Results from our annual user survey of over 500 students and graduates have revealed that users consider work experience of primary importance when applying for a graduate job. This backs up the findings in the recent High Fliers survey where employers also highlighted its importance.

Gaining work experience is the main strategy 45% of users adopted in response to the current tough economic climate. 69% of users stated that they believe work experience makes them more employable. This was reinforced with our findings that 48% of users had undertaken some form of work experience. 27% had completed an internship, 18% an insight day and 25% a placement.

Earlier career planning was another key finding. 20% of users began career planning at secondary school, 13% at college and 13% when choosing their degree. Collectively 46% of users began considering their career options prior to university, highlighting the importance of career resources for this demographic.

Other results from our yearly user survey displayed interesting opinions on what motivates students preparing for their future careers.

When asked what strategies participants had taken as a response to the tough economic climate, networking was reported as an increasingly popular means of finding a graduate job (37.5%) as was further study (41.4%.) Extra curricular activities such as volunteering were also adopted in a bid to increase employability.

We also asked what students look for when applying for a job online. 31.2% considered job title to be most important, followed by 19.7% concerned by company information and reputation. This shows that users most value finding the right role within the right company.

When asked what size company users would like to work for, global companies (41.6%) were favoured over smaller ones, yet many weren’t influenced either way by the size of a company (25.2%.)

Finally, congratulations to Simone from the University of York who is the winner of our user survey prize draw.

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