Before Placement

Why do employers recruit Placement students?

What are the benefits of placement?

How is placement organised?

How do I organise my own placement?

Can I go on an International Placement?

How do I write my own CV?

How do I prepare for interviews?

What is the placement learning contract?

What is the role of the Placement Manager?


Why do employers recruit Placement students?

Employers recognise that students are a valuable source of skilled labour. With a good knowledge of your course content and a genuine willingness to learn, they know that you can make a valuable contribution to their business.

Employers recruit students, because you:

  • bring in new ideas and look at 'old' problems with 'fresh eyes'.
  • have good problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • are up-to-date on new techniques and technologies.
  • are ideal to tackle one-off projects which might otherwise be put to one side.
  • can help out during busy Summer holiday periods.
  • may be a future potential employee and they can 'screen' you during Placement.
  • provide them with the opportunity to build closer links with the University

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What are the benefits of placement?

Placement is an important part of your course, as it gives you the chance to see what it is like to work in an area related to your degree. This will help you make more informed decisions about your career.

Your Placement will also help you to:

  • Put academic theory into practice in your chosen career area.
  • Broaden your knowledge base.
  • Gain an insight into your own personal abilities and aptitudes.
  • Develop personal skills such as communication, team-working, problem-solving.
  • Get an inside view of the world of work and how it operates.
  • Understand new countries and cultures, if you work abroad.
  • Build your self-confidence.
  • Relate and apply the knowledge gained during Placement to your studies.
  • Be more mature and committed to your studies on return to college.
  • Enhance your CV and make it more attractive to employers.
  • Improve your employability, so that you are a 'work-ready' graduate.
  • Be considered for a graduate job with your Placement employer.

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How is placement organised?

Placement Managers are assigned to each programme to assist you to secure and prepare for work placement. This person is your main point of contact (Work Placement Managers).

The recruitment process for placement commences in September for placement the following year. To help you prepare you will receive presentations and workshops in Writing a CV, Researching & Selecting Companies, Interview Technique, Soft Skills training and Preparation for placement, Some of which will take place in the year prior to placement.

The Recruitment process: 

Step 1     Submission of CV’s/Application

 Submit a suitable CV/Application in September to the relevant Placement Manager.

Step 2   Company selection

Research & select a number of companies from a participating companies list. (The number is determined by the numbers participating and differs for each programme).  During the course of the recruitment process additional companies will submit placement roles and you will be encouraged to sign up, to optimise your chances of securing placement.

Step 3   Review & shortlist for Interview

CV’s are sent to your selected companies. Hiring Managers will then review and shortlist for interview.

Step 4   Interviews

Interviews are organised on first come first serve basis (Placement Managers do not have any control on the interview sequence) Interview date, times and venue will be posted on the web and an email will be sent to your umail account. You are obliged to attend all interviews arranged for you through the Careers Service. Failure to do so will result in your name being removed from the recruitment process and Placement Managers will have no further obligation to assist you to secure placement.

Step 5   Offers of Employment

Employers are encouraged to decide quickly and the majority will do so with in a 24 hour period. Students are obliged to accept the first offer of placement made to you via the Careers Service. Interview results will be posted on the web and the Placement Manager will notify the employer of your acceptance and exact dates for placement. Your name will then be removed from all subsequent interview schedules.

Step 6   Contract of Employment

Once a student has received an offer of placement the student should email their prospective employer directly to thank them for the opportunity and offer of employment. The employer will then forward contract of employment directly to the student. Please read carefully, sign and return as quickly as possible.  

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How do I organise my own placement?

For students who wish to organise your own Placement, you can do this, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • A letter confirming your job offer is received from the prospective employer.
  • The Placement is approved by the Academic Co-ordinator for your programme
  • The offer of Placement is for the required period of time.
  • The offer is secured before you get an offer of Placement through the Careers Service.

Ideally, you should secure your offer of own Placement before the Careers Service interviews begin. However, you can continue to look for your own Placement while these interviews are ongoing.

During this time, you are obliged to attend interviews organised by the Careers Service and if you receive an offer, you are obliged to accept it and to discontinue your search for own Placement.

So, why not take the initiative to organize your own Placement? For more information on how to do it, make an appointment with your Placement Manager.

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Can I go on an International Placement?

Most Placements are in Ireland, but some are abroad. When selecting companies, you can apply for those that are abroad and your CV will be sent if the employers have vacancies.

Each year, students go on international Placement and the main destinations are the US, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland and the UK. Many companies prefer students who have some ability in their language, but this is not always necessary.

If you select a company abroad, make sure you can afford flights, accommodation deposit and living costs for the first six weeks of your Placement.


Personal Accident and Travel Insurance

“Students who are taking up work placement outside Ireland are OBLIGED to take out Personal Accident and Travel Insurance for the full duration of their placement period. Once you secure your placement abroad you will be given a deadline by which you must purchase suitable insurance and send the insurance certificate to your work Placement Manager . It is VITAL that you get your own personal accident and travel insurance as you will not be covered by UCC.”

Usually, companies come to Ireland to interview on campus, though some carry out telephone interviews instead. This will be a different experience to a face-to-face interview and you should be familiar with the guidelines for telephone interviews.

An international Placement can be a great chance for you to see the world and broaden your horizons!

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How do I write my own CV?

What is a CV?

A CV is a document that gives a full, but brief account of your life. The purpose of your CV is to attract the attention of Placement employers. A well-prepared CV increases your chances of being called for interview and being offered a Placement.

