Top 3 Tips on How to Find Quality Work Experience Opportunities

Placements, internships, work shadowing, graduate schemes, full time jobs; all count towards building your bank of work experience, and you should grasp every opportunity firmly.

Broadening Horizons

Placements, internships, work shadowing, graduate schemes, full time jobs; all count towards building your bank of work experience, and you should grasp every opportunity firmly. Nevertheless, the competition is steep; you will no doubt have experienced this when it comes to finding and securing a quality placement. Employers want to see a demonstration of what you’re willing to do in order to stand out. Therefore, we have narrowed it down to the top 3 pointers to help you source the most valuable work experience opportunities

Research, Research, Research

Always start with the obvious. The best and most fundamental part to gaining quality work experience is immersing yourself in the sector, company and role you are interested in. There are a wide variety of online platforms that you can tailor to your research requirements to help refine your search. Job portals are a classic first port of call when it comes to locating work experience positions. In addition, social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn will always have the most current placement opportunities that you can filter at great length. Remember you can customise your news feed for these sites to stay updated with relevant information.

 Always try and keep your ear to the ground about any industry openings and news. Sign up to newsletters, forums and Google Alerts. Show an active interest in the sector and keep your online presence and CV updated; it all highlights your dedication to gaining the experience you want.

Broaden Your Horizons

It’s important to remember that all experience can be made relevant. No skills are ever wasted. Never make assumptions; if you try a role in one sector that doesn’t fulfil your interests, don’t assume that that sector isn’t for you. You may just be in the wrong type of company. Always aim to be different to your contemporaries; try what you may not have considered before.

 Remember there’s a fine line between selective and picky; don’t limit your research and career prospects in this way. Choose a wider selection of sectors and positions when it comes to defining your search; there will always be the opportunity to move between roles. Consider small companies vs. big companies; a big corporate name may look good on paper, but in reality, smaller companies may offer you more responsibility, variety and real experience during your placement.

Talk to People

Who do you know? Think friends, family, colleagues, lecturers and acquaintances.  Proactively build upon your network of contacts. Be bold; networking is essential in building bridges and developing professional relationships. There’s only so much you can gather from online or printed info; it’s time to talk to people. Manage your network; plan, target and keep a record of your contacts in order to tailor your career search. Relationships at any level require energy and positive engagement, ultimately developing rapport. Strike up a conversation and maintain that link, you never know who knows who until you’re connected. Don’t be afraid to ask open questions; you never know what opportunities may arise.

 Companies deliberately hold back certain information in their placement descriptions; enticing the engaged applicants to enquire further. Use your voice; phoning or visiting the company will have a far greater impact than just relying on an email. Ultimately, you need to express your drive and passion; find out who it is that makes the hiring decisions within the company and aim to make a positive lasting impression.

 So…

There is an increasing need to get creative when it comes to approaching companies for work experience. Having the confidence to do something different will get you noticed; inevitably opening up the job market to reveal better opportunities. Sometimes the old ways are the best; picking up the phone and talking to somebody. Networking requires you to stay proactive and build relationships. There is a clear correlation between the amount of effort you are willing to put in and the quality of the opportunities you find in return. Good Luck!

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