Do it yourself work experience…

diy2Work experience is an essential aspect of any graduate’s CV. An increasing number of employers expect new graduates to have completed a period of work experience during their studies  and actively look for examples of it on CV’s and applications during the recruitment process. Without work experience research* shows that,  new graduates can expect to take longer to establish themselves in the job market.

At this time of year, many GSA students are busy approaching employers and applying to work experience schemes with the aim to develop their CV, increase their understanding of the creative sector and build their skills. While searching for the perfect work experience placement, don’t forget developing a fantastic CV can also include developing your own experiences too.

Creating your own work experience opportunity can be a really positive way to develop new experiences and take charge of your own skills development.  Types of activities that can contribute to your CV can include;

Enhancing your CV with a ‘DIY‘ work experience  will not only develop your skills and experience it is also a great way to showcase your motivation, innovation and entrepreneurial skills to employers.  Not sure where to start here are 3 top tips to make sure that you develop an experience that really counts to your professional development;

  1. Plan….. make sure that you plan a work experience/project that will  help you to develop skills,  practice as well as being supportive of your long term career ambitions.
  2. Research and use support available…before you launch into your experience, do your research and identify who can help and support you achieve your project. Do you have family and friends that can help? What resources are available to you? What will you need to deliver your work experience/project?
  3. Record and showcase your successes…. don’t forget to capture your experiences and articulate your talents and success to others.  Employers are always interested in graduates who can demonstrate confidence, fresh ideas and huge amounts of  initiative so much sure you tell them!….

Finally, it’s not just students who are doing it for themselves with regards to developing their experiences….a recent article in the Guardian,  raised some really interesting points with regards to rise of DIY residencies within the visual arts sector. Artists are increasingly undertaking professional opportunities in their own terms by developing experiences that they devise , develop and deliver.

Read the article here: 

Further information

*Job Advantage for graduates with work experience- survey BBC:

If you are looking for a work placement this summer and would like some advice make an appointment with the GSACareer service today to discuss your options and approach.


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