We'll be bringing you handy hints and tips from employers about:
- Finding summer work
- Hot tips on how to apply for summer jobs
- Guidance on working and travelling abroad
- Up to date useful videos
Once you're registered for the fair we'll let you know by regular email if there is a new update on this page. However, if you're browsing the fair in your own time, don't forget to keep checking back here!
What’s the point of work experience?
Firstly, when we say work experience we mean any experience of work, this could be paid, unpaid, long, short, local, abroad, shadowing or working by yourselves, it all counts.
Why does it matter?
When you start applying for graduate jobs, the application form, interview and assessment centre will all ask you to demonstrate/talk about the skills you have. No matter how good your degree is, if you can only talk about these skills as “I would” rather than “I have” you may not receive an offer of employment.
Popular skills you will be asked to demonstrate are:
as well as skills specific to the job you are applying for.
A range of work experience can provide you with great examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in “real working life”.
Employers and the recruitment market
More and more employers will not recruit graduates without previous work experience.
Stephen Isherwood, head of graduate recruitment at Ernst & Young
"A good degree from a respected university no longer guarantees a job. We interview over 3,000 bright graduates every year, but only about 25% have the all-round skill set we recruit for. You don't need to have thrown yourself out of a plane to show that you have a sense of adventure or are resilient. Think about examples from your work experience placements or even your part-time job."
Ernst & Young’s survey showed 83% of graduates were optimistic about achieving their career aspirations. However, Isherwood warned against complacency. "To get that first step on the career ladder, students need to be building their CVs with experiences that will help to develop their skills. This process needs to start at secondary school, rather than the last year of university." Guardian February 2012
The Times Careers supplement February 2012
The continuing fierce competition for jobs means that previous work experience is rapidly becoming a pre-requisite for the best-known graduate programmes. More than a third of this year’s entry-level positions are expected to be filled by graduates who have already worked for the company, either through industrial placements, holiday work or sponsorships. And recruiters at over half the top employers have warned that applicants without any work experience are unlikely to be offered a job.
James Uffindell, chief executive and founder of recruitment consultants Bright Network.
“It is an incredibly competitive market, we have some very bright people who are mystified that they can’t get jobs. They think they have their 2.1 from Oxbridge and they are going to get an amazing job, and that is not the case. Students who are thinking about their career and engaging with it early on are at an advantage.”
Summer experience fair 2011
By the end of the online summer experience fair 2011 (27th May 2011)
Useful links and information
If you're planning on working/travelling abroad this Summer, then check out your rights to work in other countries. If you're an international student studying in the UK, you should refer to websites such as The University of Sheffield's Studentadvice pagewhich can guide you through some visa issues and let you know whether your entitled to work abroad during and after your studies. (Students from other Universities should have similar advice centre/pages).
If you can work/travel abroad then before you leave make sure that you have:
You should also check when your passport is due to run out and whether it is nearly full. Some countries will not let you enter if your passport has less than six months to run. The rules vary by country. For example, South Africa will turn people away if their passport has fewer than two blank pages left.
If your passport is in its last year or is nearly full, you should check the rules of the countries you plan to visit before you book any travel. You can ask your travel agent or check with the embassy of the country concerned.
If you need to renew your passport the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) can credit your new passport with any time (up to nine months) that the old one had left to run.
Visas & Work Permits
Students and graduates who are UK or EU citizens do not need a work permit or visa to work legally in any other country in the European Union.
For many other countries in the developed world - most notably the USA - it is much more difficult to obtain a work permit. In most cases, you will need a job offer in your chosen country in order to get the relevant visa.
Some countries, like Australia, Canada and New Zealand, operate a points system to determine visa eligibility, awarding points for factors such as age, level of qualifications, fluency in the language and relevant work experience.
Check out the embassy of the country you intend to travel to at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website, which will give you more information about whether a visa is required and how to apply for it.
If your travelling with an expedition company or a company is arranging your work and stay in another country they may assist with your visa and work permit application.