5 Things you can gain from work experience
Many employers are increasingly looking to hire graduates with work experience on their CV. Academic achievement is not enough to see you sail through the recruitment process.
Employers want to see more.
Undertaking work experience or completing a year in industry as part of your degree offers you numerous benefits when it comes to applying for graduate jobs and commencing your career. What you learn from work experience is beneficial for both you and your future employer.
So, what can you gain from work experience?
Insight into working life
This is one of the most valuable benefits that work experience offers you. Completing work experience in an area that you are interested in pursuing a career in will help you decide whether it is the right option for you.
For example, completing a marketing internship could help you to realise that you definitely want a career in marketing.
However, it may help you to decide that you want to specialise in digital marketing and you don’t want a role in branding.
Working with people who are already in your chosen career will give you a clear idea of what the job entails. What you will gain from work experience is a real, personal insight into both the role and the industry.
Develop new skills
Whatever work experience you complete, you will develop skills that are transferable to future roles. You may improve your commercial awareness, your written communication skills (hello emails), or you may learn new skills specific to a particular industry. You’ll almost certainly develop your teamwork and interpersonal skills.
When applying for graduate schemes and jobs, employers will want to hear about the skills you have and examples of when you have used them.
Work experience will give you plenty to talk about.
Work experience will take you out of your comfort zone. You’ll have new tasks and challenges to face, so it really is an opportunity to push yourself.
The challenges you face may go beyond the tasks you are set in your job role.
You may have to endure a long commute, you may have to temporarily live in a new place and you will have to meet lots of new people. It’s all part of the parcel of working life.
Entering into the world of work and all the challenges it brings can feel daunting. Naturally many graduates feel nervous for their interviews and some doubt their own abilities.
How can you convince an employer that you’ll do a good job for them when you’ve never done anything like it before?
This is where your work experience comes in. Gaining new skills and completing new challenges earlier on will help you feel confident when it comes to embarking on your graduate career.
You’ll have already experienced interviews and you’ll believe you can do the job because you will have had an insight into what it involves.
A unique selling point
Your work experience is what will set you apart from all of the other graduates applying for the same jobs as you. Every graduate has a degree to offer and for many roles, applicants are required to have a 2.1 classification or above.
But not every graduate will have fantastic, relevant work experience.
If you can complete work experience in the industry you want to enter into, your application will stand out from the crowd. And you never know, the company you complete your work experience with may want to offer you a job!
So, what are you waiting for?
Get out there and find yourself some work experience!