Hints and tips

Six top tips for success

Three girls

Effort shows

Employers are smart. They can tell who has made an effort with their placement application and who hasn't. Do your research; it will be apparent in your application. Wherever possible, get below the surface, try and see what the company is all about and what's important to them. Look on the internet, visit their website, social media channels and recent news stories, and even use their products. Put in the effort and it'll show in your application, making yours more likely to succeed.


The company advertising the placement has a requirement; you have skills and qualifications, so make sure you match up your attributes correctly. Remember, it's not simply about what you are looking for, it's about what the company needs and how you will fit in better than anyone else. You’ll get much further in the application process this way.

Details matter

Do not underestimate the importance of attention to detail. Your spelling, punctuation, grammar, and presentation needs to be perfect; otherwise, you will be perceived as slap-dash and sloppy. It’s said you never get a second chance to make a first impression. It's as true in a covering letter, e-mail, or CV, as it is face-to-face.

Qualifications are just the start

You have the technical qualifications, the letters after your name, and a great academic record. Employers, however, are looking for more than a degree - they want the right person. Make sure you fill your application and CV with your attitude, outlook, passion, personality and enthusiasm as well as your ability to work in a team and go the extra mile. Show it, communicate it, and demonstrate it in your CV and especially when it comes to the interview.

Be flexible and ready to work

Through ScotGrad, you could be placed with a small to medium-sized company. That means you'll get plenty of responsibility and opportunities, but you'll also have to be flexible. Get used to multi-tasking and getting on with jobs on your own. Initiative is key. Forget any fixed ideas you have on what your job's going to be all about, get involved, and get to grips with the company’s pace.

Success breeds success

A company that wants to win in the marketplace will want to employ winners. Of course, you’re not expected to succeed at everything, but show in your CV that you are someone who likes to get on, to succeed in life, enjoys achievement, and is pro-active.

Useful Links

Here's a list of some of our favourite career advice blogs and news outlets. Get reading!

Remember, you can contact your Careers Service at university for expert advice.