Grantham Journal column: Boost CV with work experience
Work experience is becoming an increasingly desired item to have on a CV. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a young person who is still at school or college or you’re someone who is part way through your career, showing that you have lots of skills both socially and professionally is crucial. Work experience provides many benefits, giving you skills and experience that will allow you stand out to potential employers as well as helping you choose the right sector to work in.
Whilst having good grades and a wealth of knowledge will always be highly respected, more and more businesses & companies now look to your work experience to see what you are capable of. Having already worked in a line of work similar to what you would like to go into in the future shows that you will already know the basics, it shows that you have tried it and you are serious about your application and that you are committed to your work. Not only does it boost your CV, it differentiates you from others, it boosts confidence, improves work ethic and gets you into the routine of working life.
Work experience also equips you with certain soft skills such as team work, communication skills and commercial awareness, all of which are sought after by employers. Work experience doesn’t necessarily have to be in an area that’s related to what you’re studying currently or what you would like to go into in the future but it certainly helps. From an employer’s perspective, seeing that a potential employee has already been in a similar environment, doing the sorts of things that they could potentially be doing when they work with you is always a bonus.
Having done work experience abroad is even more of a bonus to both you and an employer. An employer can see that you are willing to step out of your comfort zone, you are willing to try new things and can stand on your own two feet in an unfamiliar place.
For you, you get to experience a new country and its culture, see how businesses differ abroad, make foreign friends and maybe you’ll even learn a new language. Look at programmes like Erasmus which many colleges offer for all expenses paid work experience abroad. There are also other companies which aren’t linked to education providers which will help you find voluntary work abroad.
If you’re now at the start of your summer holidays and have six weeks of free time, search for some work experience to keep you busy and boost your CV. Even if it’s one day a week, you will reap the benefits long term. Don’t waste your summer; think about your future! Good luck!