In our first student blog, Georgina Hallgate, BA (Hons) Business, who’s currently on placement with Red C Marketing offers her advice for 2nd years starting their search.
As I have only been on placement with Red C Marketing for a month, I don’t feel equipped to tell you all the nitty gritty details about the wonderful world of a full time job just yet! However, I’d like to offer some wise words for students who are thinking about/ready to start looking for placements.
First piece of advice – Time is of the essence.
Listen to the placement advisors when they say the old cliché, ‘the early bird catches the worm’. The more time you give yourself, the further you can delve into your research of the company, what it is that you want from your placement year and whether this company will even give it to you – I’m talking opportunities and skills rather than company cars here people!
By giving yourself a heap loads of time to research you can write a cracking CV and cover letter that is personalised to the company you are applying to. The lucky individuals at these companies who spend hours going through applications are going to want someone who clearly has a real interest in the business. That will shine through from the rest if you’ve really spent time getting to know them. You can do this from regular 5 minute visits to their website and following them on social media.
You know what? You might even find after all the research you’ve done this multimillion pound company isn’t the one for you! Never fear though, if you’ve organised your time you’ve still got ages to find ‘the one’.
Second piece of advice – Make sure your application is tailored to each different job you apply to.
Have you found a placement that requires you to be a complete whiz at organisation but you’ve only rambled on about how brilliant you are with Excel in your application?
I’m sure Excel skills are required for a lot of placements but they will have their job specification next to them when reading applications. If you’re not telling them exactly how you meet those specific requirements, you’ll have wasted your time.
Think of it like speed dating. You’ve only got a small time frame to sell yourself before they lose interest.
When you’re writing your application, keep this question in mind. ‘Why would THIS company want to hire me for THIS job role?’
How can they say no if you’ve briefly outlined how awesome you are at, at least 90% of the job specification?
Third and final piece of advice – Utilise the services of the placement team!
They are there for a reason guys and I can’t tell you how helpful they were for me and my friends (no, they didn’t bribe me into complimenting them).
Again, timing is of the essence here. Go to them a good amount of time before the application deadline so they can scribble all over your CV and cover letter with advice.
I came away with a new insight into my application writing and how to present myself in the best light on paper.
Good luck with your applications!