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Job seeker with lack of experience

I am applying for jobs and many of them require at least one or more years of experience. Is it worth it to apply even if I lack that experience?

Thank you!

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Subject: Career question for you

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Raisa Anan’s Answer

Hi Oscar!

This is what I learnt from the folks in my community: apply, apply and apply. Even apply for the jobs that mention prior experience as a requirement. Understandably, the recruiters/human resource team will ask you about any past experiences. These are the points I suggest that you use in that case:

1) Talk about any volunteering activities you took part in. Even if that had been long ago, mention it, talk positively about it, such as how it was helpful for your personal development or how you learnt a certain skill there that you hadn't learnt in school.

2) Mention activities that you might deem unnecessary but can be viewed as a skill from another perspective. Instead of saying you mowed your parents' lawn this summer, say how you allocated the time to mow within your busy schedule and how you productively mowed within a specified time. (It, of course, doesn't have to be about mowing lawn haha. Just try to find skillful aspects from mundane tasks you did).

3) Talk about your soft skills. Even if you have never done teamwork with work colleagues before, try to find ways to mention it from another aspect. Personally, when I was asked about prior teamwork experience, I talked about the time I led a group study session before an exam. While it is nowhere near a work experience, it is still valid that I had teamwork experience.

4) Talk about how you utilize your soft skills in your daily life. This can be how you enjoy communicating with senior citizens (displaying approachable communication style), how you always arrive to school on time (displaying punctuality), how you like to help your peers (displaying supportive attitude) etc

5) Talk about self-education. Despite being a school student, talk about the skills you have taught yourself. If you enjoy about learning new stuff by yourself, be sure to mention that as well.

6) You might also emphasize your desire for improvement/learning more.

These are some tips that had helped me in the past - but of course, your situation is different, so take them with a grain of salt :)
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Oscar
Thank you comment icon You are welcome, Oscar. Feel free to ask me any other questions should you have them. Best of luck for your journey! Raisa Anan Mustakin
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Jackson’s Answer

Oscar: Getting a new job can be a nerve-racking process. I view it as a combination of experience, education, luck, and tenacity. Looks like you live 25 miles north of Houston. Houston, TX is experiencing a skilled labor shortage and low unemployment. I suggest applying for as many jobs as possible that you find interesting and suitable for your situation. Yes, you have already received rejections or been ignored by the companies. Pay attention to the type of jobs that invited you to phone interviews.
There is a "hidden job market", a term used to describe jobs that aren't advertised or posted online. Are there people you know or know you who are willing to refer you to the hiring manager? My first job as a warehouse worker was through my mom. My second job as a McDonald's cashier was through my high school buddy. Don't give up. You may not get your ideal job immediately. It may take you 2 or 3 "hops" to get there.

Jackson recommends the following next steps:

Read "What is the Hidden Job Market". https://www.thebalancecareers.com/what-is-the-hidden-job-market-2062004
Thank you comment icon I appreciate this, thank you for the advice. Oscar
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Leo’s Answer

Hi Oscar, you can definitely apply without the experience, especially if its only 1 year. You can match other requirements within the job description that helps as well but you don't need to have all of them. Another good tip is to try to find the recruiters of the positions you're looking into via linked in. Reach out to them and get their views on what candidates they're looking for and what skills you can polish in the meantime to make your application look better.
Thank you comment icon I'm excited to put your great advice to good use! Oscar
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Robert’s Answer

Apply! It never hurts to put your application in. A majority of the time, the hiring manager is looking for most of the requirements but not all of them. If you can show them that you are a quick learner and a hard worker, this can be enough for the company to invest in you as an employee.
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Rebecca’s Answer

Thank you for your question.
That’s true that some employers would expect the candidates having some experience. Having said that, they may not easy to find the candidates that meeting all their requirements.
Do you have any relevant experience, eg experience from summer internship, etc.? If yes, you can highlight that in your cv. On the other hand, you may have other qualifications that meet the Jon requirements. You can highlight these in your cv. You can then submit your cv and give it a try. The company HR may also contact you there is other openings that suits you.
Also, some corporates may host some graduate programs. They might host information sessions in the campus. You can check with the college career office or keep checking the corporates websites.
LinkedIn is also another media for you to look for jobs.
Hope this helps! Good Luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Rebecca. Oscar
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Scott’s Answer

Apply for ANY job that may interest you! Most times its just a matter of a digital submission of your resume and cover letter. Five minutes of your time could get you an interview. Just make sure your resume or cover letter has something in common with the job posting. (Dont just say you are an exceptional worked, say you are excited for a chance at working in so-and-so industry) Now lets say you landed the interview, but you dont know if you want the job......GO TO THE INTERVIEW. You will be more at ease and speak much easier because you aren't trying too 'win them over' and get your dream job. This will give you insight into the company, their structure and if you think you may be a good fit. Apply for whatever job you desire, put forth enthusiasm in your cover letter and don't ever get discouraged by 'rejection' letters and emails. Good luck!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Oscar
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Bailey’s Answer

From my personal experience, if there is a job that you want , apply anyways! I have shocked myself with some of my jobs that I have had. I applied to jobs outside of my experience and I received them! I have done so much in my short career compared to others. All because I took a chance. The worst they can do is not call you… not interview you… or look over your resume… but that would be the same as not applying. You never know! You might have qualities they are looking for! Or….. you might be the only one that applies!

