Having college qualifications is a great asset when applying for jobs, but work experience will enable you to stand out even more in front of prospective employers. Below are some examples of how you can benefit from undertaking work placements, whether it’s observing for a week or a full year working in industry.
Develop interpersonal skills
Work experience can assist you with developing team-working and communication prowess in a business environment. This will also provide you with insight into commercial decision-making and enhance understanding of workplace management, which will develop your confidence.
Enhance application forms
During your placement, you will gain knowledge that will better equip you for applying for jobs. You will be able to provide examples of when you have used skills at work and be able to talk more authoritatively in interviews. Skills such as deadline management, phone and email etiquette and the ability to work with a variety of ages in a team are very appealing to employers.
In a highly competitive jobs market, it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Experience of being in a work environment demonstrates initiative and a willingness to work. Employers look more favourably on candidates who have an understanding of their business sector and know what to expect in a work environment.
Trial potential areas of interest
A placement isn’t just about working for someone else. Use it as an opportunity to identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and determine where you could see your personal career heading. This will help you in making decisions about further training you may require or change your mind on ideas of what you would like to do.
Opportunity to network
Undertaking work placements enables you to meet people through organisations and make contacts, who may be able to unlock roles in the future when you’re looking to move on.
If you would like to find out more about work experience opportunities, you may be interested in undertaking an apprenticeship. This page contains further information about being an apprentice and links to additional useful pages.