5 ways to get last-minute work experience this summer

5 ways to get last-minute work experience this summer

Have all your mates bagged brilliant work experience this summer? Here’s how to nab your own ace placement at the last minute!

Summer jobs which give you a chance to show the world what you can do can crop up in all sorts of areas, from sports and music events to office work, shop work, ‘chugging’ (charity fundraising) and more. Check out 7 summer jobs that will boost your CV on Plotr for inspiration and keep your eyes peeled! Speaking of which…

Ask around

You think you’ve asked everyone you know, but have you really? What about your parents’ car mechanic, your local supermarket, or even your auntie’s office? Keep an open mind and expect the unexpected, because you never know what roles might turn up - your mechanic might need help with the accounts or your supermarket might want help with social media or marketing!

If it’s all gone a bit lastminute.com, it’s fine not to be too picky. Even if you find something that isn’t your dream work experience role, you can turn it around by being really proactive when you’re there, picking up useful skills and glowing work references on the way!

Volunteer

Take a look at the volunteering charity vInspired. They’ve got hundreds of volunteering opportunities all over the UK, and volunteering can be a great way to get some brilliant work experience. We’re not just talking helping out down your local Oxfam either (though that would be great). You could find yourself doing a placement that involves working in music, business, film or photography. To find volunteering opportunities in your area, just type your postcode into the Plotr job search.

Approach each employer like they’re ‘the one’

Doing the same cover letter over and over with the employer’s name changed isn’t going to work (sorry!). Employers can sniff out a copy-and-paste job from a mile off. You’re doing this last-minute, so your applications need to have the ‘wow’ factor!

Write a cover letter from scratch that makes employers feel special, and shows them why you’d bring extra value to the company this summer. Explain why you’re interested in working at their company (not anyone else’s). Be positive and say nice things about the company (everyone loves a compliment!). Get someone who’s good with spelling and grammar to give your letter a quick once-over before you press ‘send’.  

HOT TIP: Congrats on your custom-built cover letter! Now get your CV summer-fresh with these 22 top CV tips from top employers

Make the most of your social network

Social media can be your friend if you’re trying to bag work experience at short notice:

  • Employers will see you take your future career journey seriously if you have a LinkedIn profile on your CV! You can also use LinkedIn’s advanced search to look for “summer jobs”, “work experience” and “volunteering” in your area…
  • As well as following the recruitment accounts of your dream employers, follow @Plotr_UK on Twitter (ahem). We’ll keep your spirits up and tweet all kinds of advice plus we love to chat, so say hi. Ask us anything*!

*To do with the world of work, obviously, although we do like funny cat pics…

  • Keep an eye on Twitter hashtags and accounts for local communities, news or events. If your personal Twitter feed hasn’t got anything embarrassing on it, you can include the relevant @ or # in tweets saying you’re looking for summer work experience. Some kind person might RT your request or even get in touch! Hey, if you saw our Plotr article on the 20 most creative ways people have landed a job, you’ll see that sometimes social media CAN make career dreams come true.

HOT TIP #1: Add anyone you follow on Twitter for work reasons to a private “list” that only you can see. Now you can check job hunting tweets every day, all in one feed!

HOT TIP #2: Use Twitter’s advanced search to choose a location followed by some keywords (e.g. search for “Bristol” with hashtags like #jobs and #workexperience). You’ll get the latest tweets with work opportunities in your area, plus cool new accounts you can add to your Twitter work “list”. You can save this search and check it every day!

Final thoughts

APPLYING EARLY: Remember, if you’re applying for work experience early, focus on getting something to do with the job, industry or employer you’re most interested in.

APPLYING LAST-MINUTE: Remember, feel proud of yourself even if you pick up a placement that wasn’t your first choice! For one thing, it might just open your eyes to a career you hadn’t thought about before. And if it's not for you? Turn it into something positive. Focus on how you made the best of the situation and what it taught you about yourself – like what you're good at and what you need to work on. Using the S.T.A.R.R.S. method to talk about your past work experience in an interview or in a covering letter is GOLD to employers who might hire you in the future.

Good luck – you can do it!

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