Work experience is 'vital for graduates'

07-04-2008

Work experience is 'vital for graduates'
Graduates should ensure they gain work experience during their university studies, it has been suggested.

According to the chief executive of Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services, Margaret Dane, placements and internships should be pursued by undergraduates, as should employment opportunities.

This will "offer students chances to gain experience, test themselves in different employment contexts and do some thinking about their own aspirations and values", she said.

Graduates recruitment schemes are beneficial to university leavers as they provide graduates with a wide range of skills, Ms Dane noted, although less than 20 per cent of degree holders will be hired by the top companies.

However, graduates should not be disheartened, as small to medium-sized enterprises also offer a number of employment opportunities which can give degree holders a good start to their career, she remarked.

Meanwhile, two-thirds of graduates are worried about finding a job, the Graduates Careers Survey revealed.

According to ClickAJob chief executive Yngve Traberg, deliberately hunting out work experience during studies is essential in getting seen and noticed.

"Just having a degree is not enough to give you an edge," he says.

"Employers need to know that there are skills behind the theory - and commitment behind the enthusiasm," he points out.

Mr Traberg's advice to graduates is simple.

"Show you're resourceful enough to go out and find the right experience - plus demonstrate you have hands-on familiarity with actually doing it - and your job application stands head and shoulders above all others.

"A degree with the right work experience is as vital as graduating in the first place," he concludes.

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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