- August 1, 2019
- Posted by: Lucy Warren
- Category: Career Advice
So many people tend to think of work experience as just padding for your CV, with the idea that they’ll be sat there bored whilst being given menial tasks to complete. Whilst some work experience programmes are made up of smaller workplace tasks, they’re still important none the less. In a recent study, it was found that over a third of employers look for work experience on an applicant’s CV, particularly when it comes to graduate jobs.
Work experience is worth doing, even if you just want to find a new path into a different career or add a little something extra to your CV. With today’s current work environment being highly competitive, it is becoming an essential tool for securing your dream job.
For graduates and students, the summer holidays can be a long stretch of boredom, with weeks that seem to stretch on endlessly. But, if you’re wanting to aim for a dream graduate job or just simply want to add something of value to your CV, then summer work experience is ideal. It gives you the chance to test the water of the profession you want to get into, show short-term commitment to a company who may want to hire you or just to get out of the house!
So, here are 3 ways that you can gain invaluable summer work experience:
Use experience you already have
You might not realise it, but you probably already have a list of experience which you can use to impress potential employers. This is especially true when it comes to demonstrating your capabilities, such as team building, commitment and communication. The key thing to remember is to find the transferable skills that are most relevant to the career you want to pursue or are most applicable to the role you are applying for and then use personal experiences and examples which will illustrate them. The summer holidays are the perfect time to go over and craft your CV, so be sure to spend a day or two perfecting it.
Look for local events
The summer holidays mean that there are plenty of events going on, both nationally and locally. These events are often run by volunteers and are likely to more than welcoming to those who show an interest in helping out. Many festivals are run by teams of volunteers, so if you’ve got any music events going on in your local area, be sure to whack on the face glitter, pull on your wellies and get stuck in. The same goes for funfairs, carnivals and kid’s holiday clubs – if you want to show some organisation skills, work with children or just show a willingness to help out, get in touch with them!
If you’re interested in charity work, then charity shops are always on the lookout for volunteers, often just for an hour or two each day. Some charities, such as Breast Cancer UK and the British Heart Foundation, often hold fun runs and fundraising sports events that need a team of volunteers.
Try before you apply
The most successful forms of work experience are those which allow you to try out the work environment or job before you apply for real. Many Jobcentres provide work trial schemes in order to give you an opportunity to gain valuable experience which you can use on your CV. Better still, there may even be an offer of a permanent job at the end of the trial, as many employers use these schemes as a way to try out a potential candidate.
However, if at any point during the trial you feel as though the job isn’t for you, or doesn’t offer the experience you were hoping for, it’s ok to turn it down. Sticking with it won’t do you any favours and if the employer notices that you aren’t enjoying it or putting the work in because you aren’t interested, then they may end up leaving you with negative feedback.
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