How to Get Work Experience

When first beginning a profession, it can be a challenge to obtain relevant work experience. The right experience at the start, can jumpstart a profession. Sometimes, the jump can place you further along than entry-level.

1. Internships
Internships are wonderful, some are even paid! An internship is a great way to get a foot in the door to get some Work Experience. Remember, even though you landed the internship, it doesn’t mean you’ll be handed everything. The bottom line is now to be the YES-MAN(or YES-WOMAN). Accept new projects, get involved, and absolutely get to know everyone it is possible to. You never know, maybe you will even secure your first job through an internship.

2. Apprenticeships
Apprenticeships usually are associated with jobs outside of IT. You start out out working together with a professional and get acquainted with your selected trade. Even though unpaid or low paid, very rewarding opportunities.

3. Seasonal Employment
Maybe you saw an advert for tech support help over the holiday. Apply for it! Any experience is good experience. Make sure to document what you did to include in your resume.

4. Contract Work
Contract work is great work experience for any industry, and it is paid. Even though sometimes low paid, you’re new in your career and never above anything at this point. With experience, the long game will pay even bigger, and with experience – you will get there faster.

5. Non-Profits/Volunteering
Study a skill at school that you could use to assist a non-profit out with a job? Web design, mobile app development, etc. Volunteering opens you up to unlimited networking opportunities as sponsors of non-profits are often big companies seeking to be active inside their local communities. Get to know as many people as you can.

6. Personal Projects
Do you love to write mad code in your free time? Build anything cool lately? Put it on your resume!

7. Open Source Projects
Development skills strong enough to contribute to open-source projects? Look at sourceforge.com, dig around and get involved.

8. Networking with People
With any opportunity, school, work, get acquainted with everyone you are able to. You could be connected to someone through one of your connections. Endless possibilities.

9. Join Clubs
User groups, clubs related to IT – get in there. Opportunities to network and understand technology.

10. School or Government Sponsored Work Experience Programs
Generally internships, however with tighter guidelines as these programs usually offer more than pay and experience, get college credit.

Apart from my top 10 list, the key is putting yourself out there. If you see something, say something. Opportunities can be found in all shapes. As you gain experience, make sure you update your resume. If you need help download a free resume template from Minnesota IT Jobs.

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