It's an all too familiar problem for those who start in the workforce – they have the diploma, but seem to be unable to land a job. One of the requirements stated in most ads is „at least x years of experience“. But they shouldn't worry too much. Firstly, ads describe the ideal candidate and secondly, they can still impress the would-be-employer with their resume. Not to mention that with the right steps they can prevent this perceived „handicap“ altogether!
When after the successfull graduation the task at hand is to find a job, candidates are extremely motivated and excited for the application process. They are certain to impress employers with their good grades. But soon enough they have to face reality: very often, employers look for a certain amount of experience. But what experience when they are just starting?
Our best advice, should you be in this position: keep calm – and read the ads carefully! Obviously, you should only try for those jobs that fit your profile best. But don't forget to pay attention to the wording. Most times, previous experience is not part of the must-have qualifications, but is rather listed under advantages. This is understandable, as companies always describe their ideal candidate for the position in those ads. So, of course, an experienced candidate has an advantage over an inexperienced one. but the ideal candidate is, as often in life, just that – an ideal. And this, in turn, means that you still have a decent chance of landing the job.
Use your cover leter and resume wisely to highlight all your relevant previous experiences. All of it is fair game: maybe you did voluntary work, helped out in your parents' business, had summer jobs, semesters abroad or worked on some student projects that are relevant for the position you are applying. It is extremely important that you link all your existing experience in logical manner to the job requirements. But if experience is a decided must-have, as is the case with most positions in middle management and higher, there's not much you can do. But, if we were to stay realistic, those positions are usually not meant for recent graduates.
The smartest candidates plan ahead for this stage of their career, even while they are still studying. Internships are very good opportunities to gather some hands-on experience, but the same goes for part-time jobs. Those are more than just welcome additions to a student's tight budget and can help to get you the job of your dreams. This time is also crucial for forging a small professional network that can also help you transition into the workforce.