After writing a CV, you will need to return to it every so often to update it. Even if you have used a CV template, it will need editing throughout the year to add any work changes and to delete anything not relevant.
A great way to add strength to your CV is work experience. Working for free forever isn’t sustainable, however working for free for a few weeks will add content to your CV and broaden your experience. Depending on the type of job, it will also help you practice the job application process and refine your cover letter writing.
Where do you start?
Just like when writing a CV or cover letter, you need to sit down and think about what type of experience you want. Clarifying where you want to work will enable you to write a more effective email or letter. After targeting the company you can either phone and ask about work experience schemes or send an email with your CV and cover letter attached.
What type of work is there?
Volunteering can mean two things. Working for a minimal amount of money (internship) or working for free. Either one will boost your confidence and give you further skills that can help with your career path.
When’s a good time?
Whenever you have some spare time. If you are in college you will have time off throughout the year so this is a great time to gain work experience. It’s also a great opportunity to find out what career is best for you.
After you leave college you will be job hunting so building work experience is a great way to improve your chances of finding work. You may also find that a work experience role turns into full time employment so it’s definitely worth considering.
Remember gaps in your CV are ideal from the viewpoint of the prospective employer. So if you do find yourself between jobs you should use work experience placements to keep your CV current.
Should you impose a time limits on work experience job placements?
It’s a great idea to use work experience as a way of enhancing your CV. But doing it for too long could lead to:
- Jeopardising your skills learnt at school
- Making you unaware of current paid positions in your industry
- Hindering your financial situation
It’s important when building a CV to think about volunteering and maximising your experience but it’s crucial you use work experience when the time is right for you.
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