How to get work experience

Work experience is great it does what it says, gives you experiencing working within an industry.

When looking at doing work experience you need to decide what industry you want to do work experience in. One idea is to come up with a list of different industries that sound like they interest you. Once you have narrowed down your industries it is a good idea to then research companies locally to you that are in those industries. Definitely note down small and large organisations, as both types do offer work experience.

It is very common that securing work experience can take a long time, as a lot of boxes need to be ticked by the organisations management. It is a given that you should ideally start to look for a work experience 6months before you want to start, it is no longer compulsory to undertake work experience at school and more and more people are finding their own work experience.

Securing a work placement yourself can be relatively easy, you should have a look on the companies’ websites you have highlighted and see what they have to offer. They may already have some details of work experience programmes they are running, if so great, apply for one. If there are no details on the companies website about work experience programmes, it would not harm to send a speculative letter or email asking about work experience. You should incorporate information about wanting a work experience into your cover letter and send this along with your CV.

Again same as sending a cover letter you need to find a name for someone to send it, so that it stands a good chance of being read by someone in the company. You should chase up with a telephone call a week later to see if they received it and any progression has been made.

Other ways of getting work experience

Today some people often think on the basis of its who you know not what you know, to a certain extend this is true. Therefore think about friends and family who work in an industry you are interested in, ask them if they can help you find work experience. They may even know the right people to ask or be able to tell you where you can get some work experience. Another way is to attend a careers fair, you can find out more information about different companies and talk to employees and get their advice on work experience.

Social media has become huge over the last few years, you should get a LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook account, find the companies and industries you are in and follow the relevant organisations. Organisations are using social media more and more to reach different audiences they never knew they had 5 years ago, so use these free services to talk to different organisations and meet the industry people online.

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