While reading this morning, the first article that really caught my attention was, Students find it harder to find work experience which was in Fridays edition of dutchnews.nl
“Students attending vocational training colleges are finding it harder to find work experience places because of the financial crisis.
The number of students with a work experience place or a training position fell in the first four months of 2012 by 23% to 123,000, according to figures released on Friday by the organisation for work experience SBB and the payment benefits agency UWV. In the same period of 2011, 160,000 students found places.”
That is a big fall in the number of places available and this makes it very difficult for students not only to finish their training and gain a qualification, but it then makes it harder for them to get a permanent position too.
Although they are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, student work placements provide students with the opportunity to find out more about the particular career they are considering by giving them some practical experience at the same time as allowing them to talk with people who already do the job so that they can find out if it is something they are really suited for. In addition a work placement can help a student to stand out from their peers when they are applying to universities or for future employment.
Finding a work placement can be difficult as not many companies advertise these positions. However, there is nothing to stop you from approaching companies directly and you can better improve your chances if you call up the company first and try to get the name of the person you need to contact as people pay more attention to letters and emails that are personally addressed (and it shows that you have put in a little effort to find out more about the company). If you are really struggling to get a student work placement in the area that you are interested, try and widen your options by thinking what might help to improve your CV.
And because a student work placement plays an important role on your CV, you need to take the same care and attention when applying as you would for any job application. This means being prepared.
Take time to find out as much as possible about the company and what they do as well as the industry there are in. Pay careful consideration when thinking about what it is you want to achieve from the work placement and talk this through enthusiastically with your employer.
Finally, stay positive, motivated and enthusiastic as these are characteristics that will encourage potential employers to find a work placement for you and if you receive a rejection letter, don’t view it as ‘rejection’ but as an opportunity to improve your application for the next time – if you are continually learning then you can never fail!
More tips on getting a work placement can be found here, http://www.power-to-change.eu/career-tips-how-to-get-your-first-job/