Over a third of the graduate jobs at the top 100 graduate employers are filled by candidates who have previously undertaken work experience with the hiring company, according to new research.

A report by The Year in Industry, a subsidiary of charity the Engineering Development Trust, highlights the importance of work experience in securing graduate jobs, whether through internships, work experience programmes or vacation work.

Chris Ward, National Director for the Year in Industry says: ‘Looked at another way, a third of top graduate jobs are effectively pre-empted by candidates who understand and have experienced the environment in which they will work, and that the company has had the opportunity to observe within that work environment.’

Additional research in June 2013 found that 36% of final year students with work experience had received at least one firm job offer before the summer term, compared with only 11% of other undergraduates.

Mr Ward continues: ‘The reason work experience is so highly valued by top companies is because students learn soft skills which they otherwise don’t have the opportunity to gain; skills such as project management, team working, presentation skills and time management.’

Read our information about securing work experience and internships before applying for these graduate jobs.

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