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Career Counselor
Looking for a New Job But Lack Experience? Try an Internship

June 2006 If you're approaching graduation and are finding it difficult to land a position due to your lack of "real world" experience, consider participating in an internship program before embarking on a search for a full-time job. The bottom line is employers value professional experience. That may seem like bad news, but the good news is it's not too late to get started.

Below are a few strategies that will help you play catch-up if you decide to pursue an internship:

Ask around. Speak to your professors, peers, campus recruiters, family and friends when seeking an internship. They may be able to help you connect with potential hiring managers and organizations looking to fill positions.

Keep an open mind. Even though internships are typically temporary and often don't pay a lot, they're one of the best ways to boost your resume. Employers interested in hiring full-time staff sometimes use the internship program as a way to test a potential candidate's fit within the organization and evaluate his or her work skills. During campus interviews, let potential employers know you're willing to "audition" for the position for the position and would welcome the opportunity to join the firm as an intern.

Consider it a stepping stone. The experience will enable you to enhance your credentials and prepare you for future opportunities. 

One of the ways you can put your anxiety about the lack of experience to rest is by realizing that you can address the situation. By pursuing an internship, you can gain the experience you need and be better prepared for your first full-time position.

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ACCOUNTEMPS is a specialized temporary staffing service for accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. Accountemps provides support throughout an accounting department. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., Accountemps and has more than 270 offices in North America, Europe and Australia. Accountemps' Career Counselor column, a SmartPros staple for over four years, is refreshed twice a month.

2006 SmartPros Ltd. All rights reserved.

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