Practical Ways To Find Work Experience Placements

We all know it’s a question of when you should gain work experience, not if. These days, it’s a must-have for your CV, especially if you’re going for your first role. But knowing where to find it can be a bit of a minefield if you don’t have many industry contacts. Here are some tips to get you started. Choose Your Companies Before you start, compile a list of companies that you feel you would gain good experience from. There’s no point looking until you know what you’re looking for after all. If you’re interested in education as a career, for example, make a list of all the schools in the areas that you are able to travel to. You can then work your way through this list and contact them to organise a placement. Speculate Lots of establishments might offer work experience without advertising it. Similarly, it might be something they hadn’t originally considered but could be willing to take you on. Once you have made your list of suitable companies, don’t be scared to get in touch and enquire about placements. Ultimately, you are offering to help them out for free, so it’s as much of a favour to them as it is for you. If you never ask then you’ll never know. Offer Something When approaching a company, make sure you sell yourself to show that having you on board will be useful. In a cover letter/email, outline the various tasks you can do or will be willing to take on. This will remind the company that you can be a useful addition if there are any areas where some extra hands are needed. Pick up The Phone While sending a CV and cover letter/email is essential, there are also easily lost amongst the rest of the chaff that fills up people’s inboxes. You’ll be surprised how much more quickly things can get organised and sorted if you can get on the phone to a relevant person. Sending an initial email gives you the chance to the call-up and check if the addressee received it, so you’re not calling out of the blue. Don’t Forget the Little Ones Lots of people compete for placements within big, well-known companies when they are smaller firms out there which aren’t being inundated with applications. If you’re interested in law, for example, and having trouble getting through to the big players, try smaller, family run or independent law firms. The experience you have will likely be just as valuable, and your relationships with the staff there will be closer. Widen your search and see what crops up! Work experience is very important, but it’s equally important to remember employers are more concerned with the type of experience you have rather than the prowess of the company you gained it from. Consider all options in your search, including voluntary work, and sure enough, you’ll find something that can give yourself a much-needed boost.