Preparing for placement year (CV’s & Cover Letters)

Hi there!

I’ve now been on placement for 4 months & time sure flies by! I would say besides the priceless work experience, getting paid is sweet. I’ve been spending most of my salary on holidays. Next on the list, Germany & France to visit Christmas markets!

Now, back to placement information. Many companies in various industries have already begun accepting placement applications. The whole process of applying can be daunting; trust me, I can relate. First things first though, get your CV updated! CV’s (Curricular Vitae) in England are quite different from how we are told to prepare one in Malaysia. For one, academic history & achievements are recorded from the most recent not vice versa. Also, up to two years of information and not older should be present on one’s CV. The length of your CV depends on what industry you’re applying to. For example, Investment banks require CV’s to be only one page (one sided) while others accept one page (both sides).

The best way to know if your CV has only relevant information is to have others proofread and provide feedback. I had everyone from my parents, friends, personal tutor and even the Career Services to have a look at my CV. The Career Services also has companies come in such as IBM who are there to answer any questions we may have as well as proofread student’s CV’s. Who better to provide feedback than the company’s Hiring Manager.

Besides a CV, many companies now ask for a cover letter as well when applying for placement or graduate jobs. A cover letter is trickier but with guidance & some practice, can be quite simple to write. Cover letters are tailored to the specific industry & company. In short, a cover letter explains why you would be a perfect fit for the particular company. This is something I did struggle with as each cover letter had to be personalized to the specific company I was applying to and if you are anything like me, you’ll be knee deep in applications. I probably applied to 40 odd companies in a span of 3 months.

Surrey University’s Career Services was especially helpful during this process. I had regular CV feedback sessions as well as was provided with reading material & online resources to help perfect my CV. I would strongly encourage all of you to drop by, as they do get quite busy once placement applications are in full swing for many departments. Check them out at or for CV specific information,

That’s all for now. I’m off to prepare for my week ahead at work!

Keep checking out our blog for more on preparing for placement year.

Don’t miss the Guildford Fireworks Fiesta this Saturday at Stoke Park. I went for it last year & it was wonderful; a carnival atmosphere full with theme park rides & delicious snacks.

Till next time; Selamat tinggal!