Applying for placements

Whether you are applying online for a placement with a large multinational company or sending a CV and covering letter speculatively to a small business in Sheffield, there are a number of important points to remember.



  • What do I need?

  • How do I apply?

  • When do I apply?

  • Where can I get help?

What do I need?

Preparing a CV that can be used for speculative and non-speculative applications will help you to start identifying the experience you have and the skills you can offer an employer.

A CV is the first impression an employer will have of you, so think about the message you give.

Does your CV:

  • Sell your skills?
  • Give up to date information?
  • Layout the information in a clear format?
  • Have any spelling mistakes?

Make sure your CV gives a good first impression of you!

Our three top tips for CV writing would be:

  • Tailor your application to each job and employer.
  • Make sure you allow yourself plenty of time to complete the application form or CV and covering letter.
  • Ask someone else to check your application before you submit; they can check it makes sense

You can book an appointment with a Placement Officer to get help with your CV before you start to apply for vacancies or you can check out our Writing a CV pages

How do I apply?

Advertised placements

The standard method of recruitment is through advertised vacancies that are usually applied for through an online application form, or the electronic submission of your CV and a covering letter.

Always remember to:

  • Treat online applications with the same amount of preparation and time as if you were sending your application by post.
  • Match your covering letter and CV to the placement you are applying for.
  • Tailor your application to each job and employer.
  • Invest the same amount of time and effort as you would if you were applying for a graduate position!

Other stages of the recruitment process can include:

  • Telephone interviews
  • Psychometric tests
  • Assessment centres

Speculative approaches

Not all organisations advertise placements, but you can make speculative applications by sending your CV and covering letter directly to a company you would like to work for.

Here are some top tips for speculative applications:

  • Try and find a named contact to send your CV and covering letter to.
  • Tailor your CV and covering letter to each company.
  • Never send out the same CV to lots of different organisations!
  • Show that you have some knowledge and understanding of the company.

When do I apply?

Placements are actually advertised all year round, so it is never too late to find one!

Often, large organisations advertise early in the academic year, but many also run rolling schemes that offer a number of intakes throughout the year. Smaller organisations tend to recruit later in the year.