Work Experience and it's Importance for you and your CV
Our Guest Blogger Naina Bhardwaj spells out the benefits
The current job market is becoming increasingly competitive and a degree and a good interview on their own is not enough. Internships and work experience are becoming more and more essential for your CV and landing you your dream job within your specific industry.
With more people realising how important work experience is for your CV, the application process can be extremely competitive. Long gone are the days when you would phone up, arrange a time and walk in. Most large organisations will have a scheme to apply through which often features multiple competency tests. This can help you pinpoint your strengths but also gives you the opportunity to improve on your weaknesses. If you are indeed successful in securing work experience and the application process was particularly difficult and competitive, you can make sure to include brief details of this on your CV to give it an extra boost.
If you’re still unsure about what you want to do as a career, doing work experience is the best way to test the waters without fully committing to anything as it is the best way to immerse yourself in the industry. There are some things which simply cannot be taught within the confines of a classroom. Meanwhile, if you’ve honestly just been slacking a bit then maybe this is just what you need to motivate you to seek out other opportunities and ensure that your CV isn’t blank when you do apply for permanent jobs.
You also now have the chance to network with those who are already doing the types of jobs you hope to do in the future. You can now ask the questions you have always want answered and can learn directly from their own experiences in securing their position. In industries like journalism, where contacts are of the upmost importance, you are much more likely to get a positive response speaking to someone face to face rather than ending up in their email junk box.
Additionally, iy gives you the platform to showcase yourself and make a good impression. If you show genuine passion and enthusiasm for learning more, this will ensure you make a memorable impact (as well as the more basic turning up on time and asking lots of questions). It could possibly even lead to a graduate job offer. Although you might even realise that this isn’t the right path for you but at least you will have realised in good time and can spend some time finding the right fit for you. In fact, you might even realise that this isn’t the right path for you but at least you will have realised in good time and can take some time finding the right fit for you. However doing work experience regardless of the industry in question also helps introduce you to the work environment. You learn how to dress yourself smartly, how to carry yourself and how to navigate workplace politics as well as learning what it actually takes to do the job in question.
And frankly, employers expect you to have done some sort of work experience before. They, of course, want to spend as little time training employees as possible so that they can be productive and ultimately bring in profit. A 2017 survey of UK business leaders revealed that 68% of the agreed that work experience helped prepare young people for the world of work. To employers, work experience shows a resourcefulness in seeking out opportunities, a strong work ethic, an awareness of the industry and a genuine interest and is therefore a key element in a successful CV and job search.
by Naina Bhardwaj