Why is work experience important? It's not just for your CV!
Work experience is a great addition to your CV. It can help you demonstrate your capabilities and commitment to an employer, and can support your cover letter or apprenticeship application by highlighting skills that are both relevant and transferable to the role you’re applying for. But that’s not all. A period of work experience can add value in a number of other ways. Here are 5 reasons why you might want to consider a work experience placement this summer:
Gain the soft skills employers are looking for
Communication skills, team work, problem solving, motivation and time management; these are all soft skills which are essential to have in the workplace and are highly valued by employers. You’ll get a chance to develop these skills and more during your work experience placement.
Get a taste of the industry
It's true! Work experience will help you to decide if the role or industry is somewhere you see yourself in the future. By shadowing and observing colleagues – and asking them questions about what they do - you’ll have the opportunity to find out first-hand if the job is for you. This will help you make more informed choices about your career – and could help you decide on the type of job, apprenticeship or course you want to apply for.
Build relationships for the future
With online platforms like LinkedIn you can now network and build relationships with professionals you’ve worked with in the past. If you make a lasting impression, contact those people and ask them for a reference for future applications. You might even be put forward for a position at the same company if a vacancy arises.
Get ahead of the competition
With so much competition for entry level jobs and apprenticeships it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Not many school or college leavers will have previous experience in the roles they’re applying for, but if you’ve undertaken a period of work experience - ideally in an industry you’d like to work in - you’re bound to be one step ahead of the game. And employers value candidates who can show that they’re proactive and motivated enough to get their foot in the door.
Along with the soft skills and technical skills you’ll develop on your placement, you’ll have the chance to build your confidence within a professional working environment and interact with adults outside your personal network. You’ll develop and grow as an individual, reflecting on everything you achieved during your placement. This is an essential part of your professional development and will set you apart from your less-experienced peers.
Looking for a work experience placement this summer? At Seetec we have links with employers throughout the country. Contact your nearest centre to find out about opportunities in your area.