Why you need to start thinking about work experience



Work experience may no longer be compulsory for school-goers in England, but it is essential for the new job seeker. So dire is the recent situation, with increasing numbers of students emerging from university inexperienced, the Scottish Funding Council have set out new guidelines to ensure grads are prepared for the workplace. But why bother with an internship, when you could be sinking pints with the rest of your friends?

Truth is, if you want to get a job straight out of uni, you have to have some kind of work history behind you. Research from Highfliers shows that almost half of recruiters expect previous work experience in a serious candidate. Those without must go without. And it makes sense; why would you hire someone untried and untested, when you’ve got a more proven candidate applying for the same position?

Forget applications: experience itself can be the best route to a full-time role. Up to 80% of today’s jobs are filled through networking, and where are you going to find useful connections working in your field? In a company you’re already employed at, of course.

Finally, it’s much easier to succeed at job interview if you’re already in a temporary position elsewhere. Fact is, job hunts are easier for people who already have jobs. Counterintuitive it may seem, but who are you going to bet on: somebody who is currently employed, and thus must be capable to some degree, or the down-and-out whom nobody else has gone for?

So don’t be the last kid picked for the netball team. Get an internship or some work experience today, and maximise your potential.

Susanna Quirke writes for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment firm which specialises in sourcing candidates for internships and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse internship London, visit our website.