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WRA 
Standard External Work Placement Book L3 
Centre 
1 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
Eccles sixth form college 
Name Stuart Preston 
WRA Code W14E-GCD-ED3-SO3-02 
Teacher Damon Bramwell 
Placement Location 
Industry 
Signature of Work 
Placement 
Supervisor 
For Internal Use Only 
SSA 
Curriculum cross check 
Total number of Hours
WHY DOES WORK EXPERIENCE MATTER? 
Young people are among the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market because they 
lack the experience of the workplace and the job-specific skills that employers ask for. Work 
experience is something employers value, alongside attitude, almost more than 
qualifications. 
Over the last generation there have been unprecedented changes with traditional jobs and 
industries disappearing and being replaced by a more varied landscape in an increasingly 
global economy. Also, with the increase in the cost of higher education, the financial 
penalties for making the wrong career decisions are higher than ever before. The problem 
can be exacerbated by a lack of careers information in schools, particularly in schools in 
disadvantaged areas which may not have access to parental and alumni networks. 
Work experience can help to challenge employer perceptions of young people’s skills and 
attitudes, give young people access to networks and help them to make more informed 
career choices. Research by the Education and Employers Taskforce, It’s Who You Meet 
(2012), shows that the more contact young people have with employers, the better 
their chances of finding themselves in employment. 
WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW 
Before introducing a work experience placement scheme, it’s important to be aware of the 
basics: 
So, what is work experience placement? Work experience may be defined 
as: a placement on employer’s premises in which a student carries out a 
particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as would 
an employee, but with the emphasis on the learning aspects of the 
experience. 
The date(s) for my work experience days or week is/are: 
2 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell
Struggling to find a work placement? Friends and family contacts are a good starting point 
but check out the appendix at the back for tips, websites and ideas. (pg 17) 
1. BEFORE YOUR PLACEMENT: WHAT DO I WANT TO DO/LEARN/BE? 
Choosing the right career can be difficult, but having a defined career direction will help you 
with getting a job. But with a little hard work, some planning, and some serious self-reflection, 
you can set yourself on a path towards a fruitful, fulfilling career that can provide 
for you and your family. 
Consider Your Interests 
A. Consider your dream career. There is an old saying that if you’re trying to choose a 
career, you should think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you 
had a million dollars and you could do anything, what would you do? Your answer to 
that question, while maybe not literally the best career choice for you, may give you 
insight into what you should do. 
What areas/industries are I interested in and would enjoy working in? 
Games Industry 
Where I can program games for a big strategy company 
ICT Industry 
ICT Repair Shops 
B. Consider your hobbies. It is very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing 
into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider 
what you like to do and how that might fit into a career. 
 For example, if you like playing video games, consider becoming a video 
3 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
game designer, programmer, or QA specialist. 
 If you like drawing or art, consider becoming a graphic designer or an 
architect. 
 Or into careers you haven’t thought of or know exist at this point. Use some 
time to research careers and jobs you think you might find exciting.
What are my hobbies 
Playing Computer games 
Watching YouTube 
Reading Forums 
C. Consider what you enjoy or enjoyed in school/college. Academic subjects translate 
well into future careers but may require more schooling than other types of careers. 
Your favorite class in high school could very well launch you into your future career but 
you have to be willing to work for it. Think about the subjects you excelled in in school. 
Though it may not be your favorite thing to do, choosing a career based on something 
you are skilled at can help you excel and provide yourself a secure future. 
What were/ are my favourite subjects? 
History 
ICT 
Science 
D. Consider what skills you excel in? If you are particularly good at certain skills, such as 
fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may 
or may not be necessary, but skilled labor is often in demand and you will find it fairly easy 
to find work. 
What skills do I excel in? 
ICT 
Expressing ideas 
Typing/Touch typing 
Can use various software like 
Photoshop 
Reaper 
Unity 
game maker 
light wave 
Microsoft office 
E. Consider your interpersonal skills? If your skills lie more in helping and communicating 
with other people, there are jobs for you as well. People who communicate and interact 
with others well can easily get careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business 
positions. 
What are my interpersonal skills like? 
Listening 
Speaking 
Calm 
confident 
Problem Solving 
Assertiveness 
4 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell
F. Consider your future job stability. 
It is also important to consider a future career’s stability. Job markets fluctuate as society 
needs different things at different times. Certain jobs are also always in demand or 
frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for 
you and your desires for the future. 
