The Importance of Work Experience

This is kind of a chicken and egg thing, but a new survey from Accountemps says that over 90 percent of employers are claiming that prior work experience in a related field is either very important or somewhat important when considering which candidate to hire. This survey is geared toward getting the attention of college students, many of whom are, um, about to look for their first job.

The lesson that college (and, for that matter, high school) students are to take from this is that somehow they're supposed to get some work experience in their chosen field before they actually apply for a job in their chosen field. I know how crazy that sounds to many people, but the trick is to get creative. And that's where the grown-ups can help. If you know of a student with a hankering to get into your profession, lend a hand. Summer work and formal internships are great, but there's only so much of that work available. Think of special projects you can dole out to students. Bring in a panel of college students and get their input on a number of issues. Even giving students a chance to shadow you or someone at your workplace can provide resume fodder.


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Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Prior to this role, Caleb served as the editor of Going Concern since its founding in 2009. During his time as editor, Going Concern quickly became one of the most popular and talked about websites in the accounting profession. He has been named one of Accounting Today's Top 100 Most Influential People every year since 2011 and has been published on numerous websites, including Above the Law, Deadspin, Denver Business Journal, and the Huffington Post.

Caleb is an adjunct professor of journalism the Community College of Denver in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches Internet Media.

Prior to falling bass ackwards into the media business, Caleb spent over five years working in public accounting, with more than three of those years at KPMG. Caleb received a Master of Science in Accounting from Colorado State University and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Caleb spends a lot of time on a bicycle and reading, but never at the same time.

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