Always Remember – There Are Other Experiences Than Work Experience

Work experience is a crucial element of anybody’s CV. It gives employers an excellent insight into whether an employee will succeed in their team, based on past evidence. However, when looking for work experience in graduate CVs, this strategy hits one major roadblock. Candidates for these roles have not had much life experience, yet alone work experience. Much of this work experience may involve serving or fetching coffee. Perhaps candidates may have been required to deploy phenomenal team working skills whilst fixing a printer or photocopier. While indicating valuable skills and personality traits, it is difficult to perceive these experiences as a completely accurate gage of how a candidate would perform as an employee in a high-pressure corporate setting. Here are some of the other skills that you should be looking for when evaluating whether a candidate is perfect for the role you have on offer.


The world (and particularly the corporate world) is becoming increasingly fraught with difficulties. Thinking outside the box will be essential if businesses are going to respond to the challenges that society will be facing in the next 10-20 years, such as climate change. If everybody sees a blank sheet of paper and draws the same grey box, then the world’s future will be in a very sorry state of affairs. Finding candidates who can include links to wonderfully colourful art portfolios in their CVs could be key here, because you’ll be recruiting candidates who offer something different to a typical candidate. Hiring employees who see the world differently will enable you to include lots of different opinions and ideas in your responses to the issues facing your business and your sector more generally in the years to come. When everyone adopts the same school of thought, this process becomes much more difficult.


You want your employees to be able to stay the course. You also want your employees to have the self-discipline to do things that they don’t particularly enjoy doing, for the betterment of your business. If their CVs detail fitness, sport or physical training as a hobby, then you know you’re talking to a candidate who believes in getting up early and completing tasks well, with strong attention to detail, because the completion of these tasks is essential to the achievement of a higher goal. Someone who enjoys this kind of hobby is also not likely to be someone who gives up easily, or blames others if they should ever fall just short of a target. These are exactly the kind of employees who can help you to build a world-leading team.

Time Management

Let’s say you get a CV from a Humanities graduate that describes how they manage to balance fundraising for three separate charities with editing their student newspaper, having a job and completing their studies successfully. You’ll know that this student has phenomenal time management skills and would be able to easily balance and effectively prioritise the multiple tasks that could land on their desk at any time in the professional world. Better still, this student would be able to communicate excellently with colleagues so that nobody felt as though their task was being dismissed or demoted in importance, while another task was being completed. Overlooking this CV because it was light on work experience would be an enormous mistake and could cost your business millions of pounds of value over the course of this student’s professional career.


You need to know that anyone you hire is determined to redefine success in your sector by taking your business’s performance to another level and challenging your competitors to meet you there. That’s why evidence of a consistent determination to succeed on a CV is an absolute must if you’re going to hire candidates who will deliver you real value for years to come. Everybody’s life is different. Nobody wants to read someone’s life story when scanning through a CV but if a candidate details ways in which they overcame setbacks to achieve excellent results, either in their own lives or for an employer, then you know that the candidate in question will give their absolute all to your business if you give them the job.

By looking for a variety of experiences which demonstrate these skills in graduate CVs, as well as work experience, you’ll be able to find a well-rounded candidate who will add excellent value to your business. Talk to our team for help finding phenomenal candidates today.

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