According to survey data carried out by the online student job board, RateMyPlacement, 64 per cent of people in the UK have been rejected from their first job application because of their lack of experience.

What’s more, the data shows that men are more likely than women to be rejected from a job due to a ‘lack of experience’ as 70 per cent of men claim they have been rejected compared to 59 per cent of women.

Inexperienced respondents in Leeds are most likely to not see their application progress, with three quarters [73 per cent] saying they’ve been rejected from jobs for this reason. Whereas Belfast appears to be the most likely city to get a job without experience, as rejections sit 22 percentage points below the national average [42 per cent vs. 64 per cent national average].

When asked which industries they were rejected from, accountancy/banking/finance and retail came out on top at 16 per cent. One in ten [10 per cent] say they were rejected from IT and engineering/manufacturing jobs for their lack of experience.

Early careers expert and co-founder of RateMyPlacement, Oliver Sidwell, reveals how entry-level applicants can avoid rejection due to a lack of experience in their chosen field:

“Whilst it may seem an impossible situation sometimes for graduates to break into their career sector, rejection is often due to applicants not using the application process to really show off the skills that they do already attain,” said Sidwell. There are a few things graduates can do to reduce the chances of rejection due to a lack of experience:

  • Target entry-level positions:set realistic expectations, don’t try to apply for mid to senior-level positions that require many years of experience.
  • Champion transferable skills:highlight the skills in your interviews and applications that you have acquired from university using clear examples of where you’ve used them
  • Show off your extracurricular efforts:include volunteering work you’ve undertaken and part-time jobs and use this as an opportunity to show off any internships or placements you’ve undertaken
  • Practice your interview techniques: it’s always best to feel prepared, make sure you’re as well attuned to the role, company and job description as you can be to prepare ahead of your interview”

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