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You have decided to take on a work experience student and have signed up to the Grandshake platform… Now what? We’ve put together this quick guide that will help you create a work experience opportunity and get students excited about the role you have created just for them!
It can be tricky trying to find tasks that will not only engage your work experience student, but also helps them develop skills and learn more about the industry. Try and think from their perspective;
What sorts of jobs would a fifteen year old enjoy and learn from?
If a student has applied for work experience, chances are they want a challenge and a chance to carry out responsibilities in the workplace. Perhaps assign them to a particular project, or have them job shadow some of your top executives across a range of departments. It’s also good to expose them to a variety of tasks so they can walk away with a comprehensive understanding of your business and the various roles involved.
A handy tip
Have a look at some of the students’ profiles on the Grandshake platform to see what skills they have selected they want to develop. This will help you get an idea of what skills students want to be exposed to, and can help you identify they types of jobs that can do this.
Once you’ve chosen a variety of tasks and jobs you can engage your student with, it’s time to post it on the Grandshake platform or a platforms where you can easily find students, such as university job boards, graduate websites, etc.
But remember who your target audience is!
You might be used to writing job ads and descriptions for young professionals, but students on the platform are exactly that – students! It’s unlikely they have any experience applying for jobs and will probably be feeling nervous about the whole process.
When you write your job description, try to make it as engaging and appealing as possible. Here’s how:
a. Don’t make it too long
This generation of students are notorious for short attention spans, especially when it comes to reading. Keep the description short and to the point, highlighting all the fantastic tasks they will be exposed to and the skills they will develop.
b. Emphasise the skills they can develop, not the ones they need to have
A common aspect of job descriptions is that applicants usually need a variety of skills and experience before they apply for the job. The unique thing about work experience is it provides students the opportunity to develop those skills – so it doesn’t make sense to ask for them in the first place. Try to avoid listing a bunch of skills they will need to have before they can apply – chances are, this will scare them off and you won’t get any applicants!
Instead, list the skills they can develop through the experience, and emphasise that your placement is a great place to learn and grow new skills with the support of your team.
c. Use buzzwords
As was mentioned before, you only have a short amount of time to capture and keep a student’s attention with the job description. Try to use buzzwords and phrases that will not only get them excited about work experience, but will also help with the nerves!
Phrases like ‘supportive environment’, ‘variety of tasks’, and ‘opportunity to develop’ will show students the value of what you’re offering, and that it’s something to be excited about, not scared.
If you really want to capture students’ attention and showcase the fantastic opportunity you have for them, why not bypass the job description and create a video instead!
It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant – a simple selfie video of you in the office is enough. You can introduce the team, give a guided tour around the workplace, and film others in their role and explain how the student will be able to support the team.
This shows the students you are fun and engaging, and willing to put in the effort to make this experience as enjoyable and valuable as possible.
It’s time to upload
Once you’re happy with the opportunity you have created, it’s time to post it!
Good luck and we hope you have a fantastic time with your work experience student.
We love hearing about work experience stories! If you provided an opportunity for a student we would love to hear all about it in the comment section below!
Let’s look at the top soft skills employers of the future of work are looking for, no matter your career path or job.