Whether you’re at school or college, the chances are that you’re looking to get work experience to give you a boost before you head into the world of work. Below, we’ve put together just some of the ways that you can get your foot in the door before you leave education.
What is work experience?
Work experience is a short-term form of employment, usually without payment. It’s ideal for students, as it allows you to experience what it’s like in the “real world” and get something to add to your CV and resume, helping you stand out when you’re looking to secure your first job.
How do I get it?
You’d be forgiven for thinking that getting work experience is easy – but, in fact, it can be a challenge to secure a placement that works for you. Check out the five ways to secure work experience below.
Leave it to your school
Most schools, colleges and universities have a career service, and some courses require work experience as part of your studies. Reach out to tutors and lecturers and ask whether or not they can help. The chances are that they’ll have contacts and will be able to get you a placement. It’s the lazy way out, but more often than not it works!
Contact a company directly
There’s no better way than showing you’re interested in work experience than by getting in touch with a company directly. It doesn’t matter whether you want to work in journalism, marketing, science or retail – simply sending an email or calling into a store to express your interest makes sense. Remember to be professional, explain why you’d be a good fit and let them know why you’re interested in their company.
Work for an online publication
There are thousands of websites online offering work experience – and in some cases, you don’t even have to leave your bedroom to help out. Time for a shameless plug – we’re offering journalism work experience opportunities on Fuzzable if you’re interested in writing about fashion, food, lifestyle and celebrities. There are no requirements, but you do need to be over the age of 15.
Get a real job
If you’re struggling to get unpaid work experience in a particularly challenging industry – like the media – getting a real job is the next best bet. Working in a supermarket or your local restaurant may not be the most glamorous way of spending your weekends, but it’s a chance to earn money, build your skills and show future employers that you’re not afraid of hard work.
Network online and offline
Social networks are great for chatting with friends and stalking Harry Styles, but they can also be used to network with businesses and professionals. Sign up to LinkedIn, make your Twitter more professional and mix and mingle with the good and the great of your chosen industry. It might not result in paid work immediately, but if you impress, you’re sure to get a chance to shadow a member of the team. At college networking events, take business cards and CVs if you want to stand out.
By following our five top tips, you’re bound to find a work experience placement that works for you. Do let us know how you get on by tweeting @Fuzzable!