Remember to ask for reference letters!

Lots of people have spoken about how important it is to get work experience in your chosen future career to show future employers that you are passionate and committed about the field.

One massive piece of advice that I would give anyone going on work experience is to ask for a reference from your work experience employer. Near the end of your time there it is a good idea to ask for this reference and ask them to include the types of tasks you carried out, what they thought of you etc. It doesn’t need to be very long – just a few paragraphs, but this gives you a chance to see how employers view you and how you performed at the work experience.

The main thing you can use these references for is to attach them to future applications. If you gain this work experience before you come to uni, you can use it in your UCAS application or if you’re applying for a Postgraduate course, you can use it in this application also. Even if you have finished your degree course, then you can use these reference letters given to you to show to employers in your CV etc.

However you use them, it proves that you have actually carried out this work experience (anyone can write on a CV that they have carried out a week’s work experience) and it shows how you performed in this time. On your CV or application you just write how much experience you’ve had, but this does not show how good you were at this placement.

So good luck on your placement and remember to try and get a reference letter!