Graduate jobs: for graduates with experience!

By: John Bult
Itcan be dis-heartening for new graduates to see graduatejobs advertised for graduates "withexperience". Atfirst sight it appears that only those who have had similar graduatejobs previously need apply. And onoccasions this may be an exactly correct interpretation; for examplewhere an employer is seeking to urgently cover some specific skillsdeficits. But thisparticular addendum to graduate jobsadverts is not always there for that reason. It may, for example,simply be a matter of the employer seeking to discover the answers toquestions such as ...
  • What work has a candidate donebefore

  • Howrelevant is that previous work to these graduatejobs

  • How well did he/she do thatprevious work ...

  • Andso on

This sort ofinformation may be reckoned to be important in recruitment forgraduate jobs as a result of recruiters tending to expect that, in a general sortof way, a candidate's previous behaviour patterns are a goodpredictor for his/her future behaviour patterns. If a candidate hasbeen conscientious and successful in previous graduatejobs, he/she could perhaps beexpected to continue that way.

Nowall this, so far, may be of no consolation to new graduates who thinkthat they have no graduate jobsexperience. But maybe that conclusion is not so justified as it wouldat first appear!

Tobegin with, suppose some other applicant has done the exact samegraduate jobpreviously, with success. He/she may be exactly what the intervieweris looking for, or it may raise a number of questions. For example,if so successful then why move to an identical graduatejob? Were there perhaps secondaryaspects of their previous employment performance that were not soattractive.

Andthen, when it comes to other applicants who have previously helddifferent graduate jobs,they will be looking to demonstrate that their skills and experienceswill be transferable to their desired new graduatejobs. And, here, there may be alittle light at the end of the tunnel for the new graduates who maybefeel that they have no experience.

Even withouthaving previously held what would formally be described as graduatejobs, it is possible that someonemay still be able to demonstrate that they have a worthwhiletransferable skills set. All sorts of other experiences may be arguedto 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 asneeding similar skills to sales-jobs

  • Acting as chairman, secretary ortreasurer for a university Club or Association could be viewed asneeding skills in people management, clerical activities ornumerical work respectively

  • Thenit would be worth a very careful look at any previous temporary jobsto see what, if any, useful skills and experiences they may testifyto.

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

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