How to successfully secure a placement or internship for 2019
October 26 2018 , 0 Comments
You have conquered your first year at uni and have now begun your second year, congratulations! But what is that you hear? Placements? Internships? Oh god, it’s finally arrived. It has fallen upon you to start searching, applying and hopefully commencing your placement in 2019. Time flies when your life is filled with deadlines, hey? If you are feeling a little demotivated or you want some inspiration to ensure you get that placement, I am gonna talk you through step by step the best ways to ensure you get that desired position.
I know a ridiculous amount of people who postpone their placement or internship until the very last months and guess what? It was too late. Stay ahead of the game and begin your search and preparation as soon as possible. I am writing this in October and already some deadlines have already passed for the bigger firms. Not to worry, many deadline applications often end early to mid-2019.
What are the benefits of this? With time on your side, you will remain calm, can still manage your studies and will increase your chances by spending valuable attention on your job search!
Additionally, what an amazing feeling it would be to have secured your placement or internship by the end of the first semester! I mean as far as Christmas presents go, that is a pretty good one…
Ace that CV and cover letter
In my experience, the part that took the longest was ensuring my CV and cover letter was at a tip-top standard. It sounds easy, but trust me, when you actually start writing, you realise how difficult it is to sell yourself to the potential employer as a star dazzling candidate. However, there are some tips to help you through the process.
Make the most of your university career’s services
As well as online resources, the careers team at my university were brilliant. Each week I would go to them with a copy of my CV and cover letter, with a list of placements I was interested in. They would then guide me in how to tailor my application to each of the individual companies. By doing this I managed to get telephone interviews, and eventually my current placement right now. Best of all, it is free!
Online resources are superb
Now on the topic of online resources, there are countless websites (some better than others) which will provide exceptional advice when it comes to writing your CV and cover letter. For example, Standout CV provides a free CV review, from professionals. So if you feel like your uni career services are a little rubbish (it happens) Check out these guys instead!
Know how to succeed in the interview and assessment centre
Notoriously known for being feared nationwide, interviews and assessment centres are never meant to be fun. However, there are ways to increase your chances to succeed in securing that placement or internship. To also battle against those fears, check out this article which talks about dispelling interview anxiety, it helped me massively!
Research, research, research
Understand the company’s values, read their mission statement, know their competitors, engorge yourself with their products and services. Therefore, any question that is fired, you will offer a killer counter attack.
Look the part too
This one pops up everywhere and seems the most obvious, but you’d be surprised at the laziness that some candidates put in when it comes to dressing appropriately. Through researching the company you will understand their dress code approach. Don’t spend £££ on outfits, but ensure you look smart, everything is ironed and for women, flats are perfectly fine!
Practice with your friends or family
To ensure your answers sound right, grab a friend or family member and practice! I did this so many times (thank you Mum!) and it really did work out. When the phone would ring I would already feel confident in my answers.
No luck? Try smaller companies
Big organisations are highly appealing to students for many reasons. It makes your CV stand out, you can show off to your friends and it gives you an immense sense of achievement. However, every student also thinks the same, resulting in a heap load of applications. The competitive environment makes it extremely difficult.
One way around it? Seek for the smaller companies, these roles receive fewer applications making it far easier to get through the application process. Also, smaller companies equal more responsibilities, providing you with greater work experience during your placement or internship year.
Give it a go!
Megan Bryant is an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK, Europe’s largest jobs board offering vacancies in part-time, internships and graduate positions.