How to take advantage of back to school season in order to kick-start your work experience search?
It’s nearly back to school season, and within a few days, you’ll have to get back on tracks and find a work experience. Now would the ideal moment to do so, for the companies looking for trainees are a plenty at this time of the year. But where to start? Here are a few tracks to be more efficient in your search for a work experience.
Mobilise Your Network
Before launching yourself full heartedly into reading volumes of work experience offers, start by focusing on your own network. For this first step, you may cast a wide net by asking yourself, for example:
—Who do you know, in what company?
—What person did you meet at one conference or another?
—Where does one of your professional teachers or tutors work?
Once you’ve identified then selected all these possible links, don’t hesitate to contact them by sharing your search and your interest for the company or said line of business (by eventually reminding them how you got to know each other).
Knowing one’s contact person and having a more or less direct link with him or her can only be beneficial. You shouldn’t censor this first step, for nothing is lost in case your speaker unfortunately has nothing offer.
Draw Attention to Yourself
Mention your work experience search to your relatives by stating its key features (duration, line of business/company, town/country). You will therefore increase the opportunities that may arise through word-of-mouth.
You can also mention your research on professional social networks. You can do it by writing in the very visible thumbnail for your ‘professional designation’ on LinkedIn (just under your full name), along with your Twitter bio.
Don’t hesitate either to post about your work experience search on your social networks, inviting all along your contacts to share or retweet your posts. These different techniques will increase the visibility of your search, especially from the recruiters’ point of view.
Look for the Right Place
It’s not always obvious to do so during your first search for a work experience. Typewriting the title of your dream work experience in a search engine has very little chance to strike gold.
The best would be to start looking for dedicated sites (including Job Teaser, of course) or specialised sites according to your field if interest, like Jobculture, for example (http://www.jobculture.fr/) in the cultural and broadcasting fields. Your school or university might have set up a platform intended to help you in your search for a work experience, with regular postings of offers.
Here too, you may find help in the social networks. Check out your school’s Facebook group, where former students might post work experience offers. There also exists Facebook groups dedicated to finding a work experience, more often than not in a specific field (for example, to find a work experience in a startup: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1416595248636294/?fref=ts). Finally, some companies might post work experience offers directly on their LinkedIn page or on their website (search for the link ‘careers’ on the website). Responsiveness is the key to searching for a work experience through offers. If an offer was posted more than ten days ago, consider it a goner.
These work experiences offers may give you ideas for your career plan, by pinning down the company’s needs and the key missions of the job position. You can therefore use it as an information source to outline the company’s expectations in order to visit it yourself, but knowingly so. Or you might look for a similar kind of job within another company.
Create Your Opportunities
The inconvenient about work experience offers is that you can get easily overwhelmed by reading them, especially when their authors are often drowning in phone calls and applications. These offers will definitely mention you one of said company’s specific needs, but nobody ever heard of a company posting about the lack of need of trainees.
Rather embrace a proactive approach by contacting directly companies you’re interested by in order to inform them about your search by showing your interest for the company. Mention which line of business you’re interested by, without feeling the need to be too specific about the job position, for you’d risk to lose some opportunities. Customise each application according to the company, completely rethinking the message (even though it’s possible for you to keep some elements) without giving into cut-and-paste.
Don’t worry about not having contacts, a certain amount of business directories (often provided by school and college libraries) in which you’ll find fairly accurate contacts, like the Médiasig in the field of communication. Otherwise, the companies’ websites or their switchboard (if you ask for a contact) might help you out.
List and Relaunch
Once all these lines of research are enquired, there’s a chance you might have a bit of difficulty remembering every single people you’ve contacted. You might even feel completely unprepared while being called to possibly plan an interview.
To avoid this slightly embarrassing situation, the best remains to list all the people you’ve contacted. For example, by writing down their name, their company, the date you’d contacted them and the means of contacting in order to locate them quickly.
This should make your life easier to relaunch your applications. Indeed, there’s very little chance for every person you’ve contacted to answer back on the first go. After a week or two (within schedule), you may allow yourself a first relaunch. Some people definitely won’t answer back but other people will remember you while they didn’t have the opportunity to call you back the first time or simply forgot to, in the meantime. Don’t lose hope. With a bit of determination and by showing your motivation, you should be able to secure your dream internship!
Written by JobTeaser