 For example, many people recently went into law school and racked up often 
5 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
in excess of £100,000 in school debt because they thought they’d be making 
a very high wage in the future. However, law positions are not in demand as 
much the last few years and now those people have huge debts and no way 
to pay them. 
 Another example is working as a writer or any career based on freelance 
work. You may sometimes have plenty of work but there may be years when 
you have almost nothing. Working in this way requires a certain level of 
determination and discipline and is not for everybody. 
Need further help? Look on line at the National Careers Service who can give you some 
really helpful advice or talk to one of our Career Advisors in Services for Learners. 
2. ABOUT YOU: MY CV 
STUART PRESTON 
stuart_preston32@yahoo.co.uk 
34 finch ave Farnworth Bolton 
07935108343
OBJECTIVES 
I am currently studying Games design at Salford College so that I can become a games 
programmer and specialize in artificial intelligence of strategy and tactical based games 
EDUCATION 
June 2012 GCSE Grades 
GCSE Mathematics - (E) 
GCSE English - (D) 
BTEC Science - (Merit) 
OCR ICT Distinction 
GCSE R.E (C) 
GCSE Geography (D) 
June 2013 BTEC Grades 
Media Course Level 2 (Pass) 
Functional English (Pass) 
June 2014 BTEC Grades 
Games Design Level 2 
A CV is your chance to show an employer that you've got the skills and experience that they 
need. In today’s competitive jobs market, it’s more important than ever to make a good first 
impression. This can often be your CV, so it needs to be putting across the right messages, 
with the right presentation, and no mistakes. 
The most important thing is to take your time over your CV – make sure it’s the best it can 
be. You might want to leave it for a couple of days and then come back to it with a fresh pair 
of eyes. Get it checked over by several people to see if they can spot anything you can’t. 
When you’ve been working on something for a long time it can be difficult to see ways in 
which it can be improved. But with CVs, it’s easy to make the mistake, but very difficult to 
correct the damage done…. 
Employers who receive a lot of CVs have to make quick judgements to create a shortlist for 
interviews. Read on for some of the most common reasons for not being shortlisted. 
A. Typing errors, and poor spelling and grammar 
Not all of us are perfect with spelling and grammar. But even if it’s not a strong point of 
yours, your CV isn’t the place to allow mistakes to slip through. It’s the first impression an 
employer gets of you, and a CV with these mistakes in it can make it s eem like you haven’t 
put the time in, or you don’t think details are important. 
A tidy, mistake-free CV creates the impression that you are professional, thorough and care 
how you come across. So the advice is – get it checked by someone whose English is good, 
even if yours is good too. Don’t rely on spell-checkers – they can miss lots of things, such as 
words that sound the same but are spelt differently. A stakeholder isn’t the same as a steak-holder 
but they would both pass the spell checker…. 
6 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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B. Listing duties instead of achievements 
Putting in phrases like ‘responsible for ordering stock’ can make your CV read like a job 
description, when it should be selling your achievements as an individual. Try to re-phrase it 
describing exactly what you did, and what the positive outcome was. For example, ‘using 
specialist software, closely monitored sales trends and stock levels, and ordered stock 
appropriately. This reduced out of stock instances by 21% in 2014’. 
To make your CV sound more dynamic, use active language instead of passive. An example 
is changing ‘involved in the promotion of the company at industry events…’ into ‘promoted 
the company at industry events…’ This has the effect of making you sound like a ‘doer’, 
rather than someone who was merely ‘involved’ in something that a lot of people did. 
C. Not tailoring your CV 
When you’re sending out speculative applications it can be tempting to go for quantity over 
quality, and send out the same CV to hundreds of employers. Unfortunately, employers can 
usually recognise a mass mailshot, as they can sound general and unfocussed. 
In addition to this, you are missing the opportunity to sell your most relevant skills. Consider 
what the main skills are that the employer might be looking for and make sure you highlight 
your relevant experience. If you’ve got experience in both retail and care work, and you are 
sending your CV to a shop, make sure your retail experience is prominent in your CV 
D. Visually unappealing and difficult to read 
In an effort to include as much information in as possible, some candidates’ CVs can look 
cluttered, with long paragraphs of dense text and very little white space. This can make the 
CV very hard to read. Use bullet pointed lists and short sentences to make it easier for 
recruiters to scan for key points. 
