In an increasingly competitive job market it is becoming more and more important to gain work experience whilst studying for your degree. According to recent research, many of the recruiters from the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers believe that candidates are unlikely to be successful during the selection process if they do not have any previous work experience.
Most companies now offer structured programmes and events for 1st and 2nd years which offer training and guidance specifically designed to prepare students for their graduate positions. There are many other ways to add to your CV whilst studying, including part time work during term time or holidays, helping to run societies or teams and a variety of volunteering opportunities both in and out of university. Have a look at The Careers Service's webpage- 'Get experience to gain skills and add to your CV'.
By having work experience alongside your academic achievements you will gain valuable transferable skills and commercial awareness and show potential employers that you are commited and proactive in preparing for a graduate job.
Whilst the total number of graduate vacancies is set to increase [....] recruiters expect that over a third of this year’s entry-level positions will be filled by graduates who have already worked for their organisations – either through internships, industrial placements or vacation work.
The Graduate Marketing in 2013 Report, High Fliers Research Limited