Internship placement agency Integrand is critical of curricula vitae and job application letters of Wageningen students. It proposes to help students put their act together during its internship week by providing free resume-checks. Five questions for Luke van der Windt, president of Integrand's office in Wageningen.
'They contain too much or not enough information. Some of them contain a long description of just one simple part-time supermarket job. At the other extreme are students who cram their entire resume on one piece of A4 paper. Various students have also left out their extra-curricular activities. A pity because companies place great importance on these. Wageningen students, in particular, are involved in a lot of commissioned work and they can list these down as accomplishments.'
How should a CV be?
'Make the outline tight and always use an achronological sequence; mention the educational background before work experience. It makes a difference whether a company reads about your secondary education first or your university education. Describe each activity in a few lines and don't forget to state the estimated amount of time spent on it.'
What about the cover letters? How should they be?
'I haven't actually come across any really bad ones yet, but most of them lack just that little bit extra as to convince the reader. Besides having a clear structure, a letter has to create an impression. Why should any company want to have you? It's difficult to explain this summarily. Those who are unsure about what they've got can let us go through their CVs and cover letters on Wednesday 17 November.
Well, you just want to lure trainees.
'Of course, but we also have much to offer. Many students just do the obvious: apply to a chair group. We know of many companies which students may not think about in the first place. Kraft Foods, for example, would jump at the chance of having our consumer scientists. We have 750 internship positions all over the country.'
But can't such information be obtained from an academic society?
'We look more into the entire career situation. We can give students a personalized training to get them that bit more prepared.
The Integrand Internship week is held from 15 to 18 November. Besides a CV-check, there are various workshops. Participation is free of charge, but interested should register at http://www.integrand.nl/vestigingen/14/wageningen/