Trying to make your CV stand out is a good idea, but another pitfall is trying a little too hard, 
such as printing it on bright green paper or over a picture. If you’re going for a daring visual 
approach, make sure it is tasteful, and probably only use it for creative jobs. And don’t be 
tempted to mix up your fonts in an effort to create variety and interest – it can look messy 
and disorganised. 
E. Too long or too short 
Another delicate balancing act this one. The rule of thumb is that a CV should be no more 
than two pages long. But if you’ve got a lot of relevant experience at a high level, you might 
not want to cut out this important information to squeeze it into two pages. Likewise, if 
you’re just starting out in your career and you haven’t really got two pages of information, 
don’t try to pad it out with irrelevant info – one succinct page would be fine. 
7 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell
If you are going to have a detailed CV that goes back a long way into your work history, 
make sure the information is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Think carefully about 
whether that Saturday job you had 20 years ago is still relevant…. 
You can read more CV hints and tips in our section on CVs and covering letters. You can 
create a CV from scratch with our CV Builder, get advice on what to put in each section, and 
look at the different CV formats to find the right one for you. 
My CV is now complete Date and Signature 
Student 
Teacher 
My on-line profile on Linkedin is complete 
with my CV attached 
3. RESEARCH: IDENTIFYING THE DETAILS ABOUT WHERE YOU WILL BE PLACED. 
Whether joining a large organisation or an SME (small medium enterprise), a young person 
entering the world of work will have several questions so it is important to think about the 
organisation you are looking joining before you start. 
Questions Research 
Name of 
company/business 
8 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
Address 
How long has it been in 
business? 
How large is the 
company? 
Number of employees 
Does it deal with 
international 
trade/issues? 
What does the 
company/business 
do/make?
Why are you interested 
in this company? 
What do you think are 
some of the issues that 
this company/business 
might find challenging at 
the moment? 
What are you most 
looking forward to 
experiencing? 
4. INDUCTION: INTRODUCING A YOUNG PERSON TO THE WORKPLACE 
Young people on work experience should receive an induction to the workplace that will 
help them to integrate quickly and learn about working life. These answers should be 
discussed with your WRA tutor and personal tutor. 
A. The induction is an 
opportunity to: 
9 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
What will I say about myself Comments/ 
Question/Concerns 
• get to know the young 
person 
(Is there anything in 
particular I should tell my 
work related activity link 
person?) 
• understand their 
previous experience 
(What have I done before 
that could be relevant?) 
• talk about the 
expectations on each side 
(What do you want from 
this work placement?) 
(what do you think they 
are likely to expect/want 
from you?) 
• establish the young 
person’s goals 
(Short term and long 
term)
• provide space for the 
young person to ask 
questions. 
(what do you want to 
know about this 
industry?) 
B. A good induction should 
include: 
10 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
TBell 
The answer(s) to this question is/are 
• an introduction to the 
organisation 
(including how the company 
is structured, and the key 
people who the individual on 
work experience will have 
contact with) 
• a tour of the facilities 
(including where to get food 
from inside or outside your 
building, where the nearest 
toilets are, first aid facilities 
and where the fire exits are 
situated (and any evacuation 
procedures) as well as health 
and safety information they 
need to know (this is a legal 
requirement) 
Location (desk or work space/area) 
Food Areas 
First Aid 
Fire Exits/ Health and Safety concerns: 
• a clear outline of what 
they will be doing during 
their time with you 
(this should also include 
room to add in the skills or 
experiences you are keen to 
develop) 
What I will be doing: 
Start times and routes to work/ passcodes for entry to the 
building:
11 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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Dress code and any equipment required: 
• a plan or schedule for the 
individual’s time at an 
organisation 
(clearly outlining what they 
are doing each day (for 
example, where they will be 
in the building and who to 
meet, and so on). 
5. SET LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR YOURSELF 
What you would like to gain or achieve through your work experience? Now that you have 
prioritised some areas for development in your ILP you can set yourself some learning 
objectives. 
For example learning objectives could include: 
To develop my leadership skills in group work situations 
To increase my confidence to contribute to meetings 
To gain a better understanding of a sales working environment and whether I would enjoy a 
career in sales 
To develop my ability to work with a range of different client groups 
To gain a better understanding of the work involved in accountancy 
Remember! When you are setting your learning objectives don’t make them too easy – the 
purpose of them is to challenge and push you beyond your current limits! 
If you need some ideas have a look at the list on the next page entitled Learning and 
Development Areas for work placement. 
