Friday, October 23, 2009

2 Years Of Work Experience Required? Who Cares?

You should be concerned with things you can control: your resume, your job networking progress, and your job interview skills. You should not fear things that lie outside your realm of control like the economy, who else is applying and how smart/experienced they might be, and so on.

I’ve heard of a lot of job interviews that recent college graduates have had for entry-level positions that were posted as requiring 1, 2, even 3+ years of experience. Did they get the jobs? Some did, some did not. I myself have done this numerous times.

The point is this: if you are contacted by the employer and they want you to come in for a job interview, do you know what that means? That means that “2 years of related work experience” wasn’t so important anymore when they saw your resume.

Don’t concern yourself with things like how or why exactly the interviewer decided to give you a job interview. Maybe their secretary just scanned through the resumes and decided upon yours and a few others, or the interviewer themselves felt like your resume was a breath of fresh air. Maybe your resume was the lucky lottery ticket picked out of the sea of applicants. Does it really matter why? Self-doubt can cripple your confidence, so move on.

Okay, at this point, there is a slight chance that I’ve sold you on applying to entry level jobs that require experience. What about the job interview itself then? How do you make up for the fact that you don’t have a lengthy work history of 2+ years to show off? You must reiterate to the interviewer that you have hunger, passion, and are willing to learn the skills to make it in the industry. This is why youth is such an attractive quality to companies. Show off your energy, enthusiasm, and give examples of your skills as related to your past work experience, clubs you were part of during college, or volunteer work. Practice mock job interviews in a room, with a friend, anywhere, because likeability and confidence will go a long way. With this kind of approach you may just outsmart the next guy who’s got more experience than you. Stop thinking, start applying.

What’s been your experience with applying to entry level jobs that require experience? How do you feel about this topic? Got advice for college graduates out there? Comment below and let your voice be heard.

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