When it comes to your job search, having previous experience to shout about on your CV and cover letter can help you stand out from other candidates. Not to mention that taking on work experience gives you an insight into the industry, enabling you to begin strengthening your skills. If you’re just starting out your career in the healthcare sector, work experience can be invaluable. Here are our top tips on finding and securing yourself the role that could kick-start your career. Put together a starting CV Putting together a CV is an important first step. This doesn’t have to be in depth, especially if you don’t have any relevant experience. Instead, talk about your education and hobbies and how these will be beneficial to your career in healthcare. You should also make a list of the types of experience you’re looking for and what you hope to gain from it. This will help you if you have to fill out an application, or can be used as a great tool when speaking to employers about the opportunities you’re after. Do your research A quick online search will reveal local businesses that offer work placements and even present you with a range of careers sites to explore. Alternatively, you could use networking sites like LinkedIn to search for opportunities or connect with other healthcare professionals who may be able to help you out. There are also a number of sites out there dedicated to finding and preparing candidates for work experience. For healthcare experience, Prospects and Health Careers are both useful sites. And don’t forget to check the NHS website as well. Start reaching out Once you have a good idea of the type of work experience you’re after, you can begin reaching out to local organisations. Before you begin contacting GPs directly, look at their careers pages and websites. They might have a dedicated page that can tell you everything you need to know about any work experience schemes they run and even let you apply for the role. Alternatively, if you can’t find what you need online, it’s time to pick up the phone or visit them in person. This will not only show that you’re keen, but allow you can have a proper conversation about the opportunities available to you. If you’re still in education, you might also have a dedicated career advisor that can help you by offering contacts, or pointing you in the right direction. If you have access to such a person, they can be a great resource for finding a work placement. Volunteering You should also consider volunteering, even if this is in a different area of healthcare to the one you want to work in. You could volunteer in the social care sector, or perhaps work with mental health charities to support those in need. All of these opportunities look great on your CV and can be a good way to gain relevant industry experience. And there are plenty of healthcare organisations out there looking for extra support! In summary Finding valuable work experience in the healthcare sector is about researching what opportunities are available to you and not being afraid to reach out! Right now the sector is suffering from staff shortages, making organisations all the more grateful for those looking to volunteer or take on work experience. CV-Library is the UK’s leading independent job board. For more expert advice on careers and the workplace, visit their Career Advice and Recruitment Insight pages.