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My pre-placement journey

Posted: November 26 2019

As my second year in Biomedical Sciences began, I started searching for placements.

At first, I was very overwhelmed by the numerous job descriptions and application processes. I had to organise my duties and always find the time to look for available vacations, never missing a deadline.  However, I did not let that scare me and, one step at the time, I managed to survive my pre-placement journey.

Listed below there is a "survival kit" that you can bring with you during your searching odyssey.

Contact the PDC and you will never feel lonely

The very first thing that I suggest to do is to contact the wonderful team of the Professional Development Centre (PDC). Professionals of the PDC are very competent and will give you important advises (CV, cover letter, application forms and so on) during your entire journey.

Organisation is the key

There is a huge number of companies offering placement for students, and, therefore, a huge number of job descriptions. Since you will apply for more than one role, It is important to have everything organised. 
What I suggest is to create different folders, named as the company you are applying for, containing the job description and all the information that you need.

Know what you are applying for

The most difficult part of the recruitment process is to impress the recruiters with your CV and cover letter; therefore, it is important to tailor them after having deeply researched the company. In fact, before sending any application, thoroughly read about the company (what are they looking for? What are their values?).
Usually, the role description states what are the exact skills they are looking for.

Find your skills

As stated above, many companies specify which are the skills that will make you an excellent candidate. Make those skills yours! Think about your past experiences: what did you gain from them? Can you offer to the recruiters what they are looking for?
If you do not have proper work experience, do not panic.
In fact, you could have achieved employability skills from everyday activities: being part of a team or of a society, volunteering, attending lectures and seminars or even reading interesting books. Have you ever been given a group project or a difficult task?
Just dug deeply into your life baggage and you will be impressed by how many skills you have.

Be enthusiastic

The recruitment process is different from organisation to organisation, and many of them could be very long and frustrating.
You need to stay focused and show enthusiasm at any step. Show the recruiters that you are really passionate about the role you are applying for, and you will definitely gain some extra points.

Do not lose your hope

Remember that being rejected is also part of the journey, and it is important to understand why it happened. Therefore, it could be helpful to write to the Organisation which rejected you and to politely ask what you could have improved to be a better candidate. Not all companies will give you an explanation, but it is always good to try.
If they reply, remember to keep a record of it in the folder you have created for that company.

You will survive this odyssey in the end. Therefore, embrace this journey, because you will look back at it and see how many skills you achieved just facing all of it.