My advice on starting your placement search

Guest BloggerApplications, Cover Letters, CVs, Guest Blogger, International Placements, Second Year, UK Placements

Name: Libby Jones

Course: Business and Management

Placement Year: Retail Placement Programme at Lidl

I started my placement search in week two of 2nd year and I’m so glad I did. It was quite a daunting task to begin with, so I decided to make a list of all the things I needed to do. Top of the list was getting my CV ‘placement ready’ and making sure I knew how to write a quality cover letter. I attended the university placement workshops and did some online research to aid the perfecting of my CV before booking an appointment with the Careers+Placements team for some advice on my first draft. I also made sure to send my CV and cover letters to either lecturers or family members, so I always had a second opinion. This meant that I was confident to start applying for placements.

I began my search by looking at placement websites such as RateMyPlacement and Aston Futures to see what was available. I was surprised to find that so many of the placements I was interested in had deadlines before Christmas but was pleased that I was prepared.

I initially began applying for any placement that was relevant to my degree which, in hindsight, was definitely a mistake. I wasted a lot of time applying for placements that, when I read up on them, I wasn’t even that interested in – and applications take a long time! I got a few rejections which were disheartening, but also helped me realise that I was applying for placements that didn’t excite me.

I decided to shortlist some companies that looked good and take the time to go onto their websites, read up on what the placement would involve, and read reviews on RateMyPlacement. I ended up getting really excited about the rotational placement Lidl GB offered and all my research paid off when I was offered the position in January.

My key advice would be –

  • Make sure you have a clear plan of what you want to get out of your placement so you can structure your search.
  • Do some research into the business and what the placement year involves.
  • Ask yourself whether that company is right for you as well as assessing whether you are right for them – this is just as important because it’s your degree and your career!
  • Begin your search NOW! Not just because a lot of deadlines are earlier than you would think, but also because having my placement sorted in January was such a weight off and allowed me to focus solely on my studies.

Good luck with your search!