Go for it!
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Oscar
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Nicholas’s Answer

It is very important to apply and interview as much as possible. The more you apply, the greater opportunity you are giving yourself. The more you interview, the better prepped you will be down the road. There are many companies willing to develop young talent even if you aren't as experienced.
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Raul’s Answer

Hi Oscar,

Yes, apply to any job you are interested on!

1. Build a sharp resume that aligns to the characteristics and experience that the job entails.
2. Get it reviewed by friends and people that you might know that work in the industry
3. Have a good elevator pitch that enhances and goes into more details on your capacities.
4. Be optimistic and remain genuine.

Hope this helps, best of luck!
Thank you comment icon Loved reading this, thanks! Oscar
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Karina’s Answer

Hi Oscar!

I would definitely recommend you to apply to as many jobs as you can because some aspects of your CV might be strong enough to get you a place. I would also suggest to look for internship opportunities at your desired companies because there is a chance you can be offered a full-time job afterwards. It will also help you decide if you really like a place of work and a job itself.

Hope it helps!
Thank you comment icon Thanks for your encouragement! Oscar
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Adrienne’s Answer

Hi Oscar, good question! As general recommendation, I would suggest applying to positions where you are an 80% match. Put yourself out there and do not let the job description limit you. HR may be flexible on the year experience requirement if they love you after an interview.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Oscar
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Sallie’s Answer

Hey Oscar, I know it can be discouraging trying to apply for jobs when you dont feel as if you meet the requirements for experience. As a former recruiter, heres what I can tell you. find applicaple skills you may have from ANYTHING youve done and make sure youre highlighting those on your resume. It doesnt always have to be jobs. I got my first admin job using my experience from babysitting my siblings. You can use skills you gained from school clubs, sports, etc and find ways to apply those to modern day job experience. For example, babysitting required me to be organized and timely. I had a responsibility to someone else, which meant remembering important information, managing schedules, etc. When applying for the admin job I was able to highlight those skills when applying. Recruiters can see this and still give you the opportunity to interview despite not meeting the "experience" requirement. Then its on you to ensure you do well in the interview process.
Thank you comment icon Thanks, can't wait to put this advice into action! Oscar
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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Oscar,
Like most of the other professionals who have answered before me, I encourage you to apply. As a Manager, when I hire people for my team, I look not only at previous work experience, but I am looking for communication skills, organizational skills, and personality traits like being a self-starter or team player, depending on the role. I will often pick a candidate who is enthusiastic and eager to learn over someone with more experience because those are skills I cannot teach, but a lot of the other experiences will come with time or can be learned by the candidate once they start the job.
I will let you in on a small secret, most people in the job market will at some point in their career apply for jobs that they are not fully prepared for YET, because they are passionate about the company, job opportunities or career and are willing to do what it takes to succeed. I wish you the best of luck and remember you will miss 100% of the shots you don't take.
Thank you comment icon I appreciate you taking the time to answer this. Oscar
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Oscar,

I think you can still apply even if you don't fully meet all requirements (including the experience requirement). While you may not have the exact experience that the job posting requires, you may meet other criteria that the company is looking for in a candidate.
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Oscar
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Ashley’s Answer

Of course, don't lose hope. You just need to start somewhere to begin building experience. While you are waiting for an opportunity to begin you may want to consider looking into volunteer options that may be available pertaining to the types of job opportunities that you have been seeking out. This may help with the lack of experience on your job resume.
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Sikawayi’s Answer

hello Oscar, this is a great question let me start by saying don't ever think you don't have the skills to do the job. First look at the skills you need for this job now if they are asking for at least one year of experience that doesn't always mean one year at one place. If you have worked 8 months at one place and 6 months at another, then that is more than enough experience. Always put down any experience you've had if you filled in for your supervisor while she was on vacation you need to put on your resume that you have that experience.
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help. Oscar
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Pat’s Answer

Hi Oscar,

Its always worth to take a chance at something! Remember that you can also enter a job to gain experience. If you feel you are lacking experience for the position, still apply! For the interviews you get invited to, you can really highlight personality and the intangibles skills that cant be measured on a resume. Do not forget to prioritize the connections you make with people, as they can help you get your foot in the door.

Don't be hesitant to apply for a lot of jobs, and don't be discouraged if you get turned down. You got this!
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the advice. Oscar
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Nicholas’s Answer

Hey Oscar,

I was in your position not to long ago. I would definitely recommend applying for those jobs because the worst thing they can do is let you know that they've declined your application. When I was applying for jobs I applied to hundreds of applications because I knew that out of those hundreds I applied for at least one would get back with me
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Alexandra’s Answer

Hi Oscar,

I agree with many of the other answers: it is definitely worth applying if you believe you match the other requirements and technical skills for the job. If you land an interview, that is your chance to talk yourself up and really make yourself stand out from other candidates. Don't be scared of rejection, it's part of the process. If it doesn't work out, keep trying!

Best of luck.
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Alyssa’s Answer

Hi Oscar!

It is always worth applying and giving yourself a shot at the job. It is also important to highlight other areas on your resume that can compensate for the missing experience!

I personally stacked my resume with volunteering, any involvement in my sorority, and extra curriculars!
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Shweta’s Answer

Yes, you should go ahead and apply for entry level jobs which matches you skillset.

Hope this helps!
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Ethiopia’s Answer

Yes I would still apply. They might see potential in one of the other skills that you possess that could possibly make you great for the job. They can always train you in the areas that need support.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice. Oscar
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