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It turns out that employers don't actually care about your uni grades that much

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New research suggests that employees value experience over education.

Indeed.co.uk, the job site used by more than 200 million people, has released new research about the decision-making of small businesses during the employment process.

Unfortunately, some of the findings may come as a shock to those who have invested 3 years and over £27,000 of debt into their degrees.

A survey of 1,000 small business employers found that 81% place a higher premium on a candidate's experience rather than on their education.

Only 8% said they would be swayed by good qualifications.

This makes a good degree less important when getting a job than strong interview performance, of which 23% named as their reason for hiring. Having the relevant experience also scored 23% whilst 28% of employers hire on the basis of a gut feeling. 

In the top 5 reasons for employers saying yes to a candidate, only the candidate ‘reminding employer of themselves’ is ranked less important than a degree. 

Bill Richard, Indeed’s UK Managing Director, advises candidates to do their "homework and perform well at interview, the fact that most hiring managers ultimately go with their gut shows how a lot of our nervous energy about the application may be misplaced."

The research has positive pointers for applicants – for example finding that a third of employers wouldn’t hire an applicant with a poor attitude, stressing the importance of enthusiasm.

Helpful pointers to the early stages of application and CV-sending come in the form of the top 5 reasons for employers rejecting CVs.

Partly, it’s about reading the job description thoroughly and making sure you understand why you are fit for a role, as employers cite having ‘insufficient experience’ (21%) or being ‘overqualified’ (7%) as reasons for rejecting a CV.

A further 19% said they would reject a CV for having ‘misunderstood job suitability’ whilst 11% of employers said they would reject a CV for having ‘too many short-term roles’. There is also a strong case for thoroughly proof-reading your CV and making it professional and presentable, as 19% said they would reject a CV with ‘spelling or grammatical errors’.

In summary, Bill Richards advises candidates “go for appropriate positions, and use their CV and application to demonstrate both their suitability and their enthusiasm for the role."

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