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Can Work Experience Really Land You That Dream Grad Job?

Can Work Experience Really Land You That Dream Grad Job?
Author: Phani Posted Date: 07 November 2019

Many employers have faced criticism for advertising entry-level positions for newly fledged graduates that require experience. But if you’ve only just finished your degree and donned your mortar board, how can you gain the necessary experience needed to land that dream grad role?

Getting your first entry-level job, for which experience is often an essential, can seem like a catch-22. In this blog post, ProjectSet, an online internship platform opening doors for young talent from all backgrounds, explains how taking on work experience while completing your degree can give your CV the boost it needs to land you that all important first job and kickstart your career.

Work experience: Is it worth it?

Highfliers 2015 Graduate Market report revealed that half of graduate recruiters were unlikely to give positions to university leavers who hadn’t completed any work experience. What’s more, graduate candidates with workplace experience under their belt are more than three times more likely to be successful in their application.

This is unsurprising given that getting experience can teach young talent new to the world of work a lot of valuable lessons which they can take forward in their career, including:

  • Punctuality
  • Commitment
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • People skills
  • Communication
  • Industry-specific skills

It’s clear work experience is worth its weight in gold. Not only is it an instant CV booster proven to help candidates stand out, it’s also a great way to develop soft skills.

The barrier

But work experience opportunities suitable for graduates looking for professional careers are few and far between. Although open to all, the work experience placements that are on offer are often made unintentionally exclusive for graduates from high-earning and more privileged backgrounds.

Covering the costs

Work experience is a costly affair for students and recent graduates. Often working for little or no wage, young talent have to sacrifice their time to gain relevant experience in their chosen field in a hope to better their future career prospects.

But on a tight student budget, this isn’t something which is financially possible for all. Gaining work experience is a time-consuming affair, and many students from lower earning households simply can’t afford to support themselves while working for free. Although unintentional, this means that many of the available opportunities are silently exclusive to students with greater financial support.

The result? More advantaged students have the work experience needed to land graduate positions than those with equal qualifications who’re held back by the class barrier.

A helping hand

For those graduates who’ve ‘got lucky’ and landed their dream job, chances are it’s not luck at all. ‘Who you know’ can be a huge help in getting your foot in the door and getting your resume seen by the people that make decisions.

And for graduates looking to start careers in some of the high earning professional fields, including banking, media and law, knowing someone in a position in the field who can get you in the office for a week often correlates with the fact that they come from a higher earning background.

City living

Big jobs--and the work experience needed to get them--are often found in the big cities. But with property prices in these areas through the roof, many can’t afford costs involved with city living--especially when they’re not receiving a salary.

In addition to the uphill struggle faced by students crunching the numbers to make their loans stretch to complete unpaid work, the cost of city living just adds to the problem.

Beating the system

If you’re a student facing these problems, the doors to opportunities can seem few and far between. But there is a solution which can help you gain invaluable real workplace experience in your industry from a remote location, all while earning money.

ProjectSet is an innovative platform designed to level the playing field for young talent from all backgrounds. On a mission to change the face of student internships, ProjectSet provides a safe online platform where students can find flexible work opportunities which they can complete online to earn money and gain game-changing employability skills.

For more information about how you can gain work experience to help you land your dream job, get in touch with ProjectSet now.

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