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How to get work experience

How to get work experienceWork experience is a great way to find the perfect career and helps your CV stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips for finding a placement that will make a difference.

Be warned! In order to get some useful work experience, you might have to put in some time beforehand to find the right organisation and convince them to take you on.

If you know exactly what you would like to do, and your parents or teachers have links in that area, then you’re lucky. But don't worry if not, since here’s what you could do:

1: Think about what you enjoy doing (both in school and as a hobby) and ask your teachers what kinds of careers are linked with those areas. A bit of online research is also helpful.

2: Ask your teacher or careers advisor to help you write down a list of your strengths, as this might give you some idea of what type of work you would be good at.

3: Once you have an idea of a job or industry you would find interesting, do some research to find some relevant companies or organisations in your area. This may involve browsing online and picking up the trusty old Yellow Pages.

4: When you have identified a few places you’d like to go to for a week or two’s work experience, write a letter or email to the managing director (if you can find their details), setting out your request and explaining why you are interested in their company.

5: Follow up your letter with a phone call, if you have not had a response within a week.

6: Once you’ve got a place, make sure you know what your role will be and what hours you will be working.

After you’ve completed your placement, sit down and make a list of what you enjoyed and what you didn’t like about your experience.

This should help you make a decision about your future career. If all of your feedback is positive, ask the organisation if you can do some more work experience, or even part-time work in your school holidays.