The 7 Steps To Placement Success


Find the job opportunity

Find your ideal job on The Placement Finder and follow the link through to the company’s career website.

Make sure you meet the job description and now is a good time to think of the job’s suitability. If the job is located on the other side of the country and you’re not willing to relocate, this might not be the one for you.

Select jobs by their relevance and what expertise and experience you will gain from the placement. It is not advisable to select or rank placements by their salaries as an excellent placement with an average salary will be much more worthwhile in the long-term.

Finally make sure to focus your efforts to producing a small amount of very good applications rather than masses of rushed, average job submissions. Recruiters will easily be able to spot when an applicant hasn’t taken enough time on their submission. Dedicate a few hours to create a unique application that will set you apart from your peers.


Prepare and modify your CV

  1. Ensure that your CV is correct, authentic and up-to-date
  2. Read the job description and see if there are any specific skills that the company is looking for. Make sure to highlight any of these skills that you possess in your CV

Click here for more information on CV writing


Make your covering letter

Many companies allow you to include a cover letter in your application, which gives you the opportunity to let the employer know a little bit more about yourself, which can’t be said in your CV.

Cover letters are also an opportunity to get across your passion for the job, so if you’re not familiar with the company or the field you’re applying within, it’s highly recommend that you do some basic background research before applying. Cover letters will most likely be the first thing that is read, so make sure to set a positive, lasting impression for your application.

Try to avoid cliché phrases like: “I’m a confident, hardworking person with good time-management”. Recruiters are sick and tired of this same approach to showing off skills. A better approach would be to say “I’m regarded by my peers as a hardworking, confident, effective communicator, as evidenced in various leadership roles and presentations that I have conducted at University. These tasks have demanded great time-management and I would welcome the opportunity to apply these skills to your company”. Showing off your skills like this and backing it up with evidence keeps recruiters more engaged and enthused in your application. It is also a good way to draw links into your cv and truly show off the skills that you say you can provide!

For more information about cover letters, click here.


Apply for the placement

Aim to apply for the job as soon as you find it. Deadlines are not usually set in stone. Most companies accept applications until the employment team feels that enough suitable applicants have applied. So never think you can put off that application until later in the month!


Await a response

This can often be a lengthy process, especially with a large company with many applicants. If you haven’t heard back from the company within a few weeks, try to get in touch with them.

Sadly many employers may not even contact you to tell you that you have not been successful. If you are unsuccessful, see if the employer would be willing to give individual feedback. You may find that the majority of major companies will not give feedback at this stage, so it will be up to you to assess why your application was unsuccessful, and how to improve in future. Make sure to apply for other placements and don’t await a decision from a single company.


Successful? Start to prepare for an interview

If a company feels that you would be an ideal match for the role, you will be moved to the next stage in the application. Employers can operate very differently at this stage, but many will require a telephone interview, at least one personal interview and possibly attendance to an assessment centre. Nowadays, many major employers have a career section where you can find tips on how to prepare for interviews. If the company does not provide this information, then make sure you spend some time to research the company’s history, business operations, current news and their values. Most employers expect you to have a good knowledge of the company if you reach the interview stage. Search the company’s name in Google News for instance to see if anything important has happened with the company in recent weeks. Many major companies also post their news on their LinkedIn page, so be sure to follow them and stay up-to-date with what’s happening.


Prepare for the job placement

If you’ve passed all of the required interview stages, now will be the time to start to prepare for the placement. Most placements start from between June and September, so make sure your university finishes before the required starting date.

If you received confirmation of the placement, you will most likely have to notify your uni’s career advisor to let them know. Often, they will ask you for a few details, including: the company name, the type of job, the location and a contact at the company. Make sure to check your university’s requirements for more details on this.

Once this is done, now is the time to sort out accommodation (if needs be), and any more necessities before starting the placement.