Boost your CV with work experience

By Raspberry Jim,

We’ve recently been joined by Swansea University student Nerys Durbin who’s written this great blog for us on the benefits of undertaking work experience.

Here Nerys gives us an insight into the benefits of heading out into the world and getting first-hand experience before jumping on the career ladder. For anyone looking to get into the communications industry, this is a great read …

One of the biggest worries during your time at university is wondering if you’ll ever actually get that dream job as soon as you graduate. With thousands of students graduating this summer, it can seem like a bit of a battlefield to ensure you end up employed.

Having some work experience in a role you might be interested in will not only give you the practical skills that are necessary for working in PR, but it can also give you the confidence to reach your career goals. We’ve collected the top five things you will gain from work experience, so you can stand out amongst those thousands of graduates and get the job of your dreams (or at least one that pays the rent).

Variety is the spice of life

Something a degree focusing on the theories behind PR won’t teach you is the huge variety of tasks that you’ll do each day. Getting some real-life work experience will let you try your hand at everything from writing blogs and press releases to creating a social media calendar, giving you actual examples of your work that can be shown to prospective employers. Having this variety of experiences will also give you something to chat about in that all important job interview.

Real World Experience

Whilst you’re in the university bubble, it can be easy to forget work you produce could one day be released into the big wide world. Getting to craft your writing skills away from an academic setting will allow you to grow in confidence, whilst also letting your creativity flourish. It can also add a new kind of pressure knowing that more eyes will be seeing whatever you get to produce, giving you a taste of how a full-time job would be and better equipping you to deal with day-to-day pressures.

Communication is key

You’ve probably heard this before, but communication skills are some of the most valuable ones you can gain. In a world where face-to-face interactions are becoming few and far between, having a solid set of written communication skills will boost your position amongst your peers. Whilst navigating a group project email chain at university can really test those verbal communication skills, nothing beats being plonked down in an office setting. Between asking for help, answering phones or sending professional emails, being able to effectively communicate will always help you out.

Try Before You Buy

Did you go to university thinking you’d figure out a career path somewhere between a 9AM lecture and a 3PM pint with your flatmates? Deciding what you want to do for the rest of your life is a lot harder than those distant relatives who ask, “but what do you want to do with that degree?” think. Giving yourself the chance to try out a variety of different jobs will make that journey slightly easier, even if it just allows you to eliminate the jobs you absolutely do not want to do.

Stand out from the crowd

Whilst that dedication to the university dance team will add something to your CV, having practical experience in a similar setting to a job that you are applying for will surely make you stand out. With a lot of graduates applying for a small pool of jobs, having some evidence of prior interest will definitely elevate your application.