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Majority of Workers Bag First Job Without Any Experience


While the majority (75.8%) of Brits believe it’s important to take on work experience when starting out in your career, two thirds (67.8%) admit that they didn’t find it hard to secure their first job without any previous experience. That’s according to the latest research from CV-Library, the UK’s leading independent job board.

The study of 1,200 professionals explored the topic of work experience and whether it is necessary in today’s working world. The survey revealed that almost three quarters (70.1%) did NOT take part in an internship or work experience before they started their first job. Other key findings include:

  • The majority (87%) of workers think work experience is still important, with one third (33.3%) saying that it could help you decide whether a career path is right for you
  • A further 31.1% believe that having experience on your CV shows potential employers that you’re motivated and passionate
  • And, one in five (21.9%) say it introduces you to the world of work

Lee Biggins founder and managing director of CV-Library comments:

“We’re often told that work experience is vital for getting a job. So it’s interesting to see that UK professionals were able to land their first role without any previous work experience. However, it’s good to see that companies are hiring candidates who might not have a great deal of work experience, particularly when younger professionals are trying to get their foot in the door. “

“Despite the finding, work experience is still extremely beneficial to both candidates and employers and is always an important focus on a CV. That said, it’s important to take a candidate’s entire CV into consideration when recruiting. After all, you don’t have to rule out a great potential candidate just because they don’t have any relevant work experience.”

The research also explored the role that the education system plays in helping young people to gain work experience. It found that nearly half (44.5%) of professionals said they were never told how important work experience was during their time in education.

What’s more, 42.5% admit there was no opportunity to undergo work experience whilst at school, college or university. The majority (93%) believe that schools and universities should do more to encourage students to find work experience and internships whilst they are studying.

Biggins continues:

“It’s clear that more needs to be done across the education system to support students in finding work experience. After all, undergoing such placements can help to introduce young people to the world of work and help them to learn valuable skills.

“If you’re keen to offer these opportunities to students you could consider starting a work experience or internship programme in your company. You never know, you might meet professionals that show great potential and this gives you a chance to recruit those innovative and talented individuals further down the line.”

For more information, visit CV-Library’s Recruitment Insight centre.


CV-Library is one of the UK’s largest online job sites, with the UK’s biggest database of over 12m CVs. The company was founded in 2000 as a response to Lee’s identification of a market niche. As a young carpet fitter at the time struggling to find work, Lee saw a need for an easy-to-use job board benefiting both job hunters and recruiters. With a £9k loan and help from a web developer, the CV-Library website was built. Lee’s raw passion and hands-on marketing strategies lifted the business off the ground and it is this that continues to push his company to new heights.

The business is now one of the fastest growing websites in the country. The team is expanding rapidly, now employing over 200 staff. It has also launched sister website, Resume Library, in the US, where the company is set to expand and take the brand global over the coming years. Lee puts the reason for his success down to working incredibly hard, loving what he does and a strong desire to make the business the best it can be.

Lee has received over 50 awards and accolades to date and was last year recognised as Entrepreneur of the Year. In April 2015 CV-Library was also ranked as number 49 in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100.


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