8 September 2023
How to Write a Placement CV
When you send off a placement CV, it’s almost like meeting your fave celebrity… It’s nerve-quaking, thrilling – all the emotions. But ultimately, you want to make a good impression – quickly.
To help you craft the ultimate CV and astound recruiters for placements, we’ve put together a step-by-step guide.
Placement Year CV
You can use this guide to write a CV for any placement you might be applying for.
Simply follow each step, taking care to tailor your placement CV to the role, industry and company you are applying to.
How to write a CV for a placement
Here are seven things to always include in a CV, whether you’re applying for a placement, a graduate role or the top dog position:
#1 Contact details
Start with your name. Then provide contact details: your phone number, email and home address. If you don’t want to provide your full address, use your general area. For example; Slough, United Kingdom or Bethnal Green, London.
A placement year CV doesn’t require you to send a photo. Only attach one if the recruiter asks you to do so. And make it a sensible one. Shots from Magaluf 2019 are probably not appropriate. Instead, use a passport photo or a headshot.
If you’re looking for some placement CV inspo, we’ve put together an example…Remember, your CV should be 100% your own words.
#2 Personal profile
Your profile is a short body of text that acts as an introduction to your placement CV.
This section of a CV seems to terrify people. But there are ways to make writing a profile feel less like jumping into a lion’s den.
If you follow these simple steps, your profile should feel a lot easier to write:
- Tailor your profile to the placement you’re applying for
- Outline who you are and why you’re interested in this specific role/company
- Carefully avoid CV buzzwords, like ‘motivated’, ‘driven’ and ‘passionate’
- Keep it to less than five sentences.
For more tips on perfecting your CV skills, zip over to:
#3 Key skills
Recruiters can be inundated with CVs when hiring for a role. This is why it’s crucial to make an immediate impression on the reader.
After your profile, the key skills section is where you make an impact. Draw up a list of your key skills and strengths and put it in bullet point form, making it easy to digest.
Focus on the employability skills that employers crave, making sure to include soft and technical skills:
- Communication skills
- Intermediate in Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
- Advanced qualification in Microsoft Excel.
Students applying for a placement during university can provide a predicted grade for their degree. Even if you haven’t finished university, employers want to know what you’re working towards.
It is also important to remember to put your most recent qualifications first. Your university grades at the top, A-Levels and then your GCSEs.
The education section is a good opportunity to tailor your placement CV to the job you are applying for. Draw attention to any modules or projects you have completed that are relevant to the role.
Check out our blog for a splendid six-step guide to writing the best placement cover letter the British Isles have ever seen.
#5 Previous work experience
If an employer has been lured in by your profile and seduced by your key skills, the next thing they will look for on your CV is work experience.
But it can be tough figuring out which jobs to include, and which to leave out. Do they want to hear about your part-time job stacking shelves at Tesco?
YES – if you show how you contributed to the business and what you learnt from your time there. You can do this by listing your key responsibilities and achievements for each role.
If you worked on the cheese counter at Waitrose for a summer, focus on the responsibilities you were given. Were you involved in pricing. Or trusted with cashing up at the end of a shift?
Of course, if you have any work experience that is directly related to the placement, you will be catnip to employers.
The interests section of your placement CV is an opportunity to let the recruiter know a little more about you.
What do you do with your time when you’re not on the clock? Focus on pursuits that are active and team-based. Playing a sport is groovy enough, but do you captain the team or organise their social events? Were you Player of the Year last year?
Again, try and tailor your interests towards the placement.
For example, if you’re applying for a language placement, and you show no evidence of extra-curricular interest in languages, the recruiter will wonder if you have an interest in the role.
You don’t need to give your references’ contact details at the end of your placement CV. Rather, ‘references available upon request’ will be fine for now.
An employer would normally contact your references once you’ve been given a job offer.
Ask your references first if they’re happy to be contacted and what their preferred mode of contact is… it’ll make it 5000 times easier.
Want to set yourself up for success in any future work experience application? Sign up to our FREE Career Coaching Course, a four-day virtual programme in October, to upskill yourself on CVs, applications and interviews.
CV do’s & don’ts
Here are a few expert tips to consider when writing your CV for placements and work experience:
Check your spelling and grammar
Don’t just rely on spellcheck. Ask your friends, family or university careers service to have a look at your CV before you send it off.
This will minimise the chances of your application going straight into the reject pile. Spell the company’s name wrong, and your CV will be set upon by a pack of starving hounds.
Give lots of evidence
If you’re struggling to think of different examples to demonstrate your skills, have a think about extra-curricular activities that might help illustrate them.
For example, if you’re in a sports team, even if it is Ultimate Frisbee, think about teamwork, leadership and organisational skills.
Employers lose their minds for teamwork, leadership and organisation skills.
Tailor your CV to the placement
Businesses look for students who have the same values and qualities as their brand. Research the values and vision of the company you are applying to first and then give examples of why you are a good match.
If you think you’re ready to jump aboard to career train, get yourself over to our jobs board. There you’ll find hundreds of roles with some of the Best Student Employers in the land.