Hints and tips to planning your work experience
1. Get ideas about where you’d like to spend your work experience. Thinking about your career ideas, your interests or the subjects you are studying can give you some ideas. If you’re still not sure, try our Job Matching Quiz.
2. Ask your teacher if they have a list of the placements that were used last year. This will give you some ideas of employers to approach.
3. Ask family and friends about ideas or talk to students in year 11 who did work experience last year. This is networking!
4. Larger organisations like councils or the health service sometimes have a system for offering placements. Search on the internet for ‘Work Experience Wales’ and you will see list of organisations who offer work experience or search for a specific organisation e.g. your local Health Board.
5. Contact employers either by phone or by visiting them. Explain you’re in school and need work experience and ask to speak to the person in the company who could best help you. This could be the Human Resource manager, the General Manager or a supervisor.
6. If you visit an employer it’s always good to leave a CV with them so that they remember you. Remember, you’re still young so you may not have a lot to write about, but you can list your name, contact details, your school, the subjects you’re studying, any work you have done already (Part time/Summer) and write a short paragraph about why you are looking for experience. Take a look at our guide From CV to Interview.
7. Some employers might like to speak to you over the phone or meet you before you’re offered a placement. Before you speak to an employer make sure you’ve prepared; have an idea of what the company does, be positive and have an interest in that type of work, know the dates you’ll be on work experience and prepare some questions to ask. Find out more about preparing for an interview with our Interview Trainer.
8. Don't give up!You’ll probably have to contact or visit several different places before you’re offered a placement.
9. Be brave! Why not try something different like going on work experience in another area or in a company you don't know anyone. Step out of your comfort zone (where you feel comfortable and safe) to develop new skills and meet new people. Who knows where this could lead to in the future!
10. Remember, no matter where you spend your work experience you will always learn something about yourself which will help give you career ideas for the future.