After graduating college, many entry level professionals are hit with the harsh realities of the real world such as the realization that many companies are asking entry level candidates to have two to three years of industry experience. In a fair world, a company would hire you based off your degree and the knowledge you can bring to the team. However, in the real world, most companies want the best bang for their buck, they want the experience they desire and as cheaply as possible.
Most recent graduates begin their job search shortly before and after graduation. As they search, some are elated as they view positions that will allow them to use their talents, skills and education. It may seem as the perfect job. As they read through the job announcement, to their dismay, the description states that the company or organization is looking for applicants with at least two years of experience.
As they read that job description, a sense of sadness lingers. They think to themselves, “How on earth
will I ever get any experience in my field, if every entry-level job you view, is asking for two to three
years of experience. It seems like the ultimate catch-22 of being an entry level job seeker. As a recent
college graduate, you are seeking entry level positions, but it seems even those require a couple years of work experience.
In most cases, if you meet at least 80% of the job requirements, it’s a “green light” to apply. Don’t worry
about not meeting every single one of the job qualifications because the qualifications are often a wish list of experience that the job candidate would have in the ideal situation. Most of the time, not all of the job qualifications concrete, and some companies are flexible on what qualifications a candidate needs to have in order to get hired.
Focus on conveying your knowledge and skills in a manner that would make it easy for a potential
employer to see how you could bring value to their company or organization. Equally, as important is
focusing on your transferable skills that you learned during volunteer opportunities, previous work
experience and internships.
Hiring managers are focused on finding the ideal candidate for their job openings. It is a tough job and they are more apt to hire someone who has a passion for the job and the will to learn more so than finding someone with the exact number of years of work experience they are seeking.
The Bottom Line: Ultimately, whether or not you can apply for a job is not based solely upon your years of experience, but more so the overall value that will provide to the company or organization. Although you may not meet every single job qualification in the job announcement, do not let that keep you from applying. Remember, if you meet 80% of the job requirements, apply to the job.