Work experience is a golden opportunity to fill out your CV and get a taste of what your future career might look like. As placements usually last a restricted time only, you should squeeze all the knowledge you can from the company while you are there. We have put together some tips on how to make sure that you getting the most out of your work experience.
Be friendly and open
First impressions are important - you want people to remember you and to remember you in a good way. Make sure that you have a smile on your face and greet people properly, and try to remember people’s names to your best abilities.
Should you be asked to come out for after work drinks, cinema visits, etc, do try to join in. The social part of office jobs is very important and if you join in it shows that you are open to trying out new things and meeting new people.
Asking as many questions as possible have many benefits, including making you seem keen to learn as well as actually helping you learn about the company and work itself. Just make sure you are not asking questions simply for the sake of asking - you should be learning something from the answer.
Offer up your help
In the same vein, make sure you are the one who offers to lend someone a hand. By taking on small tasks for others you are proving yourself useful and helpful, and you are likely to learn something new while doing them. However, do not take on too many tasks at once or tasks that you are sure you are not able to do.
Do some networking
In the spirit of ‘joining in’ make sure to take people’s details before you leave your placement, whether that means a friend invite on LinkedIn, Facebook, or good old mobile phone numbers. You never know what the future holds and the contacts you make during your placement could be what helps you find or secure a job in the future.
Likewise, if you think it is appropriate feel free to ask your temporary manager to be your reference in the future. References are highly useful when you are searching for jobs, and someone backing up your claim that you are right for the job is very valuable.
Take notes of everything
You should more or less be writing down everything. By writing things down you commit them to memory in a more substantial way than if you do not. You are also creating notes you can come back to later to either re-jig your memory of what you achieved during your work experience, or to use to build on your skills.
More than ever, employers are looking for candidates with relevant and impressive work experience. Once you have managed to land a placement, make sure you are truly getting all you can from it. If you do, you will be benefiting from it for years to come.
For more careers advice along with hundreds of internships, school leaver schemes, and graduate schemes, visit Milkround.