A summer or a year placement is a huge opportunity that a student of the School of Computing Science and Digital Media shouldn’t miss.
Because, yes, in most of the cases, you are going to be paid way over the minimum wage while you are still learning. Not that bad, right? A lot of companies are looking for fresh mind & willing heart to join their team and in certain cases, the placement company will even offer to you a job in the end.
The selection process may be stressful but also fun and you will acquire confidence interview after interview. I promise, you will actually understand a lot about yourself!
Do not be worried to try, just start to apply to build your career while you are still at the University.
Here 5 steps that will help you to get a placement:
1. Write a short curriculum including all the experiences and skills that you have and don’t forget to respect the STARS Interview Response Technique, that means to describe a Situation when you worked on a Task and the Actions that you took to obtain a final Result.
The bottom line is to be able to explain what have you done specifically during, for example, a workgroup.
2. Write a well-focussed cover letter, explaining why are you applying for that role.
If you know the name of the HR person, please use that name and customize the cover letter for the role and the company you are applying for.
There is no doubt, a good cover letter will always pay you back.
3. Apply! The best period to apply is before Christmas as a lot of companies have been posting advertisements to hire someone since August/September and their positions are quickly filled.
If you didn’t apply during the first semester, do not panic, a lot of placements are still available and you just need to start applying to start getting interviews and feedback.
Remember to apply for a job that makes you happy. Do not waste your and others time applying for something that you don’t want to do. Do though apply for something that you may not feel completely confident in: that’s why a placement exist! To teach you!
4. Be focused while you are doing the selection tests.
For the majority of job advertisements, you will be asked to have an interview (face to face, by phone or by Skype), fill in forms and complete one or a set of tasks.
Don’t be afraid when presented a task, just close the doors behind you, take a calculator (usually required), a pen, a block notes, read well the instructions and start your task.
As everything in life, the more you practise, the better you get, that’s why I suggest you have a look at a couple of websites to improve your knowledge of the logical and numerical tests.
5. Keep applying! That’s the last secret, just keep applying until you get an offer.