How to talk to potential employers about your work experience

How to talk to potential employers about your work experience

With a strong focus on skills development, Sparrow FET College aims to equip our students with all the practical, real-life tools that they’ll need in particular fields of the job market. We have no doubt that the students who complete any of our accredited training programmes leave with a theoretical, real-life and practical background that will drive their careers and make them an asset to any organisation they ultimately join.

What sets Sparrow FET College apart from similar FET colleges is our placement of students with companies and organisations that equip them with work experience that is invaluable in the job market.

This is how Sparrow FET graduates should communicate their extensive job experience to potential employers when they start seeking full-time employment.

Highlight working examples that can benefit the company you’re applying to

When going for a job interview, applicants often try and highlight those skills they think will put the focus on how their skills may make them useful to the organisation they are applying to. Of course, it is important to mention the skills they acquired during in-service training, but backing that up with real-life working examples of how they actually used those skills in their jobs makes the interview – and the candidate – significantly more memorable to potential employers.

Let’s say you completed in-service training at a restaurant. It is definitely important to mention the practical skills that you used in your job, but talking about actual examples of how you utilised those skills to make yourself indispensable shows potential employers that you have the ability to take initiative.

For example, it might be useful to mention the time you decided to streamline the kitchen in order to lessen food waste, or the time you used leftover vegetable to make a soup that could be sold the next day. Any practical examples of skills that were put to work in a way that was useful to the organisation you did training with is worth a mention.

Mention repeated work experience

Whether it was a part of your in-service training or perhaps a job that you had previously, it is always good to mention repeated work experience to potential employers.

If you were invited back for a second placement at a particular organisation, it tells potential employers that other people had confidence in your abilities to such an extent that they wanted you to come and work there again. This makes you an attractive candidate for the position they are looking to fill.

Don’t only mention relevant work experience

Yes, you should definitely mention positions you may have held that were similar to the job you are applying for, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that is the only experience you should talk about. You may have held a position within an organisation that didn’t necessarily tie in with the position you are applying for now, but still highlights your problem-solving skills, abilities and talents.

In this regard, you can even go as far as mentioning leadership positions or extracurricular activities that you took part in when you were in school. You can try to make this experience relevant by hooking it onto other skills that are relevant in the job you are applying for, even though they are not explicitly related to similar positions.

For most students leaving Sparrow FET College, work experience is an added bonus they take into the job market. However, the extensive work experience we offer as a part of our programmes is often not the only work-related experience our students have.

Making use of real-life examples when discussing previous employment and experience makes potential employers remember you, because they remember the story of how your keen mind and problem-solving skills were used to benefit the organisation you were working for.

When they can see how you were indispensable to previous employers, potential employers can envision how you may be indispensable to them, and that goes a long way in securing good full-time employment that further broadens the realm of experience you have to present to whichever organisation you join next.

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