Nowadays good education is already not enough to guarantee a young specialist the bright career he desires. The joke about “hiring entry-level applicants with minimum three years of previous experience” sounds not like a 100% joke anymore. To improve your chances of being hired and overall career perspectives you should think about gaining some hands-on experience during the University years already. Modern employers expect their future team members to develop their core practical skills very actively and make every efforts to start building their CV as early as possible.
Working experience obtained still in the course of education can be extremely beneficial for the candidate as well. On the one hand, he has a chance to earn some extra means, on the other hand, he is free to try and choose various jobs and test different careers to find the one, which he really enjoys most. Besides, such practice at the young age helps the students not only learn about the particular job, profession, company or sector but establish useful ties and relations in the relevant field. If you have an intention to develop a career in a certain company in the future, the previous experience in it will definitely be a brilliant advantage, increasing your chances to be hired right after graduation.
Before applying for a job, when still a student, you should make certain preparations. Here are some hints on how to do it most efficiently.
- Determine the goals you set. You can either try to put your knowledge gained at the University into practice and acquire working skills or just try to get a feeling and understanding of this or that field or business.
- Estimate the time you can devote to your job and keep it in mind when applying for a certain position.
- Make up your mind as to the priorities – experience or money, in case you choose the first, you can make the most of some unpaid opportunities.
- Find something unique, you can offer to the employer, be it a fresh consumer view or an innovative piece of technology.
- Make a research not only seeking for the companies you can apply to but try to find out about some special programmes or opportunities they offer to the young people studying for a degree.
- Create a strong resume and an impressive cover letter, demonstrate your genuine interest to contribute to the working place you apply for.
- Prepare for the interview, make sure you are able to speak confidently, professionally and with enthusiasm.
As soon as you have set your mind to spend some sandwich years gaining working experience during the course, you can consider several opportunities of doing that.
- Insight programmes. They are usually intended for the freshmen, being not a working experience as it is, but an activity providing the insight into a certain field, organization or company. The students can attend research-related activities, workshops, interactive games or presentations.
- Internships. Even if not paid, such an option is an ideal way of getting to know the field you are going to enter after graduation and some people, who can later become your colleagues. You can establish connections with them, which will be very useful for your future professional life.
- Voluntary work. It may help you understand social problems better and even solve some of them. This experience is also most valuable from the point of view of getting credible professional contacts.
- Vacation jobs. This option is good because it has no risk of work interfering with studies, besides you can choose some advantageous location to work in, you may even spend it somewhere at the seaside.
- Work placements. The opportunity mostly offered to the young people in the frame of certain degree courses. The students are often required to provide a project or a progress report on fulfillment.
- Part-time job. In addition to gaining a precious in-field experience, it allows earning some pocket money. You are lucky if you manage to find a job to meet your interests and fit in your schedule. Then you’ll be able to really develop a versatile set of skills useful for your future career.
- Freelancing. Being the most flexible arrangement it can become the most beneficial one, due to the fact that you can make your work remote. Thus studying in Europe, you can participate in some international projects, independently of the country they are fulfilled in.
Keep it in mind, that working experience gained during the years of studies brings the professionals-to-be much more than simply additional income or job-related skills, it develops discipline, responsibility, and self-confidence from early years.