The Classic Catch-22 For Recent College Graduates: Experience Required For That First Job

Leaving the safety of academia and stepping out into the real world is daunting enough and is exacerbated by the fact that finding that perfect first job is difficult in the aftermath of the recent recession.  Recent college graduates face the classic “Catch-22”.  In order to secure a good job, experience is required, but in order to gain experience, a decent job is needed.  So what are some things graduates can do to overcome this hurdle?

For many graduates, internships can provide valuable real-world experience that other employers view favorably.  It can also benefit the employee.  It gives the employee an opportunity to add value and create a particular niche for themselves within a company and eventually parlay this into a full-time position.  Mastering particular technical skills or software can also assist towards landing a position right out of school.  What a recent graduate lacks in experience can be made up for by possession of a very particular, sought after skill-set; especially if there is very little opportunity for on-the-job training for these particular skills.  Finally, graduates can never underestimate the power of networking.  Building a professional network through alumni connections goes a long way towards getting a foot in the door.

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