My learning objectives are: (please discuss with your teacher and Personal tutor)
Possible learning and development areas for work placement. 
Transferable Skills 
12 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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Transferable skills are generic skills you need to 
develop whatever career you go into. This includes 
things like: team working, presentation skills, time 
management, conflict resolution and organisational 
skills. 
Career specific skills 
Career specific skills are skills you need to develop to 
work within a particular occupation such as 
classroom skills in teaching, recruitment skills in 
human resources, and research and writing skills for 
journalism. 
Personal 
Attributes or Skills 
Personal attributes are softer qualities which impact 
on your ability to achieve what you want to in the 
world of work. 
For example having the confidence to interact with 
different people and contribute to discussions; or 
having the objectivity to reflect on situations 
rationality and being able to take constructive 
criticism. 
Sector or industry knowledge During a work experience placement you can also 
develop your knowledge of particular sectors or 
industries. This can help you function more 
successfully within your chosen area and/or highlight 
to you whether it is the kind of environment you 
want to work in longer term. 
For example you may develop your understanding of 
the sales sector and what it is like to work in a 
competitive environment 
Organisational culture & Organisational culture can be simply defined as the
processes principles that direct how people work within the 
13 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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organisation. These are not necessarily written down 
or explicit and will vary greatly between 
organisations. 
Similarly organisational processes can be explicit or 
implicit, from finance processes, to decision making 
and line management protocol. 
Having a good understanding of an organisation’s 
culture and processes will enable you to function 
more successfully in the work place; and whilst 
organisations do vary, experience in one organisation 
can be transferred to and support your position in 
future work environments. 
6. WORK PLACEMENT LOG -RECORDING AND REFLECTING ON YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE: 
Many people assume simply by doing a work experience placement they will automatically 
learn a range of new skills and develop without putting much thought into how it will 
happen. 
Just by being a placement you are bound to pick up new insights and experiences by 
exposing yourself to new environments. However, the extent to which you learn from those 
insights and experiences and whether you apply that learning in future contexts, is greatly 
enhanced if you make a conscious effort to plan, record and reflect on the learning process. 
What were your main activities during your work experience placement? 
Why did you select this placement and did it meet up to your expectations?
What did you learn about the organisation you were working for? 
Do you think it is the type of organisation you would like to work for in the future and 
why? 
What aspect of your work experience did you find most satisfying and why? 
What aspect of your work experience did you find least satisfying and why? 
14 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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What was the greatest challenge you encountered during your work experience, how did 
you overcome it and how might you approach a similar situation differently in the future? 
Describe a situation from your work experience when you used your initiative; what did 
you do and why, and what was the outcome? 
15 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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What is the most significant thing you have learnt through your work experience and how 
do you think it will help you in the future? 
Looking back at what you have enjoyed and disliked about this work experience, how will 
what you have learnt about yourself influence the type of work experience or 
employment you will look for in the future? 
7. REVISIT YOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Have you successfully completed your objectives 
to a good standard? Talk this through with your teacher. 
Learning 
Objectives 
16 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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Identify 
Learning 
Opportunities 
Progress made Barriers to 
learning & how 
to resolve them 
Overall learning
WRA Sign off 
17 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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Student Sign and Date Teacher Sign and Date 
CV complete 
On Line CV and Linkedin 
account complete 
WRA placement complete 
(record total number of 
hours ) 
WRA reflective log complete 
Trip 
Trip 
Guest speakers seen 
Guest speakers seen
Comment Student 
Comment Tutor 
Appendix A 
How to find 
work experience 
There are three main ways to gain work experience: 
1. by responding to adverts for work experience vacancies. 
2. by creating your own opportunities by speculatively approaching organisations. 
3. by talking to existing contacts and family members you know who could help get you 
into an organisation. 
The route you adopt will depend on the type of work experience you are looking for. 
Companies working in engineering, IT, finance and business management are more 
likely to advertise vacancies than organisations in the public, voluntary and community 
sectors, and competitive industries such as media, marketing and journalism. 
If you are looking for work experience in less well advertised fields, you will need to 
spend more time finding out about organisations in the field and making speculative 
approaches to them. 
Work experience career directories 
Some, particularly larger, companies advertise work experience opportunities through 
career directories including GET, TARGET and Prospects. 
Finding out about organisations for speculative applications 
 Practitioner journals/magazines in the relevant field often advertise vacancies. 
They won’t necessarily be work experience positions, but they can inform you 
about what organisations are out there and their contact details. Also look in 
local and national newspapers. 
