Here then are some 'gamechangers' that students should consider using to advance their placement search.
Keep in touch with your Placement Office
It may seem silly to say this, but students should make sure their Placement Officer knows they are still actively looking for a placement. You may have attended lectures with them in the autumn, or been for a CV check in spring, but come the summer you may be considered inactive, particularly if you have not been regularly updating on the progress of your applications. Get in touch, maintain contact and provide a number and email address with which you can be reached.
Stay logged on
Ensure you check your email at least twice a day and do the same for the jobs board that your university uses to advertise placements. The clock is ticking for employers too, and it is not uncommon for them to ask for applications to be sent in within a day or two so they can quickly get candidates in for interview. If you aren't checking your messages, you may miss out of some great opportunities that require a quick turnaround.
Broaden your search
If you have been quite particular about the placements and companies that you have applied to up until this point, now would be a good time to open your mind to other opportunities. You may have already missed out on the 'dream' accounting placement at company A, but finance roles at companies B and C will also offer you good experience even if their name is lesser known.
Tap into local knowledge
This is particularly pertinent for students who will be living back home over the summer and away from university. Rather than sit around waiting for placements to arrive in your inbox, why not approach companies in your local area. Get on the phone, fire off prospective applications or make use of your network of friends and family to see what roles may be available. If you source your own placement, make sure to run the job description by your Placement Officer.
Build up a bank of favours
Many students will work part-time jobs over the summer while their placement search is ongoing. Rosters may be agreed a week or two in advance and this can present logistical difficulties if you suddenly find an employer inviting you in for a placement interview at short notice. Keep your manager onside, and perhaps offer to cover shifts for your colleagues so that when the time comes that you need a favour at short notice, your colleagues are prepared to help you out.
There are no guarantees that changing tactics will get you to where you want to be, but if your gameplan hasn't worked over the last 8 months, a change of direction could be just what you need.