Search Advice
Career Advice » Job Hunting Strategy» Getting Started » Don't overlook work experien ...
Don't overlook work experience

Don't overlook work experience

Andrew Chesterton & Sara McLean

Working for free is a great way to learn the ropes -- and place yourself in the perfect position for a job. Andrew Chesterton and Sara McLean report.

Work experience and unpaid internships are a crucial part of any job hunt. Applying to work without pay in an industry builds contacts and provides practical know-how and hands-on experience. Sometimes, it can even lead to that dream job.

Most universities and private colleges help students find work experience or internships. Although it seems a hard slog with little reward at the time, the effort can put trainees at the top of the list when a position becomes vacant.

Just ask Alisson Longhurst, 19, who is studying communications at the University of Western Sydney, at Penrith. Longhurst had always dreamed of a job in radio, so she applied for work experience at the Penrith community station WOW FM. Through contacts she had developed at WOW FM, she found a work-experience placement on WS-FM, a Sydney metropolitan station.

When the producer's assistant for the morning show called in sick, Longhurst found herself in the right place at the right time. She grabbed the opportunity to display her talent, surprising the station's bosses with her ability to co-ordinate the program. As a result of her stint, Longhurst was offered a full-time position at The Edge 96.1 in August last year -- a role she eagerly accepted.

Now she balances her university schedule with work as full-time producer of the station's breakfast show. And she is still affectionately known by the station's staff as "Ali the intern''.
Longhurst says doing work experience while studying means she has been able to match her university education with practical experience.

The experience has also given her an opportunity to prove herself to her employer, she says. "You build contacts and relationships, and if anyone is away, you get to fill in and prove that you're a good worker. "You learn the job without formal training; you learn at your own pace.''

Longhurst has some simple advice for anyone studying and looking for work: get work experience. "Almost everyone does their share of free work before they get a job,'' she says. "It was the best decision I ever made. If I hadn't applied, I'd probably still be working at a supermarket packing bread.'' Charlie Fox, program manager at The Edge, believes work experience is beneficial for both the business and the intern.

"It gives the person a chance to find out what they're good at,'' Fox says. "There are many different areas you can work in radio. "Coming into the company as an intern, you're able to see a variety of roles in action. This helps you narrow down your interests.

"The station receives a great sense of company pride when someone starts off as an intern and, through training and support, are able to develop their skills and work their way up.''
Fox says that when he's looking for an intern, he seeks candidates who are confident and passionate and who have raw talent that can be developed.

By Andrew Chesterton & Sara McLean, The Sunday Telegraph.

Latest Jobs

On Airtasker
Posted: 04/20/2014
Brisbane, QLD, 4125
Murrumbidgee Local Health District
Posted: 04/20/2014
Griffith, NSW, 2680
On Airtasker
Posted: 04/20/2014
Multiple locations
Hays Education
Posted: 04/20/2014
Canberra, ACT, 2601
On Airtasker
Posted: 04/20/2014
Melbourne, VIC, 3206

Want more personalised results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

INTERVIEWING

Preparing for an interview
Follow these techniques which will not just
cool an applicant's nerves, but help dazzle the
selection panel.

SALARY & BENEFITS

How to negotiate for your pay rise
Having that discussion is never an easy task
however knowing what needs to be done helps
in making the process easy.

ATTRACTING CANDIDATES

And the most sought-after skills are...
Hiring in many sectors is back to pre-GFC
levels leaving many employers "bracing for a
skills shortage".

MARKET INTELLIGENCE

Alt text
We have seen the recruitment market improve,
with online job listings growing by over 33 per
cent over the previous year.

INTERVIEWING CANDIDATES

Ten tips to hire the right candidate
You need to ask the right questions to see if the candidate has the attributes you need to grow your business.

WORKFORCE PLANNING

Toolkit for employers
Our resource centre will you keep you informed on the latest industry trends and help you manage your workforce.

FOR SEEKERS

Advance your career
Higher education, vocational education and professional development.
Email me jobs
Save a customised job search and get new job alerts sent to your inbox.
High impact resume
Want a professional, keyword-rich resumes crafted by the experts?
Post your resume
Upload your resume for free and let employers come to you.
Job Seeker's Toolkit
All the tools and advice you need to start your job hunt.
Career Advice
Browse more than 20 specialised sections to get ahead in your career.
Create a Cover Letter
A cover letter is the best way to put a face on your resume.

>>More Career Advice

FOR EMPLOYERS

Post a job
Post your job in minutes. It's simple and affordable from $170.
Bundled Offers
Find the offer that's right for your business.
Resume Database
Access thousands of qualified candidates.
Optimise your ad
How to enhance the performance of your job posting.
Online Tutorials
Need help to post your job? See our online demonstations.
Resource Centre
Workforce management advice, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Employer Toolkit
Most popular material for employers to get you started.

>>More Employer Advice

SOCIAL MEDIA

Facebook
Interact with us, have your say or just get helpful career advice.
YouTube
Watch our career advice videos and TV commercials.
Twitter
Follow us to receive the latest employment and industry news.
Twitter InspireMe
Receive a dose of inspiration to start each working day.
Personality Profiler
Do the test to find out your personality and work style.
CareerOne iPhone app
Now you can search and apply for jobs anytime, anywhere.
Blog: Cube Farmer
Kate Southam gets to grips with the highs and lows of work.

OTHER LINKS

Jobs and Career Resources
Find Jobs and Explore Career Resources
Company Profiles
Research companies, view company profiles and find thousands of recruiters.
Courses
Advance your career with higher education, vocational education and professional development.
What's new?
Take advantage of the new and improved features and functionality of our website.
Security Centre
Expert advice on avoiding online fraud.
Help
Read our help topics, privacy policy and FAQs.
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About CareerOne | Work for CareerOne | Partner with Us | Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Centre | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 CareerOne - All Rights Reserved Australia.
eTrustLogo
- V: 2014.1.40.6-312