 Professional bodies and their websites often provide details of organisations 
working in a particular field/sector. 
18 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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 Lecturers and other contacts may be able to give advice and contact details of 
companies and individuals. 
 Internet search engines provide a quick and easy way to find out about 
relevant organisations. 
Websites advertising work experience 
 http://targetjobs.co.uk/work-experience 
 www.Placement-uk.com – under opportunities search for placement opportunities. 
 www.work-experience.org - National Council for Work Experience including a 
database of work experience opportunities in the UK. 
 www.step.org.uk – matches employers and students with work experience across 
the UK. 
 www.changeagents.org.uk/ - provides volunteering opportunities for students on 
local projects. 
19 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 
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Wra booklet level 3

  • 1. WRA Standard External Work Placement Book L3 Centre 1 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Eccles sixth form college Name Stuart Preston WRA Code W14E-GCD-ED3-SO3-02 Teacher Damon Bramwell Placement Location Industry Signature of Work Placement Supervisor For Internal Use Only SSA Curriculum cross check Total number of Hours
  • 2. WHY DOES WORK EXPERIENCE MATTER? Young people are among the most disadvantaged groups in the labour market because they lack the experience of the workplace and the job-specific skills that employers ask for. Work experience is something employers value, alongside attitude, almost more than qualifications. Over the last generation there have been unprecedented changes with traditional jobs and industries disappearing and being replaced by a more varied landscape in an increasingly global economy. Also, with the increase in the cost of higher education, the financial penalties for making the wrong career decisions are higher than ever before. The problem can be exacerbated by a lack of careers information in schools, particularly in schools in disadvantaged areas which may not have access to parental and alumni networks. Work experience can help to challenge employer perceptions of young people’s skills and attitudes, give young people access to networks and help them to make more informed career choices. Research by the Education and Employers Taskforce, It’s Who You Meet (2012), shows that the more contact young people have with employers, the better their chances of finding themselves in employment. WORK EXPERIENCE PLACEMENTS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Before introducing a work experience placement scheme, it’s important to be aware of the basics: So, what is work experience placement? Work experience may be defined as: a placement on employer’s premises in which a student carries out a particular task or duty, or a range of tasks or duties, more or less as would an employee, but with the emphasis on the learning aspects of the experience. The date(s) for my work experience days or week is/are: 2 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 3. Struggling to find a work placement? Friends and family contacts are a good starting point but check out the appendix at the back for tips, websites and ideas. (pg 17) 1. BEFORE YOUR PLACEMENT: WHAT DO I WANT TO DO/LEARN/BE? Choosing the right career can be difficult, but having a defined career direction will help you with getting a job. But with a little hard work, some planning, and some serious self-reflection, you can set yourself on a path towards a fruitful, fulfilling career that can provide for you and your family. Consider Your Interests A. Consider your dream career. There is an old saying that if you’re trying to choose a career, you should think about what you would do if you didn’t have to work. If you had a million dollars and you could do anything, what would you do? Your answer to that question, while maybe not literally the best career choice for you, may give you insight into what you should do. What areas/industries are I interested in and would enjoy working in? Games Industry Where I can program games for a big strategy company ICT Industry ICT Repair Shops B. Consider your hobbies. It is very easy to turn your hobbies or something you love doing into a future career. Many hobbies correspond to real world needs and positions. Consider what you like to do and how that might fit into a career.  For example, if you like playing video games, consider becoming a video 3 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell game designer, programmer, or QA specialist.  If you like drawing or art, consider becoming a graphic designer or an architect.  Or into careers you haven’t thought of or know exist at this point. Use some time to research careers and jobs you think you might find exciting.
