Written by Louise Hodgson, Editor, Graduate Prospects, January 2012
Wondering where to start your search for work experience? Look no further than your university campus...
Work experience doesn't need to be a two-week placement spent in an office photocopying, filing and making tea. A range of opportunities exist at university, from enrolling at a society or club to volunteering as a student support worker or taking on a part-time job in the campus bookshop.
Think about where your passion lies and what you want to do in the long run - which types of experiences will complement your chosen studies and help to pad out your CV with valuable work experience?
Sue Snowball is an employer liaison assistant at the University of Huddersfield. She recognises the benefits offered by on-campus work, with convenience and familiarity bonuses to gaining invaluable work experience.
'On-campus jobs are popular with students due to the familiarity factor. So to stand a chance of being successful you need to do two things. Firstly, apply early. Find out at the start of term when and where positions are advertised and check every week for new vacancies.'
As well as being organised and pro-active in searching and applying for jobs, Sue says the quality of applications shouldn't be compromised just because the job is temporary.
'As soon as you see a job advertised, apply ASAP and ensure that your application is of a high standard. Poorly written and badly planned applications will not be considered, so take your time and get some advice from your careers service.
'Part-time jobs are often more beneficial than you might think. Once you've found a role, look for opportunities to use initiative, solve problems or make suggestions. Doing this will be great evidence when applying for a graduate job.'
Graduate employers expect more than just a degree from applicants and work experience is an ideal way to develop your transferable skills. These are sought-after qualities such as: communication; teamwork; problem solving; planning and organising, which are important to all employers no matter which industry you wish to enter.
Once you've found
a role, look for opportunities to
use initiative, solve problems or make suggestions
To boost these skills and impress future employers, make sure you get involved as much as possible and try new things.
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