Can I Use SIWES, IT, or Internship as Work Experience? -

Can I Use SIWES, IT, or Internship as Work Experience?

When seeking a position, you start with your CV. This is your signboard showcasing your worth to the prospective employer even before being given the position. However, especially among fresh graduates, you may be wondering if including your SIWES experience matters on the resume. Will industrial training experience count in the prospective employer's decision to consider you fit for the post?

In this article, referencing studies and reports combined with personal experience as an education/career consultant, we will answer this question.

The Answer Is Obvious, You're Only Not Sure

SIWES means Student Industrial Work Experience Scheme. Students' Work Experience Program. "IT" often stands for Industrial Training. "Internship" refers to a temporary position within a company or organization where individuals, often students or recent graduates, gain practical work experience in a specific field or industry.

By merely checking the meaning of all these programs and schemes, it's obvious they're work experience. Isn't that what your prospective employer wants? Especially if you're attached to a firm or company with relevant experience to the proposed position, you're already a fitted applicant.

In this case, including your industrial training or internship as a part of your resume is a better decision. To the company, SIWES, SWEP, IT or internship already equips you for the challenging duties and practical working environment. They generally empower students' versatility.

Reports from leading workforce development organizations such as the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) underscore the important role internships play in preparing students for the workforce.  We, at Techie BEC Konsult,  have also observed that participation in internships is associated with a higher likelihood of employment and higher earnings later in their careers.

Similarly, research has found that there is also a correlation between multiple internships and
job placement. Graduates who fulfill the internship requirements for 3 or more sites are more
likely to receive full-time job offers. Slightly over 81% of the interns responded that these
experiences helped them either shift the focus of their majors/classes or adjust their career plans. 

How to Add Internship Experience to Your CV

Given the significance of internships in shaping a candidate's employability, it's important to effectively include these experiences on your CV. The most important thing is that you must be creative in adding this experience to create weight and recognition. Here are some strategies to consider:

1. Create a Dedicated Section

Create a dedicated section on your CV specifically for internships or relevant work experiences. You may not necessarily add it under "work experience". However, if added as such, it doesn't create any concern especially if you don't have any other independent work experience. 

This section should highlight the organizations where you interned, the duration of each internship, and the roles and responsibilities you undertook. Use bullet points to succinctly outline the key tasks and achievements during each internship.

2. Emphasize Transferable Skills

Still on being creative with your CV, focus on the transferable skills you acquired or developed. These may include communication skills, problem-solving abilities, teamwork, time management, and adaptability. You can bring these qualities under the "skills and competencies". 

It's ideal to state that you got better at those skills while you're undergoing your industrial training/internship. Employers value candidates who can demonstrate these skills, as they are applicable across various roles and industries.

3. Quantify Achievements

Whenever possible, quantify your achievements during internships to provide tangible evidence of your contributions. For example, if you completed a project that resulted in cost savings or efficiency improvements for the organization, quantify the impact in terms of percentages or monetary figures. This can come in bullets under the "responsibilities/achievements". This not only demonstrates your effectiveness but also adds credibility to your claims.

4. Tailor Your CV to the Job Description

CV doesn't have to be static. It's awesome to tailor it to the position you're applying for. Using the same CV for various applications may not be rightly ideal. Get custom! Customize your CV for each job application by aligning your internship experiences with the requirements of the role. Identify the skills and experiences emphasized in the job description, and highlight relevant internship projects or responsibilities that demonstrate your suitability for the position.

According to Hannah Russell of Talent Acquisition & Workforce Planning Specialist at Study Group, customizing your CV enables you to spotlight the skills, experiences, and achievements that are directly pertinent to the position you seek. Through a meticulous examination of the job description/advertisement and pinpointing its key requirements, you can tailor your CV to illustrate precisely how your qualifications align with the role, making you an ideal candidate.

Examples of CVs with no working experience than NYSC, SUG position, and SIWES

Just recently, I delivered a CV for one of our clients who lacked post-graduate work experience. We've got creative with his NYSC, student Union, and industrial training experience to create a CV that got him the job. Below you have it!

Addressing Common Concerns

Despite the benefits of including internship experiences on your CV, some candidates may have reservations or uncertainties. Let's address some common concerns:

  1. Relevance of Internship to Desired Role: You may wonder whether an internship experience in a different field is relevant to the job you're applying for. While direct relevance is ideal, transferable skills and demonstrated initiative can still make such experiences valuable. Focus on highlighting skills and accomplishments that are applicable across roles, regardless of the specific industry.
  2. Duration and Depth of Internship: Another concern relates to the duration and depth of internship experiences. While longer internships and those involving substantial responsibilities are certainly advantageous, even shorter or more introductory internships can provide valuable insights and skills. It's how you articulate and leverage these experiences that matter most.

In summary, internships, industrial training, and similar experiences offer invaluable opportunities for skill development, industry exposure, and networking. Hence, by including these experiences in your CV and addressing any concerns creatively, you can enhance your candidacy and demonstrate your readiness for the workforce. 

Remember to highlight transferable skills, quantify achievements, and tailor your CV to each job application to maximize your impact. Nothing is wrong in exaggerating your achievements and contributions - they're not lies!


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Techie BEC Konsult 7:54 PM (0 minutes ago) to me