  • 4. What are my hobbies Playing Computer games Watching YouTube Reading Forums C. Consider what you enjoy or enjoyed in school/college. Academic subjects translate well into future careers but may require more schooling than other types of careers. Your favorite class in high school could very well launch you into your future career but you have to be willing to work for it. Think about the subjects you excelled in in school. Though it may not be your favorite thing to do, choosing a career based on something you are skilled at can help you excel and provide yourself a secure future. What were/ are my favourite subjects? History ICT Science D. Consider what skills you excel in? If you are particularly good at certain skills, such as fixing things or making things, this can provide you with a great future career. Schooling may or may not be necessary, but skilled labor is often in demand and you will find it fairly easy to find work. What skills do I excel in? ICT Expressing ideas Typing/Touch typing Can use various software like Photoshop Reaper Unity game maker light wave Microsoft office E. Consider your interpersonal skills? If your skills lie more in helping and communicating with other people, there are jobs for you as well. People who communicate and interact with others well can easily get careers as social workers or in marketing and similar business positions. What are my interpersonal skills like? Listening Speaking Calm confident Problem Solving Assertiveness 4 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 5. F. Consider your future job stability. It is also important to consider a future career’s stability. Job markets fluctuate as society needs different things at different times. Certain jobs are also always in demand or frequently unstable. You will need to consider if the career you choose is stable enough for you and your desires for the future.  For example, many people recently went into law school and racked up often 5 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell in excess of £100,000 in school debt because they thought they’d be making a very high wage in the future. However, law positions are not in demand as much the last few years and now those people have huge debts and no way to pay them.  Another example is working as a writer or any career based on freelance work. You may sometimes have plenty of work but there may be years when you have almost nothing. Working in this way requires a certain level of determination and discipline and is not for everybody. Need further help? Look on line at the National Careers Service who can give you some really helpful advice or talk to one of our Career Advisors in Services for Learners. 2. ABOUT YOU: MY CV STUART PRESTON stuart_preston32@yahoo.co.uk 34 finch ave Farnworth Bolton 07935108343
  • 6. OBJECTIVES I am currently studying Games design at Salford College so that I can become a games programmer and specialize in artificial intelligence of strategy and tactical based games EDUCATION June 2012 GCSE Grades GCSE Mathematics - (E) GCSE English - (D) BTEC Science - (Merit) OCR ICT Distinction GCSE R.E (C) GCSE Geography (D) June 2013 BTEC Grades Media Course Level 2 (Pass) Functional English (Pass) June 2014 BTEC Grades Games Design Level 2 A CV is your chance to show an employer that you've got the skills and experience that they need. In today’s competitive jobs market, it’s more important than ever to make a good first impression. This can often be your CV, so it needs to be putting across the right messages, with the right presentation, and no mistakes. The most important thing is to take your time over your CV – make sure it’s the best it can be. You might want to leave it for a couple of days and then come back to it with a fresh pair of eyes. Get it checked over by several people to see if they can spot anything you can’t. When you’ve been working on something for a long time it can be difficult to see ways in which it can be improved. But with CVs, it’s easy to make the mistake, but very difficult to correct the damage done…. Employers who receive a lot of CVs have to make quick judgements to create a shortlist for interviews. Read on for some of the most common reasons for not being shortlisted. A. Typing errors, and poor spelling and grammar Not all of us are perfect with spelling and grammar. But even if it’s not a strong point of yours, your CV isn’t the place to allow mistakes to slip through. It’s the first impression an employer gets of you, and a CV with these mistakes in it can make it s eem like you haven’t put the time in, or you don’t think details are important. A tidy, mistake-free CV creates the impression that you are professional, thorough and care how you come across. So the advice is – get it checked by someone whose English is good, even if yours is good too. Don’t rely on spell-checkers – they can miss lots of things, such as words that sound the same but are spelt differently. A stakeholder isn’t the same as a steak-holder but they would both pass the spell checker…. 6 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 7. B. Listing duties instead of achievements Putting in phrases like ‘responsible for ordering stock’ can make your CV read like a job description, when it should be selling your achievements as an individual. Try to re-phrase it describing exactly what you did, and what the positive outcome was. For example, ‘using specialist software, closely monitored sales trends and stock levels, and ordered stock appropriately. This reduced out of stock instances by 21% in 2014’. To make your CV sound more dynamic, use active language instead of passive. An example is changing ‘involved in the promotion of the company at industry events…’ into ‘promoted the company at industry events…’ This has the effect of making you sound like a ‘doer’, rather than someone who was merely ‘involved’ in something that a lot of people did. C. Not tailoring your CV When you’re sending out speculative applications it can be tempting to go for quantity over quality, and send out the same CV to hundreds of employers. Unfortunately, employers can usually recognise a mass mailshot, as they can sound general and unfocussed. In addition to this, you are missing the opportunity to sell your most relevant skills. Consider what the main skills are that the employer might be looking for and make sure you highlight your relevant experience. If you’ve got experience