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2002
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Read advice on how to track down the perfect career opportunity for you.

How to Gain a Work Experience Placement

9005606_mIf you are looking to work in a particular industry and don’t have much experience in it, then you’ll probably find that your CV template is rejected because most employers want candidates who have knowledge and experience of their industry. But you can gain this by applying for work experience placements. Although these are often unpaid or only pay expenses, they are a great way to gain confidence and experience and can also help you to improve your CV. So if you are looking for work experience placements, here are some tips to help you gain one.

Research

The first thing you’ll need to do is research possible work experience placements. Search on the internet, contact local employers and network with your own contacts to find out companies offering work experience placements in your area. Before you approach a company you should decide what industry you want to work in and what experience you are looking to gain. Then do more research on the internet and look on company websites to ensure you can gain the relevant experience before sending out your CV.

Update Your CV

When applying for any work experience placement you’ll have to update your CV and send it to the employer. Although you probably don’t have much experience to list, you can still draw on previous jobs even if they aren’t related to the industry you want to work in. List your previous jobs and pick out key skills which you feel are transferrable and would be valuable to the company you are applying to. Also mention any work tasks you have completed that could be relevant to the job role you are applying for. Your CV doesn’t have to be all about work either – use the hobbies section of your CV to outline any hobbies that may be beneficial to the company or hobbies that can show your personality and work ethic. You can also mention any travelling experiences that could be of interest to the company.

Write a Cover Letter

Writing a cover letter is crucial as it will demonstrate to the employer that you have done your research on their company and it will make your job application feel more personalised. Your cover letter should include a bit about your situation, why you want to work in your chosen industry and what skills you have that are relevant to the industry. But most importantly you should outline why you want to gain a work experience placement with this particular company. Outlining this will show the employer that you have a real interest in their company and their goals and could improve your chances of gaining a work experience position.

List availability

Most companies offering work experience placements will do them on a weekly basis. You should list somewhere on your cover letter the dates that you are available to complete a work experience placement as this will make it easier for the employer when it comes to recruitment.

After you have done all of this you should send your CV and cover letter to the company you want to gain work experience with. A week after you send out your application you should make a follow up phone call to ensure the employer received your request and to find out more information. Sometimes employers get inundated with work experience requests so if you are successful, you could be waiting a long time to complete one. Work experience placements are very useful for your CV and they can also lead to other opportunities so they are often worth the wait.