Graduate jobs: for graduates with experience!

Jun 26 08:15 2008 John Bult Print This Article

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It can be dis-heartening for new graduates to see graduate jobs advertised for graduates "with experience". At first sight it appears that only those who have had similar graduate jobs previously need apply. And on occasions this may be an exactly correct interpretation; for example where an employer is seeking to urgently cover some specific skills deficits. But this particular addendum to graduate jobs adverts is not always there for that reason. It may,Guest Posting for example, simply be a matter of the employer seeking to discover the answers to questions such as ...

  • What work has a candidate done before

  • How relevant is that previous work to these graduate jobs

  • How well did he/she do that previous work ...

  • And so on

This sort of information may be reckoned to be important in recruitment for graduate jobs as a result of recruiters tending to expect that, in a general sort of way, a candidate's previous behaviour patterns are a good predictor for his/her future behaviour patterns. If a candidate has been conscientious and successful in previous graduate jobs, he/she could perhaps be expected to continue that way.

Now all this, so far, may be of no consolation to new graduates who think that they have no graduate jobs experience. But maybe that conclusion is not so justified as it would at first appear!

To begin with, suppose some other applicant has done the exact same graduate job previously, with success. He/she may be exactly what the interviewer is looking for, or it may raise a number of questions. For example, if so successful then why move to an identical graduate job? Were there perhaps secondary aspects of their previous employment performance that were not so attractive.

And then, when it comes to other applicants who have previously held different graduate jobs, they will be looking to demonstrate that their skills and experiences will be transferable to their desired new graduate jobs. And, here, there may be a little light at the end of the tunnel for the new graduates who maybe feel that they have no experience.

Even without having previously held what would formally be described as graduate jobs, it is possible that someone may still be able to demonstrate that they have a worthwhile transferable skills set. All sorts of other experiences may be argued to be the basis for such transferable skills. For examples:

  • Fund-raising for a charity, i.e. persuading people to part with their money, could be viewed as needing similar skills to sales-jobs

  • Acting as chairman, secretary or treasurer for a university Club or Association could be viewed as needing skills in people management, clerical activities or numerical work respectively

  • Then it would be worth a very careful look at any previous temporary jobs to see what, if any, useful skills and experiences they may testify to.

But, at the end of the day, perhaps the best overall advice for graduate job seekers, is, try to put yourself in the position of the recruiters. Ask yourselves what, precisely, they may be looking for when they add "with experience". And then look at what you potentially could offer as a means of persuading them that you could be successful in the graduate jobs they have to offer.

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John Bult
John Bult

John Bult runs internet job boards for people looking for graduate jobs in the UK

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