Internships and work experience placements are key to improving your skills and knowledge, and look great on a C.V.

 

 

Securing an internship or work experience placement gives you valuable industry knowledge first hand in your chosen career path. Absorbing information, learning new processes and becoming a part of a working team gives you a realistic insight into the world of work, giving you an edge over other candidates when applying for a job.

As the job market is evolving, employers are looking for experienced, industry ready candidates who can hit the ground running. Completing an internship or work experience placement is a valuable experience which should be grasped with both hands.

Section breakdown…

  1. What will you gain out of an internship or work experience placement?

  2. How to get an internship or work experience placement?

  3. Hints, tips and progression

  4. Do’s and don’ts of an internship or work experience placement

  5. Useful links

What will you gain from an Internship or work experience placement?

To shine in your career you need to work your way up, using every opportunity to gain new skills and refresh current ones. The more you put into an internship or work experience placement the more you will get out of it.

Becoming an intern allows you to;

 

 

For more information on what you can learn from a Work Experience Placement visit the National Careers Service or speak to an advisor at your local Jobcentre.

  • Gain industry experience

  • Improve skills and learn new ones

  • Absorb valuable information

  • Experience the world of work

  • Impress your future employer

  • Improve your confidence, life goals and career options

  • Improve your C.V. content

  • Open up opportunities for continued employment

IconAfter your internship or placement, contact your mentor to say thank you – they may be an important contact in the future

How to get an internship / work experience placement

Applying for an internship or work experience placement can be as competitive as applying for a job. You need to use your initiative to help you be ahead of the game.

Many positions are advertised but you can also contact a company directly. Let’s take a look at the two approaches:

Advertised:

  • Draw up a list of companies which interest you

  • Research the opportunities available at those companies

  • Apply for placements as and when they are advertised

  • Get in touch with the Jobcentre, local colleges and training providers to see if they can assist

Approach:

  • Find companies that you’d like to work for, even if they aren’t advertising vacancies

  • Create a strong C.V. and covering letter then start approaching your target companies, asking if they would consider accepting you for a placement

  • Be sure to really sell your skills and personality, as a confident approach and the right C.V. could make all the difference

Do

Dress for your role and the company culture

Be on time, early if possible

Listen and learn from your work colleagues

Show your enthusiasm and willingness to do well

Use your own initiative to go above and beyond

Ask questions and be inquisitive

Use your skills to express your talent

Network and keep in touch with your mentor/manager

Be confident but not arrogant

Don’t

Be late

Be afraid to ask questions if you do not understand

Complain about your role or duties – if something isn’t working speak to your manager

Argue with your work colleagues

Be afraid to make suggestions

Swear, use slang words or be rude

Assume you know everything, as we all have something to learn

Take to social media to complain about the company or colleague

Hints, Tips & Progression

PROGRESSION: Treating your internship or work experience placement as a job will have a positive effect on the way others treat you. You might find that being involved and eager to learn will open up extra opportunities

TIP: Always be professional

HINT: Use your initiative, don’t wait to be told what to do next, get involved and help out

TIP: As placements are often short make sure you use your time wisely, and get the best out of the opportunity

HINT: Listen and absorb information from people around you

PROGRESSION: Be dedicated and enthusiastic, and colleagues will remember you and could become valuable contacts or lifelong friends

HINT: Networking is key in developing your career – always look for opportunities to grow your contacts list

PROGRESSION: Complete as many placements or internships as you can – this will make you more attractive to future employers

TIP: Enhance your career portfolio by noting down any successful projects that you have worked on. These achievements could be key to your future employment

What Next?

Want to get an internship or work experience placement ? these links will help...

C.V & Cover Letter

Want to start applying for internships and work experience placements? You’re going to need a stand out C.V and a strong Cover Letter. Click the link to view our C.V & Cover Letter section.

Interviews

Time to brush up on those interview skills? Visit our helpful section with the best interview hints and tips.