The Internship Programme requires students to research their work placement organisation and write a student statement, or cover letter, compatible with UK standards before their placement begins. Here are a few tools, originally published by the National Careers Service, which will help students present themselves in the best possible way.
A student statement, or cover letter, is more in-depth than a CV and should draw attention to your achievements by providing information on the skills and experience that are relevant to your matched work placement organisation. It will give your placement company a better idea of who you are and what plans you have for the future. By explaining how a particular experience has helped you develop your skills, your student statement will provide a solid background to the information outlined in your CV. For example, "doing the weekly stock take helped me sharpen my maths skills and spot sales trends".
Make it personal
Don’t leave out details about your work placement company. Instead, show the employer that you have done research on the company and know their organisation. Make it clear you have considered what skills they are looking for and how you can provide them. The more specific you are, the better.
Use the right language and tone
It's important to use clear, business-like language. If you are placed in a creative role, such as media, you could show your originality and word skills in the language and tone you use. However, be careful based on what you can find out about the company and their approach.
Provide information about your disability
You’re not legally obliged to mention your disability and it’s your choice on how open you want to be. However, disclosing your disability can give you an opportunity to talk about the transferable skills you've developed as a result of dealing with your disability. You can use your cover letter to talk about how you will bring that knowledge to the workplace.
Check it and check it again!
Always check your student statement for spelling and grammatical errors. Don't rely on word processing spell checkers, as they don't pick up everything - if we had written ‘pack’, ‘peck’, ‘pock’ or ‘puck’, a spell checker would not have picked these up as they are valid words. It would not have known that the word we meant to use was ‘pick’! It helps if you leave some time after completing the letter before checking it. This way, you will look at it with new eyes. When you've been working on one piece of writing for a while, it can be difficult to spot any mistakes or errors. It’s also a good idea to ask someone else to check it for you, to get a different perspective. Just like us, they will be reading it for the first time. They might also be able to make helpful suggestions and make sure it flows well.
Keep it brief
Keep your student statement short (500 words) and to the point. Five paragraphs on a single page should be enough to get your message across.
If you use the same font and text size on your student statement and CV it will look neat and professional.
ADC College does not claim copyrights for these guidelines, which have been created by the National Careers Service. More information can be found on their website.