in both retail and care work, and you are sending your CV to a shop, make sure your retail experience is prominent in your CV D. Visually unappealing and difficult to read In an effort to include as much information in as possible, some candidates’ CVs can look cluttered, with long paragraphs of dense text and very little white space. This can make the CV very hard to read. Use bullet pointed lists and short sentences to make it easier for recruiters to scan for key points. Trying to make your CV stand out is a good idea, but another pitfall is trying a little too hard, such as printing it on bright green paper or over a picture. If you’re going for a daring visual approach, make sure it is tasteful, and probably only use it for creative jobs. And don’t be tempted to mix up your fonts in an effort to create variety and interest – it can look messy and disorganised. E. Too long or too short Another delicate balancing act this one. The rule of thumb is that a CV should be no more than two pages long. But if you’ve got a lot of relevant experience at a high level, you might not want to cut out this important information to squeeze it into two pages. Likewise, if you’re just starting out in your career and you haven’t really got two pages of information, don’t try to pad it out with irrelevant info – one succinct page would be fine. 7 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 8. If you are going to have a detailed CV that goes back a long way into your work history, make sure the information is relevant to the job you’re applying for. Think carefully about whether that Saturday job you had 20 years ago is still relevant…. You can read more CV hints and tips in our section on CVs and covering letters. You can create a CV from scratch with our CV Builder, get advice on what to put in each section, and look at the different CV formats to find the right one for you. My CV is now complete Date and Signature Student Teacher My on-line profile on Linkedin is complete with my CV attached 3. RESEARCH: IDENTIFYING THE DETAILS ABOUT WHERE YOU WILL BE PLACED. Whether joining a large organisation or an SME (small medium enterprise), a young person entering the world of work will have several questions so it is important to think about the organisation you are looking joining before you start. Questions Research Name of company/business 8 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Address How long has it been in business? How large is the company? Number of employees Does it deal with international trade/issues? What does the company/business do/make?
  • 9. Why are you interested in this company? What do you think are some of the issues that this company/business might find challenging at the moment? What are you most looking forward to experiencing? 4. INDUCTION: INTRODUCING A YOUNG PERSON TO THE WORKPLACE Young people on work experience should receive an induction to the workplace that will help them to integrate quickly and learn about working life. These answers should be discussed with your WRA tutor and personal tutor. A. The induction is an opportunity to: 9 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell What will I say about myself Comments/ Question/Concerns • get to know the young person (Is there anything in particular I should tell my work related activity link person?) • understand their previous experience (What have I done before that could be relevant?) • talk about the expectations on each side (What do you want from this work placement?) (what do you think they are likely to expect/want from you?) • establish the young person’s goals (Short term and long term)
  • 10. • provide space for the young person to ask questions. (what do you want to know about this industry?) B. A good induction should include: 10 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell The answer(s) to this question is/are • an introduction to the organisation (including how the company is structured, and the key people who the individual on work experience will have contact with) • a tour of the facilities (including where to get food from inside or outside your building, where the nearest toilets are, first aid facilities and where the fire exits are situated (and any evacuation procedures) as well as health and safety information they need to know (this is a legal requirement) Location (desk or work space/area) Food Areas First Aid Fire Exits/ Health and Safety concerns: • a clear outline of what they will be doing during their time with you (this should also include room to add in the skills or experiences you are keen to develop) What I will be doing: Start times and routes to work/ passcodes for entry to the building:
  • 11. 11 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Dress code and any equipment required: • a plan or schedule for the individual’s time at an organisation (clearly outlining what they are doing each day (for example, where they will be in the building and who to meet, and so on). 5. SET LEARNING OBJECTIVES FOR YOURSELF What you would like to gain or achieve through your work experience? Now that you have prioritised some areas for development in your ILP you can set yourself some learning objectives. For example learning objectives could include: To develop my leadership skills in group work situations To increase my confidence to contribute to meetings To gain a better understanding of a sales working environment and whether I would enjoy a career in sales To develop my ability to work with a range of different client groups To gain a better understanding of the work involved in accountancy Remember! When you are setting your learning objectives don’t make them too easy – the purpose of them is to challenge and push you beyond your current limits! If you need some ideas have a look at the list on the next page entitled Learning and Development Areas for work placement. My learning objectives are: (please discuss with your teacher and Personal tutor)
