Work experience

Work experience

Find a job

Work experience and internships are designed to help you gain hands-on experience in your chosen industry. They help you build key skills, get a feel for the general world or work and company culture, and enable you to make industry contacts.

This type of experience is valued highly among employers as it shows that you already have some experience of the industry, and have been proactive about searching for opportunity.

It's important that you understand what you did during your work experience or internship, and know how to present it in a way which relates directly to the position you're applying for.

Think about the company and your contribution:

  • Your role: title, duration, start date, location.
  • Company details - big /small, revenues, products, departments.
  • The market: developments, competition, regional/global, market value, market share.
  • How you fit it: what you did on a day-to-day basis, how your role fit into the company overall.
  • Skills required and learned: what were the key things you learned which may be of value to other employers?
  • Achievements: did you or your department have an impact on the overall success of the organisation?

Thinking through these points and jotting down your answers will help you to pick out relevant examples when putting together your cover letter or answering questions in an interview. It should also help you identify what you're good at and what you most enjoy working on.

This exercise is not just valuable for formal work experience or internships, but for any part-time work as well.

All experience is relevant if you know how to frame it in the right way. It's easy to overlook good work, management skills, and planning, but it's all part of the skill set that you're bringing with you.

If you have no work experience to speak of, read on for our tips on how to deal with a lack of experience.