Five ways work experience can help with your future career

Hi, my name is Stef Cope and I am the Employability Advisor within the Careers+ team in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences (HELS), specialising in work experience, part time jobs and voluntary work.

Some courses within the faculty have placements built into the course, but some do not, so in these cases it is up to you to secure your own experience to develop your skills while at university so that you are in a competitive position to secure a fantastic job opportunity when you graduate. 

Our Careers+ team is a support service here to help you get the most out of your university experience and we can support you with anything from-

  • 1-1 Careers Appointments
  • Drop-in sessions
  • Workshops
  • Application Support
  • CV Checks
  • Personal Statement Reviews
  • Job Searches
  • Online Resources

So, if you are thinking about carrying out some relevant work experience during your time here, then we're here to help.

Here's my advice and 5 reasons why you should consider work experience to help with your future career goals - 

1. Be employable!

You're more likely to gain a graduate level job by having relevant experience. Not only does it show that you have relevant skills, but it also demonstrates your interest in your area of work that you have gone out to find experience. 

2. Find the right career for you

By volunteering and carrying out work experience at different organisations and in different roles, you're able to explore and test options to see if a career is right for you. This will help for when you come to apply for graduate positions to narrow down exactly what you're looking for. 

3. Develop new skills 

Placements provide a platform to develop and enhance transferable skills for your CV - you'll be surprised at how much you could gain from even just a short two-week placement and how those skills could benefit you in the future. 

4. Be interview-ready 

By gaining experience through placements you'll have a lot of experiences and examples to discuss with potential employers during your interviews, especially if you're on a course where placements are not compulsory this will show that you have a passion for what you do and have gone above and beyond already to get involved and ahead of the crowd. 

5. Networking opportunity

By experiencing different places to work you'll be meeting a lot of people along the way. Your temporary manager, peers and interviewers will all be good contacts to learn from and get in touch with if you were interested in returning, or for them to know when you're available if any future vacancies come up.

How can you get started?

  • Create a CV and Cover Letter ready to send out to employers
  • Start researching in the local areas organisations that interest you then reach out to them
  • Work on a pitch of why they should take you on – think about your transferable skills and how you can bring them into the work place

How can we help?

When you start, or if you're already a student in HELS, you can book in to see me to discuss work experience opportunities and I can work with you to offer support and guidance in making the first steps to contact employers – I can offer support with CV writing, identifying your skillset and speculative approach to contacting employers.

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