  • 12. Possible learning and development areas for work placement. Transferable Skills 12 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Transferable skills are generic skills you need to develop whatever career you go into. This includes things like: team working, presentation skills, time management, conflict resolution and organisational skills. Career specific skills Career specific skills are skills you need to develop to work within a particular occupation such as classroom skills in teaching, recruitment skills in human resources, and research and writing skills for journalism. Personal Attributes or Skills Personal attributes are softer qualities which impact on your ability to achieve what you want to in the world of work. For example having the confidence to interact with different people and contribute to discussions; or having the objectivity to reflect on situations rationality and being able to take constructive criticism. Sector or industry knowledge During a work experience placement you can also develop your knowledge of particular sectors or industries. This can help you function more successfully within your chosen area and/or highlight to you whether it is the kind of environment you want to work in longer term. For example you may develop your understanding of the sales sector and what it is like to work in a competitive environment Organisational culture & Organisational culture can be simply defined as the
  • 13. processes principles that direct how people work within the 13 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell organisation. These are not necessarily written down or explicit and will vary greatly between organisations. Similarly organisational processes can be explicit or implicit, from finance processes, to decision making and line management protocol. Having a good understanding of an organisation’s culture and processes will enable you to function more successfully in the work place; and whilst organisations do vary, experience in one organisation can be transferred to and support your position in future work environments. 6. WORK PLACEMENT LOG -RECORDING AND REFLECTING ON YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE: Many people assume simply by doing a work experience placement they will automatically learn a range of new skills and develop without putting much thought into how it will happen. Just by being a placement you are bound to pick up new insights and experiences by exposing yourself to new environments. However, the extent to which you learn from those insights and experiences and whether you apply that learning in future contexts, is greatly enhanced if you make a conscious effort to plan, record and reflect on the learning process. What were your main activities during your work experience placement? Why did you select this placement and did it meet up to your expectations?
  • 14. What did you learn about the organisation you were working for? Do you think it is the type of organisation you would like to work for in the future and why? What aspect of your work experience did you find most satisfying and why? What aspect of your work experience did you find least satisfying and why? 14 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 15. What was the greatest challenge you encountered during your work experience, how did you overcome it and how might you approach a similar situation differently in the future? Describe a situation from your work experience when you used your initiative; what did you do and why, and what was the outcome? 15 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 16. What is the most significant thing you have learnt through your work experience and how do you think it will help you in the future? Looking back at what you have enjoyed and disliked about this work experience, how will what you have learnt about yourself influence the type of work experience or employment you will look for in the future? 7. REVISIT YOUR LEARNING OBJECTIVES: Have you successfully completed your objectives to a good standard? Talk this through with your teacher. Learning Objectives 16 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Identify Learning Opportunities Progress made Barriers to learning & how to resolve them Overall learning
  • 17. WRA Sign off 17 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell Student Sign and Date Teacher Sign and Date CV complete On Line CV and Linkedin account complete WRA placement complete (record total number of hours ) WRA reflective log complete Trip Trip Guest speakers seen Guest speakers seen
  • 18. Comment Student Comment Tutor Appendix A How to find work experience There are three main ways to gain work experience: 1. by responding to adverts for work experience vacancies. 2. by creating your own opportunities by speculatively approaching organisations. 3. by talking to existing contacts and family members you know who could help get you into an organisation. The route you adopt will depend on the type of work experience you are looking for. Companies working in engineering, IT, finance and business management are more likely to advertise vacancies than organisations in the public, voluntary and community sectors, and competitive industries such as media, marketing and journalism. If you are looking for work experience in less well advertised fields, you will need to spend more time finding out about organisations in the field and making speculative approaches to them. Work experience career directories Some, particularly larger, companies advertise work experience opportunities through career directories including GET, TARGET and Prospects. Finding out about organisations for speculative applications  Practitioner journals/magazines in the relevant field often advertise vacancies. They won’t necessarily be work experience positions, but they can inform you about what organisations are out there and their contact details. Also look in local and national newspapers.  Professional bodies and their websites often provide details of organisations working in a particular field/sector. 18 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell
  • 19.  Lecturers and other contacts may be able to give advice and contact details of companies and individuals.  Internet search engines provide a quick and easy way to find out about relevant organisations. Websites advertising work experience  http://targetjobs.co.uk/work-experience  www.Placement-uk.com – under opportunities search for placement opportunities.  www.work-experience.org - National Council for Work Experience including a database of work experience opportunities in the UK.  www.step.org.uk – matches employers and students with work experience across the UK.  www.changeagents.org.uk/ - provides volunteering opportunities for students on local projects. 19 Work Placement Booklet for Salford City College Academic Year 14/15 TBell