Compsci Industrial placement year email

Now is obviously the time students are pulling their fingers out and thinking about industrial placement years.

Obviously I’d have a bias towards a certain university if I were looking for a student,┬ábut ignoring that, I received an email today from someone fishing for vacancies (this is ignoring the fact I’m not advertising for one, and I’m not sure we could accommodate one if we did).

Dear PalePurple,

I am a second year student at Blah Blah University, studying Computer Science BSc. I would be delighted if you could consider my application to any web development or Linux systems development work placements you may have available.

Yours sincerely,
A. Student

Anyway, here’s my response to them, which probably says enough on it’s own, without me having to selectively publish their CV.


For some random feedback: Your CV doesn’t really mention anything you may have done with your web development skills – aside from listing xhtml/css etc.

It’s also bare of anything you may have done with any sort of programming skill – what projects have you done inside/outside of university? You mention a group project, but gave me no idea what it involved.

Have you done anything outside of your course which shows some interest in the subject area (e.g. dabbled with Arduino devices, read about MVC/design patterns, been to an industry conference, joined a local user group, written some random program that does X in your spare time……… ).

If you are serious about web development, then you will need to mention sites you’ve created on your CV – these may just be sites of your own (i.e. they don’t have to be for real companies/entities) – all I would be interested in seeing is that you are interested in the field, have taken the time to learn about jQuery / CSS3 / HTML5 / whatever – which would put you towards the top of any potential interview shortlist and make you FAR, FAR more interesting as a potential employee!

Aside from the above, we’re not currently looking for an industrial placement student.


I have been thinking about getting an industrial placement student this year, but I’m not sure we have room in our office for a student.


  1. Candy – Hmm, I like your thinking. I was more inclined to get them to make tea/coffee/fresh cakes for us – perhaps over a hex stove, in an enclosed room…

  2. Thanks a lot for posting this, I am not studying something related to the above, but the advice you gave for CV improving is certainly something I will take into consideration when writing my CV again. (I am currently looking for an internship/industrial placement for 2011 as well)
    George Hawkins

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