If you want to find a job after college, you better have work experience.
Making the Honor Roll isn’t enough for many companies looking for new graduates to join their workforce, especially in the hyper-competitive fields of finance and accounting. That’s the news from more than 2,100 CFOs in a recent survey by staffing firm Accountemps.
An overwhelming 83 percent said it’s important for students to gain work experience in the field during their college years if they hope to compete for entry-level accounting and finance positions upon graduation. But that also rings true for many other fields.
Accountemps chairman Max Messmer says, “While good grades used to be enough to land your first job, professional work experience has become increasingly critical for entry-level applicants in a competitive hiring environment.”
Messmer offers these tips for college students looking to gain an edge:
- Seek internships. In addition to connecting with your college’s career center, research employers of interest and tap mentors and professors for internship leads.
- Think beyond the dollar signs. While paid internships are appealing, don’t let money drive your search.
- Volunteer. Many organizations, from nonprofits to industry associations, need helping hands.
- Explore temporary assignments. These enable you to gain real-world experience, get your foot in the door and demonstrate your potential.
- Take opportunities seriously. Don’t view yourself as “just an intern,” “volunteer” or “temp.” Treat each opportunity like a real job by adopting the mindset of a full-time employee
- Stay in touch. After an internship or temporary assignment wraps up, be sure to write thank-you notes to anyone who helped or mentored you.
Consolidated Credit’s President Gary Herman has a tip of his own…
“Be humble. Don’t let your stellar GPA and academic achievements go to your head. I’ve interviewed hundreds of college grads with great grades and that’s nice, but I want someone with humility – and someone who is prepared to get their hands dirty and has taken the initiative to gain work experience. “
If you’re a recent college grad having trouble finding a job and paying off student loan debt, don’t hesitate to contact Consolidated Credit today to speak with a certified credit counselor. Or get started online with a request for a Free Debt Analysis.