How To Get Aged Care Work Experience
If you’re studying your Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing), then you already know that you need to complete a vocational placement with a registered provider. The placement requirement is a chance to demonstrate the practical skills you’ve learned in your course.
It’s recommended you complete at least 80 hours of student placement, up to a maximum of 240 hours.
How Do You Actually Get An Aged Care Placement?
Create a list of all the providers that offer placements in your area, and prioritise those close to home. Save time and money on commute by doing your student placement somewhere near home, office, or other places you regularly visit.
Do some research and find out what kind of care each facility provides. Low care homes generally provide accommodation, along with occasional personal and nursing care, when required. High care facilities, like residential aged care centres, generally look after people who need continuous nursing care and even occupational therapy, which people doing student placement might find too intimidating.
It helps to ask!
Call these providers straight up or drop by to enquire! Emails are easy to forget and overlook, while a ringing phone or a person in the lobby is harder to ignore.
If you call them, make sure to be polite and be mindful of your tone and language. If you visit, stay polite and mindful, but also use non-verbal cues—smile, maintain eye contact, and make friendly gestures.
Create an amazing resume!
Having a well-written resume shows how prepared and serious you are about doing and completing the student placement. It’s a physical fact-sheet that you can leave behind for them to remember you by.
It’s good to write a short cover letter too. Introduce yourself and tell them why you’re doing the Certificate III in Individual Support course, and why you want to do student placement with them.
Don’t forget to include references in your resume. They could be current or former employers and colleagues, or members of a group you volunteer for. They may not work with the elderly, but they can still share what they know about you.
Make the first impression a GOOD impression!
Make it easy for the staff to say yes to you. Dress well—it doesn’t have to be fancy, but go for a neat and professional look.
Keep in mind that you’re aiming to work with older people who may be far more socially conservative than yourself. Be someone who’d take responsibility for the elderly and their needs, and dress like it!
Get ready for the interview before you even get offered an interview.
You don’t know when you might be offered the opportunity, so it’s best to be ready. Your first cold-call might even lead to an impromptu interview!
Even in casual conversations with staff at a centre or on the phone, anyone interested in taking you on will slip a few questions, such as:
- How will you balance your work and study commitments?
- How will you get to work each day?
- Have you worked in elderly care before?
- What other jobs have you worked?
- Where do you see yourself professionally in five years?
You can find a huge list in our Interview Tips and Questions for Aged Care Jobs.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try again!
Rejections can hurt – but remember, applying for placement is a numbers game. If you approach enough elderly centres, and if you politely show interest, eventually you’ll be the right person, in the right place, at the right time.
If you’re still struggling to find anything, then there are some other ideas you can try.
Alternative Approaches To Finding Placement For Aged Care Students
Volunteering is a great way to help you find a student placement during your training. If nothing else, students should still end up with references that can boost their resume.
The organisation you’ll volunteer with can be your entry point into the care sector. If the facility you want to work for is owned by a non-profit organisation that provides community services, you may put your name down to help out in their projects.
This will give you the chance to widen your network, and share that you’re doing aged care training and looking to do student placement. When a spot opens up, you’ll be the first person they think of!
Sell yourself (in a good way!)
The internet has broken down barriers between people like never before. Take advantage of that power and put yourself out there.
Gumtree, classified advertisements, and other similar job opportunity platforms are resources you can utilise. They’re seen by heaps of people each day, so posting ‘work wanted’ style ads for your aged care work placement could pay off.
Make sure you multiply and diversify your adverts across many sites to maximise your exposure. Keep copies of everything you post so that you can quickly repost it when you need to. Don’t be afraid to highlight your qualities!
Utilise social media
Social media has made it easier to connect with people. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social websites are amazing resources when it comes to doing a job search.
Facebook is probably one of the most widely used social media websites. Here you can search for your friends or their friends who can help you find student placement for your training. You can also send messages to pages that represent care centres and registered training organisations for assistance. Here you can also look for photos and videos related to aged care placement tips.
LinkedIn is a dedicated professional network where it’s very easy to search for and find people in positions of authority within the aged care sector. Many jobs are advertised directly as well. It’s a space where you can reach out to directors of facilities and even other students. Of course, you should start by creating an impressive profile containing your photo and your experiences and qualifications.
Twitter is good for making casual contact with strangers and brands. As an open platform, users are often more receptive to casual engagement and enquiries. You can also search for centres in the aged care sector or for other students doing training. You’d be surprised that services and positions are also advertised on this micro-blogging site.
If you need more information about the course, be sure to check out the Cert III in Aged Care page!
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