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Work experience

Work experience can provide the crucial knowledge and skills that employers want. Let's explore how you can succeed when looking for opportunities.
Two women discuss work over an office laptop
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Work experience can really help get your foot in the door, especially if you find you’re not being considered for entry level roles. The majority of employers don’t advertise internships, so it’s up to you to get in touch with them regarding entry level roles and work experience opportunities.

In a highly competitive industry, work experience allows you to gain the crucial knowledge, skills and personal attributes that employers look for. As well as relevant experience and credits for your CV, you’ll also build on your transferable skills. In addition, work experience allows you to network. You’ll gain useful contacts when offering colleagues a hot drink and striking up conversation.

Contacting companies directly is a great way to secure work experience. Reach out to as many companies as you can, as it can sometimes take a while to find a company with the capacity to take you on. You may have already come across trainee schemes, apprenticeships and work experience programmes but do bear in mind that these opportunities are often limited and competitive.

But, they are only one entry route into the industry. You don’t need to rely solely on the larger companies when attempting to break into the screen industries. Instead, think outside the box a little and explore different avenues. Focusing on personal projects and watching a wealth of content, will help you prepare for a successful career.

When working in the screen industries, a great amount of flexibility is required. Work can initially be quite sporadic so you may wish to consider additional part-time work to support yourself at first. Working freelance, you may often be offered work last minute.

Create a strong first impression by demonstrating confidence in your abilities. Remember, you’ll have to impress at interviews first before landing work. Be prepared to work hard at the beginning of your career and this will stand you in good stead as you progress. As your hard work and determination begins to pay off, you’ll feel a great sense of achievement.

Over to you

What are your next steps to employment. Are there any skills you feel you need to work on?

Think about your career toolkit – your cover note and CV (plus showreel, portfolio or website if relevant). Can it be improved in any way?

Do share your thoughts with learners below and support each other in your career journeys.

© University of York; Jade Gordon
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