Applying for work experience


Even if you're applying for part time, casual work, applications for work are always competitive. Spend time constructing a targeted, well presented application and you'll make it easy for the recruiter to see your suitability and commitment to the role.  

Follow the advice here, take a look at the CV and application sections and make sure you get your application checked by an adviser before you submit.

Applications take time

Online applications questions for internships can be tough; recruiters limit word counts for applications answers deliberately to force you to write concise and skillfully crafted answers. As many as 80% of applications can be rejected at first sift, so set aside plenty of time to complete your application. If possible, write your online application form answers offline so that you have time to edit and rework them and a safe copy to review when you get to interview.

Internships can be highly competitive

Penultimate year summer internship programmes, typical of investment banks, are fiercely competitive. These programmes are openly viewed by employers as a means of identifying their future graduate recruits; the conversion of interns to graduate recruits can be as high as 80%. There are often fewer summer internship places available than graduate positions and the pay and perks make them very attractive to students.  Your application needs to stand up against strong competition

LSE strongly advises that you limit your application to no more than five.  This will help you to produce the well focused, expertly written applications needed, while ensuring you don't jeopardise your academic study.

I don’t have enough experience

Recruiters understand that your work experience will be limited.  They are looking for you to demonstrate commitment through your research and understanding of the role and a capacity to develop the skills needed.  Look for examples of relevant skills in your academic work, your work with societies and clubs, part time jobs and voluntary positions.

Try to identify examples from a range of situations; employers are always keen to find well rounded candidates.  Make sure that you have addressed all competencies and any specific requirements such as I.T skills; don't be tempted to leave things out.

Get your application checked before submitting

We offer a range of services to help you learn good application writing skills. If nothing else, come and get your application or CV checked by an adviser before submitting. 

Make good use of the CV and Application form lunchtime seminars taking place regularly throughout Michaelmas and Lent, see LSE CareerHub for bookings. The careers resource centre has reference books on application and CV writing and lots of take away brochures and leaflets and the links below will guide you to key areas of the website for more detailed advice.

Convention de stages

If you need a 'convention de stage' please see the information on our internship agreement page.

Top Tips

  • Target each application - you need to identify what the company wants and then show how you meet those requirements and why you want to work for that company, for every application.
  • Deal with each of the competencies listed explicitly. If you don't meet their requirements exactly think around the problem. If you lack knowledge of an I.T programme, show how you can use similar ones, or demonstrate your aptitude for learning packages quickly; if relevant, you could also evidence attention to detail and work with figures. 
  • Provide evidence, don't claim skills or experience without backing it up with proof  - and be precise, use facts and figures where possible.
  • Space denotes importance -  on your CV, give more space to those academic or extra-curricular experiences that demonstrate skills or experience appropriate to the job role.

Useful links