by Amber Rolfe
Looking to gain some work experience?
No matter what your situation, a well-written work experience letter could make all the difference when it comes to being considered for your ideal placement, not to mention help you to stand out from a number of other applicants.
But how do you ask for it, and what do you need to include?
We’ve already covered what you need to know about work experience placements, but here’s our free work experience letter template, to help you get started:
Download Work Experience Letter Template
Opening the letter – Who are you, and what are you looking for?
In other words, covering the basics.
This section should be short, to the point, and most importantly – accurate.
Always double-check to make sure you’ve got the right address and name, and don’t forget to edit it for each organisation you send your letter to. Because (unsurprisingly), work experience letters addressed to the wrong person won’t impress any employer.
And, as work experience placements are rarely formally advertised, it’ll be up to you to make your own offer. So also give the employer a brief outline of who you are, what you’re doing (e.g. at school, university, or working), and explain what you’re looking for.
Example:I am a Year 10 student from Secondary School, studying GCSEs in Maths, English, and Science, alongside my chosen subjects of Textiles, Graphics, Geography, and Art.
I’d like to enquire about a potential work experience placement at Company Name LTD which I will be available to carry out for two weeks, from Date X-Date Y.
Third paragraph – What are your career goals?
This section should express a genuine interest for your chosen company and field of work, which should coincide with your career goals and ambitions.
And, as it’s likely that many local organisations receive a large number of work experience requests, you’ll need to place emphasis on your enthusiasm if you want to land your perfect placement.
To really stand out, show you’ve done your research, and express an interest in the company’s recent developments and successes.
Whether the organisation has recently launched a marketing campaign you support, you’re a big fan of their products or services, or you have a keen interest in the brand and what they stand for – expressing why you want to work for a particular organisation will help boost your chances of being considered.
Example: I’m keen on gaining some practical experience in a creative environment, as this is the field I’m looking to pursue a career in in the future. I’m particularly interested in working for Fashion Retail Company LTD – being an avid fan of your products (having used many of them myself). I also feel you provide excellent service and the atmosphere is positive and welcoming whenever I visit the store.
Fourth/fifth paragraph – Why are you suitable for the placement?
This is your chance to sell yourself.
List all of your relevant skills, and think of a real-life example to back each of them up. The examples can be from any area of your life (work, school, university), but it’s important that they accurately quantify your skills.
Then, consider your hobbies and interests, and assess what value they could add to your application. Are they related to the placement? Do they demonstrate any of the above skills? And are they unique enough to gain a positive reaction?
Example: I’m a motivated hard worker, with a creative mind and an excellent attention to detail. This can be shown in my most recent assignments for Textiles and Graphics, where I used both creativity and attention to functionality to create an children’s dress and an interactive board game – achieving an A* for each.
In my spare time, I volunteer at a local dance group, where I help to look after 10 children alongside a qualified dance teacher. This demonstrates my leadership skills, and ability to work well with others.
Closing the letter – Reiterate
Close the letter by summing up your suitability and interest in the field, and always express your gratitude for their consideration.
After all, an employer isn’t obligated to give anyone a work experience placement. You may be helping them out by offering to work, but they’re doing you a favour too – especially if gaining experience in the field you’re looking for work in will help with your overall career goals.
Keep this section short (one or two lines max), and abide by the standard letter rules when you sign off (yours sincerely if you know their name, yours faithfully if you don’t).
Example: As an enthusiastic student with a keen interest in what your organisation does, alongside an ability to learn new things and progress in this industry, I would be very grateful to be considered for an opportunity at Retail Fashion Company LTD.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Still looking for your perfect work experience placement? View all available positions now.
Here is an example of a placement cover letter. This is the structure and general length you should be aiming for...
Dear Mr Attenborough,
I am writing in regards of the vacancy for the marketing placement with IBM, as advertised on RateMyPlacement. Please find my attached CV.
I am particularly interested to this placement at IBM because of the focus on different areas of digital marketing. IBM is at the forefront of the digital marketing industry, and I am fascinated by the cloud-based software IBM provides for companies on email, web and social media. I have been reading about IBM’s most recent project, which aimed to improve customer experience across the buyer journey. It links closely to project I completed in the first year of my Marketing degree, which centred around optimising user experience for online retail.
I am halfway through a Marketing degree, and on course to achieve a 2:1. So far, I have focussed on digital marketing modules, which have imparted strong analytical and problem solving skills. I am also now proficient in basic coding. My three years of part at Mecca Bingo have provided experience with customer service practices, and other useful soft skills.
Thank you for considering my application, I’m looking forward to the prospect of discussing the placement in greater detail in an interview.