Making the most of your work experience

progressing career level cvs

Congratulations you have secured work experience and now want to ensure you make the most of your time. Work experience looks great on a CV and can be an ideal way to get into an industry. What you get out of your work experience is very much what you put into it so follow our guide to getting the most out of the experience.

Set clear objectives
Before you undertake your work experience think clearly about what you want to achieve. Is it that you want to develop your skills or find out if the profession is for you? If you have a clear idea about what you want to achieve the more likely you are of achieving this. At the start of the placement discuss with your manager what you are looking to achieve.

Get stuck in
It’s important to be realistic when undertaking work experience and appreciate that initially you may need to undertake menial tasks before being given more responsibility. You need to remain positive and enthusiastic throughout the work experience. Give it time and be consistent and patient and don’t assume you are above certain tasks. If you still feel unchallenged don’t be afraid to ask for more responsibility and offer your skills and experience for a particular project or task.

Be proactive
During the work experience you are likely to come in contact with a wide variety of people and departments. Take the time to listen to everyone, get to know your colleagues and meet other people from different departments. This is your ideal opportunity to network. Don’t be afraid to tell them about yourself or if you have any skills and experience that could be useful. Use every opportunity to demonstrate your skills, experience and commitment to work in that field or company. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, offer ideas or ask to be involved.

Maintain a learning log
Take notes of work you have completed and projects you have been involved in and keep notes of successes and failures. Use this as a basis of self reflection and it will be able to show how you have developed and areas in which you might need more work.

Ask for feedback
It’s always important to get feedback on your performance. Try to get this as early on in your placement as this will give you the opportunity to demonstrate an improvement. Look to learn from those who are more experienced. Receiving feedback can be difficult to hear but it is an ideal opportunity for development.



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