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AS we know, times are tight as far as getting into universities is concerned and getting a first job after you graduate is no picnic. The Graduate Recruitment Bureau has asked graduates how they would select the best candidates from among a group of graduates.

Almost two thirds of those who replied put work experience as the most important means of narrowing down candidates. Some 21% said a degree result was the decisive factor and 17% said the university attended is the key factor. Only 1% thought results achieved at 18 were important.

A relief to some of us with less than satisfactory results (although we all know that exams were much tougher years ago, don't we?!).

Seriously though, there's some food for thought here and this survey demonstrates that graduates realize that they live in a competitive world. At Spinnaker we have been giving graduates similar advice for many years. Work experience and money-making schemes at university demonstrate work ethic, suggest a mature attitude, maybe an entrepreneurial spirit and, most importantly, if the work is relevant to the job they're applying for, it shows commitment. Employers quite rightly look for a reason to believe that applicants are genuine in their interest and commitment to their particular sector of industry. Work experience is the best way to prove it!

So, if your 19 year old son or daughter is currently wallowing under the covers, give 'em a kick and send them out to work!

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