Degree Not Always Enough: University Grads Need Work Experience, According to CFOs Surveyed




    TORONTO, May 20 /CNW/ - A new survey confirms the "Catch-22" that every
entry-level job seeker seems to face: you can't get a job without experience,
but you can't get experience without a job. Eight out of 10 chief financial
officers (CFOs) interviewed said it is important for accounting and finance
graduates to have gained work experience in the field while in university.
    The survey was developed by Accountemps, the world's first and largest
specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping
professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based
on telephone interviews with more than 270 CFOs across Canada.
    CFOs were asked, "How important is it for entry-level accounting and
finance professionals to have gained work experience in the field while in
university?" Their responses:

    
    Very important.............................. 43%
    Somewhat important.......................... 37%
    Somewhat unimportant........................  8%
    Not at all important........................ 12%
                                                ----
                                                100%
    

    "In today's business environment, companies are looking for new hires who
can contribute immediately, even in entry-level roles," said Kathryn Bolt,
president for Accountemps' Canadian operations. "Summer internships may still
be offered by companies not actively hiring and can provide solid work
experience and the potential to become a full-time job."
    For new entrants to the job market, Bolt advises candidates to be
flexible, proactive and creative. "A stand-out resume that highlights a strong
work ethic, sound communication skills and technical proficiency through
internships, volunteer work and temporary employment will help recent
graduates land a job in a competitive market."
    Accountemps offers five tips for new graduates looking to broaden their
work experience:

    
    1.  Consider an internship. Taking an internship when a full-time
        position isn't available may be a new graduate's best bet to gain
        hands-on learning in the workplace. Interns not only develop
        essential workplace skills, but they also build their professional
        network.
    2.  Try part time. Part-time work is a great way to gain experience and
        showcase skills to a potential employer who may not have the
        resources to extend a full-time offer right away.
    3.  Look for temporary options. Staffing firms frequently have temporary
        assignments for which students or recent university graduates may be
        a match.
    4.  Volunteer your services. Helping out a community organization or
        trade association in your field is a great way to keep your
        experience current and expand your network.
    5.  Make the most of your current job. Even if your current job isn't in
        your field or industry of choice, look for creative ways to enhance
        your skills. Volunteer for assignments beyond your job description.
        Most employers today are happy to have an employee willing to take
        the initiative.
    

    About the Survey

    The national study was developed by Accountemps, a division of Robert
Half International and the world's first and largest specialized staffing
service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It
was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 270
telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies.

    About Accountemps

    Accountemps has more than 360 offices worldwide and offers online job
search services at www.accountemps.com.




For further information:

For further information: Kristie Perrotte, (416) 350-2330,
kristie.perrotte@rhi.com


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