All students going on Placement must submit a CV to the Careers Service. The deadline for submitting CVs varies depending on the programme, so follow the links at the top of this page for details. CVs must be submitted by email, as a Word attachment, with your name and class clearly marked in the subject box.

Writing your CV

Start your CV preparation by identifying those skills and abilities that you have, which will be of interest to an employer. We call these 'Transferable Skills [ppt]' because, having learned them in one situation, you can transfer them or apply them in new situations.

Once you have made a list of your skills and abilities, write up your draft CV, making sure to include the key areas listed below. Your Placement Officer may ask you to include additional details, so please see the CV Checklist relevant to your programme.

You should take time and care with the presentation of your CV, by following the CV Guidelines. And finally, take a look at some Sample CVs for your programme.

Use you imagination when writing your CV - it should reflect you and be as unique and individual as you are. Good luck with writing your CV!

Key areas

  • Personal Details
  • Career Objective
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Hobbies and Interests
  • Additional Information
  • Referees

Personal Details

  • Name
  • Addresses - home and term
  • Telephone Numbers - Home, Term and Mobile
  • College Email only
  • Age, gender and marital status details optional

Career Objective

  • This is optional and tells the reader what you are aiming for at this stage of your career. It should be short, interesting and encourage the reader to continue reading your CV. Any statement of skills or abilities must be expanded on in your CV.


  • Give most recent education details first
  • Name and location of University, years of study, full course title
  • Overall academic result for each year to date e.g. Pass, 2H2, 2H1. Include one or two best individual grades
  • Highlight distinctions or awards received e.g College Scholar
  • Overall summary of course content. Do not list subjects for each year
  • Project work/assignments/practicals done, giving overview of equipment/processes/technologies used and grades awarded, if relevant. If team-based project, say exactly what you did
  • Name and location of Secondary School, years of study
  • Leaving Certificate points out of 600 or equivalent State exam. Include one or two best individual grades relevant to your course

Work Experience

  • Give most recent work experience details first
  • Separate and highlight work experience relevant to your course
  • Name and location of employer, months/dates worked, job titles
  • If many jobs, include only main ones
  • For each job, give duties and responsibilities, 3-4 bullet points only
  • Highlight personal skills learned and how you acquired them e.g. team-working, communication, problem-solving skills
  • Include training received e.g. Health & Safety
  • Highlight promotion or achievement/recognition
  • Mention initiatives taken by you e.g. to improve work procedures
  • Include voluntary work experience

Hobbies and Interests

  • Highlight interests relevant to your course
  • Self-taught skills or achievements outside UCC relevant to your course
  • Training courses taken outside UCC
  • Membership of Clubs, Societies or voluntary organisations, with details of level of participation or positions of responsibility e.g. club treasurer. Include events organised or attended, awards or recognition received
  • Avoid listing activities and omit the obvious like socialising and watching TV!

Additional Information

  • Foreign languages and level of fluency
  • Computing skills and level of proficiency
  • Driving Licence 


  • One academic from UCC
  • One work, based in Ireland
  • If work reference not available, use a personal referee
  • Give name, title, organisation, address and email/phone number
  • Always ask for permission before using referee name

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How do I prepare for interviews?

If you have been called for interview, this means your CV has been successful. Well done!

To find out if you have an interview, check the Interview Schedules on the web and your email, twice daily, morning and evening. You must reply to your email to confirm your attendance. We usually give you a few days notice, but sometimes employers want to organise interviews quickly, so it is very important that you check twice daily.

If you are called to interview, you are obliged to attend. It is your responsibility to make sure you are aware of interview details. Failure to attend an interview will result in your name being removed from the programme and your Placement Manager will have no further obligation to assist you in securing placements.

Following interview, you are obliged to accept the first offer of Placement made to you, via the Careers Service. You are not permitted to attend any other interviews or to organise your own Placement.

The key to success is to Prepare for Interview in advance and, on the day, to follow the Top Ten Tips for Interviews and InterviewBooklet

Most interviews are held on campus, but some employers prefer to use their own premises. For international Placements, employers usually carry out Telephone Interviews.

Companies are asked to fill out an Interview Feedback Form for each student and the Placement Manager will discuss your performance with you after the interview.

For more information, call into the Careers Service and have a look at our interview materials and videos. Good luck with your interview!

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What is the Work Placement Agreement?

The Work Placement Agreement stipulates the code of practice that we expect students to abide by if they wish to participate in the recruitment process administered by the Placement Office of the Careers Service and relevant Academic Departments. The student will be asked to sign The Work Placement Agreement at the commencement of the administration of the placement programme. Link to resource documents individual programmes (attached learning doc for elec eng)

The Code of Practice is a list of procedures that you are expected to follow, to make sure that the Placement process runs smoothly. Read through your obligations carefully, so that you know exactly what you have to do:

Work Placement Agreement2016-2017.docx



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What is the role of the Placement Manager?

The role of the Placement Manager is to assist students to secure Work Placement relevant to their degree programme. The Placement Managers Work with Industry and the Wider Community to source suitable and meaningful placements which will allow students to put their theoretical knowledge to practical use and to further develop the necessary employability skills required in today business world. The Placement Manager works with the student to help them write their CV's, prepare for interviews and placements. They will liaise with the Student, Employer and Academic Department throughout the placement process and ensuring the placement process runs smoothly.

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Work Placement, Careers Services

Seirbhísí Gairme

3/4 Brighton Villas, Western Road, (beside Castlewhite Apts) UCC, Cork, Ireland