Top Tips for Getting Work Experience

June 04, 2019
Charlotte Dougall
Charlotte Dougall

Founder of Blether, helping small businesses do big things online.

The summer is upon us, and for many students, that means it’s time to get stuck into a work placement. If you’re one of these students and you’re looking to secure some work experience between terms, we’ve put together some top tips for finding your ideal summer job.

Tell people you’re looking

You’d be surprised what can come of a simple mention of the fact that you’re looking for some work experience. Stick up a post on LinkedIn or simply mention to friends and family that you’re on the lookout, they might come up with some gems that you wouldn’t have found yourself. If they know that you’re looking, they’ll be able to share any relevant opportunities they come across, expanding your reach beyond your own search. If you know anyone who works in the industry that you’d like to work in, find out if they know of any opportunities or can point you in the direction of somewhere that can help. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Ask your university or college

Many universities have career departments who are a dab hand at helping you secure relevant opportunities throughout your studies. Ask your lecturer or student union if there’s such a service available in your university or college, and pay them a visit to take advantage of their advice. They can cover everything from help sprucing up your CV and practising for interviews to finding roles and putting you in touch with companies who are looking for students. It’ll vary from place to place, but it’s worth seeing what your campus offers.

Polish up your CV

CVs are an important part of the job hunt, and it’s important to make sure your CV stands out from the crowd. This might be down to the actual content, or it could be the design too. You can download free templates for sprucing up your CV from places like Creative Market, or you can use a free programme such as Canva to whip up a masterpiece that’ll catch the eye of whoever’s desk your CV lands on.

Take on a side project

If there’s an industry or role you’re keen to work in, it can be a great idea to create your own work experience. If you can find a way to practice your passion, you’ll be able to hone your skills and gain a project that you can put on your CV and show off your determination too. It might be something like building your own website or app, starting a blog or teaching yourself how to use a certain programme that’s commonplace in your desired industry. You can learn how to do just about anything on the internet these days, so if you’re struggling to find an opportunity to put your skills to the test in the workplace then why not look for an outlet that you can utilise yourself instead?

Show Your Face

Finally, being a present part of the local business scene can go a long way in building your network and finding opportunities. Have a look at Eventbrite and see if there are any industry events you can attend where you can meet relevant people and find out a bit more about their journeys. If you’re interested in working in the tech scene or a startup, be sure to sign up to the RookieOven newsletter for a fortnightly rundown of the latest events in the community. We’ve also got a Drop In Day coming up on June 7th, where you can come along to the Add Jam office and connect with some of our industry experts.

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