Work experience gives you new skills and helps you to make valuable contacts. It lets you find out what a job or occupation is really like before you commit to working in it.
It has always been crucial in helping you get ahead in competitive industries such as broadcasting, advertising, personnel management or journalism. In the current climate work experience is crucial in giving you the advantage over other applicants, whatever the role.
You can get great work experience and increase your employability through:
A work placement is usually a structured period of employment with specific aims and objectives where you, the student, can help decide what you want to learn and gain.
Many students now work part-time to fund their studies. Even the most basic jobs will help you to gain additional skills to put on your CV.
Organise your own work experience
You can organise your work experience yourself. Firstly, decide what career areas/jobs you are interested in. Do you just want to gain ideas about what to do eventually or is there a company you would like to work for in the long term?
You can find details of companies through the careers service and the business pages of local newspapers – for information on how to find and approach suitable employers.
See our guide to finding employers.
Making your application
When you approach employers you need to be very clear about what you want and what you feel you have to offer. Many employers will not have time to organise an extensive programme for you so you need to demonstrate that you can organise yourself to an extent and will fit in with their work patterns.
See our information on CVs and interviews.
Learning from your work experience
It’s very useful to make notes and reflect on what you learn from any type of work experience. This will make it easier to explain to future employers. You can create a learning log, or, if your course is part of studentprofile you can include your volunteering experience and reflect on what you’ve learnt from it.