There is no doubt that work experience of some sort is something every employer or course provider is looking for in your CV. Therefore, gaining work experience will put you at an advantage with your employers.
1) Becoming a student writer
If you are interested in journalism maybe becoming a student writer is the way to go. There are many opportunities for you to write articles as work experience – perhaps through your school or university’s student newspaper or even writing your own blog. Of course, you can also do it online. Some writing opportunities may even offer pay, but even if they don’t it’s still an impressive experience to jot down on your CV.
2) Volunteer for charity
By volunteering at a charity shop, you are familiarizing yourself with the customer service environment, something extremely useful if you are planning on taking up a paid, part-time job in the future. Social interaction with customers is an amazing way to build up your social skills and confidence if you feel you need to improve. Of course, this type of position could also lead the way to a future career in retail.
3) Shadow a health care center
If you are looking to study medicine, the best work experience would be to shadow a local doctor/GP at their surgery or hospital. Learning about their day-to-day life and working life would be a fantastic insight into the world of medicine. This work experience is unlikely to be paid, but I think the experience itself is worth its weight in gold!
Bear in mind the fact that hospitals and GP practices are busy places and have strict rules about patient confidentiality, so arranging a placement may prove difficult and should be done many weeks in advance.
4) Volunteer at a library
By volunteering at a library, you are showing that you care about your local community while gaining work experience! This is the perfect work experience idea for someone looking to study English, especially Literature or perhaps History as you can not only familiarize yourself with many book titles but also develop research skills. However, it is a great thing to put on your CV no matter what subject you plan on studying in the future as it also involves transferable skills such as customer service, administration, and organization.
5) Apply for a certification course
There are so many certification courses available both through university and as stand-alone courses online you need to figure out which of these certifications actually matter to potential employers. In general, you should look for certificate programs that are offered directly by software producers or ones that have an industry-wide standard.
6) Point out your achievements in your work experience
A common ‘error’ on CVs is listing individual work experiences like a job description; a list of duties and responsibilities, rather than illustrating how their role was relevant to the job they are applying for. To avoid this, use achievement statements, like this:
“I have implemented an innovative new system that has reduced the cost of production by 10% and increased productivity by 5%.”
This shows how you have achieved something tangible in your previous roles.
7) Enroll for internships
Internships are a fantastic way to build your CV, gain valuable experience and make connections that can help you in future job searches.
A section on your CV immediately under your profile or before your education section titled something like, “Work placements and internships”, helps make the most of your experience and shows a potential employer that you bring more to the table than just a degree.