Neha at Barratt Developments – My search experience and top tips

Name: Neha

Company: Barratt Developments

Job role: HR Undergraduate Intern

Degree: Business and Management

Placement year: 2014/2015


My Placement search:

What made me want to go on a placement?

Before I started University, I acknowledged the importance of gaining a placement.

There were two reasons I wanted a placement;

  1. A simple reason. I just wasn’t ready to go into my third year – I didn’t want to end university just yet…
  2. I know people who have struggled to secure a job, whether it be a graduate or entry level role, once they had graduated.

No matter what degree classification you get, it’s really important to leave with practical skills because this is what employers are looking for more and more within candidates! It makes you stand out as your able to list practical skills other’s would not yet have put into practice.

The application process:

You have to be Professional, Persistent and Patient throughout the process.

Never slack and always keep your CV and cover letters updated! A lot of people think it is okay to have a generic cover letter with the section for the ‘company paragraph’ changed.

  • Tailor your cover letter – remember no company will offer the same job description, and your cover letter must be adapted to show what skills you hold and how they match the role you are applying for.

Although this is a stressful and tough stage, keep in mind your end goal and never doubt yourself – STAY POSITIVE.

  • Don’t think the first one you apply to will be the one you get (unless you’re the lucky few)
  • It took me 19 attempts, but I know many who have applied to 60+ places and been placed!
  • Treat your placement search as a 30 credit module! It takes up a lot of time and effort, but you have to create a realistic balance between applying for placements and completing your university work.
  • Keep a list of the ones you have applied to so you’re aware when they contact you and to make sure you don’t apply to the same role twice.

Make sure you do not narrow your search to companies that are only familiar to you. I’m working for one of the nation’s largest housebuilders – I had no knowledge on houses or the construction industry and had only briefly heard of who Barratt were. You learn about the company through research!

The help WBLU provided me:

The WBLU were my first point of contact when I began my placement search. I was guided in the right direction from the start. I’d be in the office asking questions about an application or asking for my cover letter to read over! Never feel like you are bothering them, the door is always open, they love the company and are ALWAYS happy to help! No question is ever a ‘silly’ question.

What kept me motivated through the process?

  • The WBLU team
  • Friends and family
  • The end goal of an amazing opportunity!

Bouncing back from rejections:

Don’t let rejections demotivate you, you must fail to succeed! Learn from your mistakes and make your next application/interview/assessment day better than the last.

  • For the times where you receive a rejection and have been provided with constructive feedback, use this to help you to improve for next time.
  • It’s easier said than done, especially if you have applied to loads, but try not to dwell on an application! Just keep going, your hard work will pay off!

Best Tips for placement searchers:

  • 3 p’s – stay Professional, Persistent and Patient throughout! After all, good things come to those who wait.
  • STAND OUT! Avoid using all examples from ‘at University’, bring in examples from volunteering work, pervious jobs, work experience etc..
  • Use the STAR technique at interviews and when answering questions from application processes. This will avoid the interviewer having to ask you multiple questions to squeeze information out of you!
  • Book regular sessions with the WBLU – especially before an interview or assessment day!
  • Be yourself!

Top Tips from the Graduate and Future Talent Manager at Barratt:

  • Make sure you tailor your application to the company you are applying for. Recruiters are put off by ‘generic’ applications – it makes you look lazy. Best to do a smaller number of good applications rather than lots of the same.
  • Ensure that you outline in your application/CV/covering letter why you feel suited to the particular vacancy. Outline how your degree/skills can be used in the role. Recruiters will be looking for candidates who will potentially fill future graduate places, so it’s always a good idea to show that you see an opportunity to work for the company in the future, and doing the placement isn’t just about the placement.


I wish you all the very best for your placement search! GOOD LUCK!


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