Three ways you can get the much needed work experience for your CV

Work experience is necessary for your CV and there are options available to you that can help build your resume. Picture: Freepik

Work experience is necessary for your CV and there are options available to you that can help build your resume. Picture: Freepik

Published May 8, 2024


Young people transitioning from university to the workplace often feel stuck when they encounter job applications that demand prior job experience.

Gaining the necessary work experience required for a CV straight out of university can be challenging for young people.

However, there are options available for young people that can help them gain work experience before securing a regular job.

According to Rajan Naidoo, Managing Director of EduPower Skills Academy, these are three ways people can get work experience for their CVs:

– A learnership is a formal qualification program that typically includes at least 70% work experience, spanning over one year.

– During an internship, individuals with qualifications can work for a period of up to a year and may receive compensation to cover their travel and subsistence expenses.

– Volunteer with an NGO or business while they are studying to gain experience and request a testimonial.


According to Indeed, an internship is a temporary job position that is often related to a person’s academic field of study or career interests.

An internship can offer a start in the career field that they are interested as well as provide practical experience within that professional role.

The internship that you have may lead to a full-time position, and some internships.


According to Rudi Mdima, Business Development and Relationships Manager at HyperionDev, a learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to a National Qualifications Framework (NQF) registered qualification. Learnerships are also directly related to an occupation or field of work.

Naidoo calls learnerships a bridge between education and employment as well as a lifeline to a brighter future for the youth of the nation.

Learnerships can bridge the gap between education and employment when executed effectively by combining theoretical classroom learning with practical on-the-job training.

They allow young people who have completed school to gain a comprehensive skill set that is immediately applicable in the workplace, along with the experience necessary for meaningful employment.


Patronella Sono, Staff Volunteerism Portfolio (SVP) Specialist at Momentum Metropolitan, said that job-seekers often find that prospective employers don’t want to hire someone that does not have work experience.

This results in a chicken-egg conundrum, as these people cannot gain the necessary experience through gainful employment without any existing experience.

According to Sono, volunteering can provide you with a valuable opportunity to gain experience in your field of interest, which can be included in your CV.

“Through volunteerism, you can learn how to identify individual strengths, delegate tasks accordingly, and foster a sense of teamwork and collaboration among diverse group members,” Sono said.

Is work experience necessary?

According to Naidoo, it is absolutely essential to get work experience for your your CV.

Naidoo said that most employers are reluctant to train an inexperienced including those with qualifications person as it takes about a year to obtain productive value that is equal to or exceeds the cost to company.

Job references that you may get from previous work experience are also crucial in establishing history and possible future behaviour and output of the applicant.

Don’t lie about previous work experience on your CV

It is essential that people don’t lie about previous work experience because most companies with good HR and recruitment functions do a variety of checks including job references.

Lying on your CV about work experience can lead to you being rejected by potential employers.

“If a candidate’s deception is undetected at application, it is most likely to be identified at probation which is 3 to 6 months which can result in termination due to performance inadequacies. In extreme cases of deception criminal cases may be considered,” Naidoo said.

IOL Business