Overcoming employers’ preference for candidates with work experience

Posted February 03, 2016 by

Many employers prefer job candidates to have work experience when they apply for jobs. While gaining work experience gives college students and recent graduates a leg up on their competition, there are ways to overcome not having it. Bill Driscoll, District President of Accountemps, discusses the work experience dilemma and offers advice to college students and recent graduates searching for entry-level jobs.


Photo of Bill Driscoll

Bill Driscoll, New England District President of Accountemps

• “While good grades used to be enough to land your first job, professional work experience has become increasingly crucial. Employers want new hires who can contribute immediately.

• Though it can seem like a catch-22 — it is hard to land a job without experience or gain experience without a job — prior work experience may be a requisite for college students getting their foot in the door with employers.

• One advantage for students is the availability of internships and temporary work in their fields, which can provide a taste of the working world, help them build their resumes and expand their networks.

• To stand out, new graduates should effectively communicate to hiring managers how they will contribute to the firm and highlight their work ethic and positive attitude.

• College students and recent grads should treat internships, volunteer work, and temporary work like real jobs.

• Students should ensure their resumes and cover letters are error-free and highlight their communication skills and attention to detail.”

If you’re looking for more information on work experience and the job search, follow College Recruiter’s blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Twitter.

Bill Driscoll is the New England District President of Accountemps, a division of Robert Half, and is based in the company’s Boston office. Bill oversees professional staffing services for Robert Half’s 23 offices throughout Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and portions of New York.

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