Bored Already? Check Out Our Top 5 Tips for Securing Work Experience
Updated: Jul 27
Ben Brownlee from the globalbridge team gives his top 5 tips for finding work experience to make sure you stand out from the crowd!
It’s the first week of your Summer break and let me guess - you’re already starting to get bored. You’ve watched all of Tiger King on Netflix, seen the same people posting on social media and realised that food will not magically appear in the fridge if you keep opening the door.
So you want to do something meaningful? Something that will give you a major advantage over your peers? Why not start planning and looking for work experience - it’s a great way to find out more about careers and job roles, and a fantastic way to develop the skills that employers value. Yes, the current climate might make this a little trickier than usual, but that means that when you are successful, it will look even more impressive! And why is it so important? Well, recent research has found that two-thirds of graduate employers warn that graduates with no previous work experience have little or no chance of receiving a job offer. (The Graduate Market High Fliers https://www.highfliers.co.uk/)
Follow the top 5 tips below to help give you the best chance of securing meaningful work experience.
1. Dig for info!
Don’t just start picking up the phone and sending emails. Firstly think about what you want to achieve - what roles are you wanting to experience? Do these match to your key skills? Having a sense of direction is crucial.
After you have done this, use the internet to find local organisations and companies that may be able to offer you something. Use sites like www.yell.com or www.thomsonlocal.com to find companies, or even job sites like www.reed.co.uk to find suitable employers in your area. And don’t forget globalbridge! Check out our provider list as there are direct contacts into organisations, which makes your life even easier!
A good idea is to produce a mind map summary of all of the above - it’s a fab way to establish your goals.
2. Use your networks!
With work experience, it is often very much down to ‘who you know’. When you have an idea of who you want to target, speak to your family and teachers to see if they have any contacts. A warm lead into a company is great, and you’ll be surprised just how big your network is!
3. Make sure you’re good on paper!
Competition will be strong, but don’t let that put you off! Make sure you stand out by having a great C.V as companies always ask for these. Research what organisations look for (check out ‘our people’ pages on companies websites) and make sure your C.V shows you have these skills. If you have a globalbridge profile, send your profile URL and make sure you have media that evidences the key skills in action - this is a fantastic way to stand out from the crowd.
Most importantly, make sure it is clear that you WANT TO LEARN!
4. Put yourself out there!
This is the daunting bit. Pick up the phone and speak to people. Yes, it’s a bit scary to call an employer - even adults get nervous phoning companies - but the more you do it, the easier it gets... Honestly!
Again, preparation is key. Make sure you do the following things;
Introduce yourself and say why you are calling. Make sure you sell yourself confidently but don’t be too braggy!
Do some research on the companies, their roles and values - show you know what they are all about and make sure you can say what interests you about the company.
And the best tip? Practise before making the call; talking to a mirror is a bit cringe, but really great preparation!
If you can’t call an organisation, try to find an email that you can contact, but always push to speak to them on the phone or in person - it’s the best way to sell yourself!
5. Don’t take no for an answer (but don’t worry if they say this)!
Look, not everyone can offer work experience, especially in the current climate. Don’t take it personally if the organisation doesn’t have anything at this time and don’t get discouraged.
That being said, don’t just hang up if someone says no. Ask if they can offer anything else that can help you - could you interview an employer briefly to find out more about their role? Do they have any projects you could get involved in or videos you could watch to find out more? Not only does this show your enthusiasm and interest, but you are also presenting them with easy alternative options.
Good luck in your search! Although it is difficult, it will be really rewarding when you eventually find something, and the experience will help you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you record everything on your globalbridge profile too.
For globalbridge users, we have some great resources on MyLearnLab to support you even more. In particular, check out the fab video about how to develop an entrepreneurs mindset - this will help you loads!