2)

3PQE US Firm Associate

If you get a TC, it’s fine to put Future trainee or training contract offer holder. Incoming Vac Scheme is way too keen imo

(15)(1)

who cares

Who cares what people think – do what you want, just don’t annoy others while doing so.

(5)(3)

wtf

So if I put I have TC offers at CC, A&O and Latham, I’m now humble bragging? SMH

(3)(17)

Yes

What else are you gaining out of putting that as your headline then? Just pick one and have done with it.

(3)(0)

Name

Honestly, no one cares very much what you put on your LinkedIn at this stage. People know it’s too early for you to have built up a CV yet. One thing to avoid is trying too hard to make it seem like you have an extensive work history by filling LinkedIn with cringeworthy stuff life ‘Irwin Mitchell Insight Day Attendee (virtual) – June 2021 to June 2021’.

(19)(0)

Whistles

No one cares. Ever. LinkedIn is tragic and desperate.

(6)(0)

Grad Rec

Fine provided that you change it to Outgoing vac schemer in the final days.

(25)(0)

Antisocial media user

And then you can send a lovely update about “what a journey it has been” and other clichés of the medium.

(17)(0)

Loversgonnalovehstersgonahate

Better than incoming mini-pupil. At least you’re getting paid. Go for it and let the haters hate.

(3)(4)

Incoming Lambo-driving Equity Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Mildly obnoxious.

(7)(2)

FuTuRe TrAiNeE

It’s just really not that deep.

(10)(0)

Future trainee

Hate it when people put ‘training contract offer holder’ at… Just looks like stupid. All the law firms hate it and cringe when people do. Just accept it or deny it. Save it when the partner asks you if you have any offers at the end of the interview, for the love of God don’t post it on Linkedin. When you start training nobody cares who else gave you an offer.

(8)(3)

Future Trainee > Incoming VS

I use “future trainee” on linkedin. In my experience, it has been a great marketing tool. I get approached at least once a week via linkedin about interim paralegal opportunities until my training contract starts.

Firms know many paralegals are temporary because they ultimately want a TC. If the paralegal already has a TC, they may just want to focus on getting some good experience under their belt, and will not be coming to the firm in the hope it will lead to a TC.

I suppose the opposite is true about incoming VS. Whilst it shows firms are interested in you, firms ultimately want you to be committed to the firm before they will commit to investing in training you.

(10)(2)

Past Incoming Vac Schemer, Future Trainee

Wild how salty so many commenters are.

You’ve worked hard to get your VS offer, you want to celebrate your success on a platform DESIGNED to talk about your achievements/professional milestones, and some crabbit keyboard warriors want to gatekeep the content that they think LinkedIn should show them.

Absolutely celebrate your success and post about being an incoming vac schemer! It builds your professional profile and demonstrates to other employers that at least one grad rec department thinks you have what it takes in a very competitive industry, it helps you to be more visible to the firm and other people also doing vac schemes with them so you can build your network through that, and there’s nothing wrong with publicly celebrating bagging a vac scheme!

For everyone saying it’s “cringe”, just keep scrolling your LinkedIn feed and let other people enjoy their accomplishments, however small they may seem to you.

(15)(30)

cringe

cringe

(12)(6)

cringe

cringe

(3)(7)

Truth

If it wasn’t for social media, you wouldn’t care.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

This

(0)(0)

Hehe

I put I have TC offers md, Latham, dechert and Dentons doesn’t mean I’m humble bragging hehe

(0)(12)

No

Majority of legal cheek comments is bloody negative – need to stop looking at this.

(7)(4)

PartnernotLover

I hope you get that training contract. That car, that girl or guy. That apartment or house. And I hope one day you grow some self-esteem. As one poster said, you’ll fit in well in this profession. So well in fact, you could even make partner just to realise you wasted your life in soulless firm, where despite your achievements, you will never be enough and keep searching for more career prestige; for which ultimately will never fulfil you. So go far the incoming vac schemer tag on linkedin, so the whole world knows who you are and where you’re going.

(5)(1)

Legend

Yes

However if it’s not a Magic Circle or Elite American firm it’s not really a flex.

(7)(4)

New Partner

Personally I think putting vac schemes in the About/Experience section is more appropriate, not so much as a job / position.

When I was a trainee, I had difficulties embracing my job title as a “trainee solicitor”, kind of neither here nor there position (somewhat like publically announcing that I ride a Ducati with stabilisers). No client takes you seriously

Also struggled with whether to use the LLM and MA suffixes or not, eventually decided to print them on my busness cards. After all, I studied and earned these degrees fair and square whilst working. Still, some may find this obnoxious.

(5)(0)

Dan

I think putting LLM and MA on business cards is a bit cringe. We all have a degree, so what? Next thing you’ll be sewing your rainbow swimming award on to your suit.

(3)(0)

Is me

I personally would not put it. I still don’t understand the urge of putting “an incoming VS”. Most people that put it and did not get a TC later, ends up removing it because of shame. Fist get your TC and then show off.

(1)(0)

Future Assessment Day Attendee

I can’t wait to update my title to incoming vacation scheme student.

(8)(0)

Incoming Partner (Senior Associate)

In all seriousness, I don’t think it’ll do any harm. Perhaps the odd toffee nosed type will frown, but life is too short for worrying about those types (unless you your firm has a particularly nasty reputation, in which case stay quiet).

(1)(1)

Past Child. Current Adult. Future Corpse.

I think this is fine as long as you let everyone know your preferred pronouns are xhe/xhim/xhey as well.

(4)(2)

Anonymous

If you want to, you should. Live life on your own terms.

(2)(1)

Interested passerby

Mo

(0)(0)

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