Work experience stories
Work experience can be a fun experience, as well as helping you to develop valuable job skills.
Work experience might be something you have to do for a week or two as part of your school. It might also be part of your TAFE or university course.
You can also set up work experience for yourself so that you can get some experience in an industry or job that you're interested in.
Why do work experience?
There are many reasons for doing work experience:
- You get valuable experience that you can add to your resume
- You might get a good reference from your work experience employer that can help with job applications
- You might get invited back to do part-time, casual or holiday work, or even be offered a full-time job
- You make contacts that could help you find a permanent job
- You can get to find out what it's really like to do a job and decide whether you really want to do that kind of job
Getting the most out of work experience
Here's how to find a great work experience position and get the most out of it:
- Look for employers with structured work experience programs in place, or ones that actually seem interested in helping you learn
- Make sure you clearly state your experience, skills and interests on your resume so that employers can match you to the right kind of work
- Discuss what you want to get out of the work experience with your employer
- Be prepared to do some general, boring work, but don't be scared to ask to be given the opportunity to learn from first-hand experience
- Be polite, friendly, professional and enthusiastic, even if it's not as interesting as you expected
Our Applying for jobs section has tips to help you write a resume and cover letter, and to prepare for an interview.
Other things to consider
Make sure you complete all official paperwork so that you are covered for insurance in case you're injured during your placement.
Talk to the teacher or lecturer in charge of work experience at your school or university if you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities as a work experience student.
Links to information about work experience
Work Experience Manual
Outlines the things you need to consider when organising work experience. Download Section B, 'Roles and Responsibilities'. It explains your responsibilities, and those of your school, your employer, and your parents.
Victorian State Government guide to workplace safety for students doing work experience.