So, you go to Uni and you are on course for a good grade, you will easily get a job as a developer right? Wrong! Although this is a great basis for your application, how do you stand out amongst the other hundreds of students all applying for the same jobs?

Do a placement year

If you are only going to take one piece of advice away, make it this! Not only will you get relevant industry experience (which will set you instantly apart from other students) but if you’ve done a good job, the company will more often than not offer you a position for when you graduate. All this while getting paid a decent salary for the year too. The reduction in pressure and stress in your final year, knowing you already have a job sorted, is real!

Attend hackathons and meetups

Employers love seeing evidence that you are genuinely enthused and passionate about coding, and there aren’t many better ways of showing this than by going to hackathons and local tech meetups. They are also a great way of developing new skills, meeting new people and meeting potential employers. Also keep a look out for any company-led outreach initiatives such as Kainos AICamp. Any opportunities you come across to develop yourself and to engage with potential employers – take it!


The best way to show off your coding skills is to have a public Github account with examples of your work. Make sure there is a good mix of Uni work and personal projects on there. Again, this is a great way to show your passion and ability, both really important.

Apply early

Don’t leave your search to the last minute! The better companies will be looking to interview and offer jobs up to a year in advance. For example, Kainos will start interviewing in around December time for our 2020 graduates and placements.

CV and Linkedin

This may be a controversial comment but if all the above is done right, the CV becomes unimportant. If your CV clearly highlights examples of the above, you are good to go. Don’t overthink the length, format and style etc. A personalised cover letter specific to the company you are applying for always goes down well. Once you have your CV in order, replicate it on Linkedin. Linkedin is arguably the best place to search for jobs and if your profile is good enough, you can sit back and let the jobs come to you.

Talk to current placement year students and grads

If you are interested in a company, go and speak to anyone you know who currently works there. This is the absolute best way of knowing what it is like working for them, away from all the corporate marketing material. They will also be able to advise you on how best to go about your application and could even introduce or recommend you directly to the company. If you are interested in Kainos – why not seek out some of our returning graduates, Ravinder Pal Singh, Andreea Irimia, Rhys Barrett or Thomas Seelig on Linkedin who all just finished placement years with us in our Birmingham office.

This year Kainos took on nearly 30 placement and graduates into our London/Birmingham offices and this could be you next year! I’m already looking forward to receiving all your amazing applications!