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An Entry-Level Job … That Needs Experience. What Do I Do?

Have you ever seen an entry-level job that needs two years’ experience? Do you feel like you would be a great fit but just don’t have the experience under your belt? Here’s how to handle this problem.

Understand the Recruiter’s Mindset

There are two main things you need to know in this type of situation. First, many recruiters ask for candidates with a set amount of experience to narrow down the talent pool. Many are bombarded with hundreds of applications when posting an entry-level job. Requiring two years of experience reduces the number of candidates — and in theory — provides them with better leads. In other words, it saves them time and reduces the number of candidates they have to filter through.

Second, the skills and qualifications listed in a job description are often more of a recruiter’s wish list than something set in stone. Many are willing to consider candidates who don’t meet 100 percent of the criteria as long as they would bring legitimate value to their workplace.

Keep Transferable Skills in Mind

Relevant experience can work to your advantage in this type of situation. Maybe you don’t have two years of direct experience for a particular job, but you have relevant experience that could apply. For example, you may have worked as an intern or participated in a project that would make you a solid fit for the position you’re interested in. This is something to keep in mind, because transferable skills could technically fulfill the criteria an employer is looking for.

Apply If You Meet 80 Percent of the Requirements

If you’re enthusiastic about the idea of landing a job and meet at least 80 percent of the requirements, go ahead and apply. What’s really important is you would be an asset to their company. As long as that’s the case, many employers will give you a little wiggle room with your experience level. You never know what will happen, and you may end up getting your dream job by being bold enough to apply.

Asking for a certain amount of experience is a common practice for hiring managers. And it can be frustrating if you don’t quite have what they’re looking for. Following this advice should help you take the right approach and can potentially open new doors.

Stuck in a job search rut? Contact the friendly professionals at Axiom Staffing Group to see how we can help.