Experience really counts

Gaining some real work experience is an ideal learning opportunity and it can often kick-start a career. So, how can you get some experience yourself?


Volunteering is more often than not associated with the charity sector and is a great way to help you develop new skills and gain experience and knowledge.

Volunteering can be a great way to fill your CV if you are between jobs or can provide a new experience if you are looking for fresh opportunities and want to do something challenging and rewarding.

Volunteering can:

  • Help you gain confidence and self-esteem in the workplace
  • Help you stand out in your next interview
  • Provide you with experience of working in different sized organisations and teams
  • Help you to identify your strengths
  • Develop new and existing skills

Volunteering helps you to show that you have great skills like team work and time management. You will also benefit from volunteering because it will demonstrate to employers that you are proactive and passionate.

The organisation that you supported can act as a reference. Make sure you list all the skills that you gained during your volunteering experience. You can find volunteering opportunities in Essex here: www.volunteeressex.org


About 80% of employers think work experience is essential, according to a survey by the City & Guilds vocational training organisation.


Many people who are seeking jobs are exploring their options through job internships. Traditionally internships have been viewed as the domain of the university student, however internships are now being filled more and more by people from a range of backgrounds.

Internship positions should really be paid and those that are unpaid should be treated as work experience, similar to what you might do whilst you are at school or college.

Work experience placements can also be extremely helpful, but make sure you know whether your internship is paid or unpaid before agreeing to take it up. If you are worried about your employment rights as an intern visit: www.gov.uk/employment-rights-for-interns for more detailed information.

Internships provide direct experience of working in a particular role and can let you experience a career whilst discovering if you have a realinterest in it. Most adults are already experienced workers, which may give them an advantage when trying to land an internship. Many employers use an internship to assess the intern’s ability and employability, and many employers go on to recruit interns who make a good impression. Internships can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on the sector or the employer. These opportunities will really help boost your CV as well as help you develop new skills.

Your internship may open up opportunities for other vacancies as, often, it’s when you are working in a company that you hear of opportunities within it. Just be wary of unpaid internships as working for free is not sustainable or beneficial in the long term.

Construction experience

Two-thirds of employers would be more likely to hire a person with work experience over someone with none.

Print this page: