Identifying your informal work experience

Identifying informal work experience

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You've spent three years exploring the depths of the Modernist movement in literature, the complexities of early modern European philosophy, the political forces behind the Chinese Cultural Revolution, now what?

If your degree wasn't skills-based, and you opted to spend your time at university focusing solely on your studies with no job experience to speak of, you might end up thinking that all you've learnt over a what seemed like an enlightening three years at university is utterly useless.

The sad truth is that having a degree nowadays is nothing special. It does not entitle you to a job. But that doesn't mean your three years at university were a waste of time and money. Whether you are aware of it or not, you gained some valuable skills that you can apply to the demands of the working world, and even if you have no work experience to put on your CV, you have plenty to offer.

You've gained valuable skills that you can apply to the demands of the working world.

The easiest way to take stock of these skills is to consider your time at university as if it had been a job. Ask yourself what did I do, what did I learn, and how did I learn it? If you take this approach when thinking about the skills required section of a job description, you might find you are in a better position than you first thought.

Ask yourself: what did I do, what did I learn, and how did I learn it?

Think you lack skills for the working world? Take another look at your studies, and see what skills you might have picked up:

  • Written Assignments
    Written Communication, Organization, Analysis, Logical/Methodogical Approaches, MS Office skills, Data Entry
  • Presentations
    Oral Communication, Public Speaking
  • Dissertation
    Independent Study, Self-Starter, Attention to Detail, Research, Prioritizing Workloads
  • Group Projects
    Teamwork, Leadership Skills (Coordination, Delegation), Interpersonal Skills
  • Exams
    Working under Pressure, Preparation, Concentration, Time Management

Don't forget to think about what you've gained from your specific subject area. Whether it is English, Psychology, Economics, Maths or a Science, as a graduate you've got a wealth of skills that can be moulded to the needs of prospective employers.