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Veresae
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31 Aug 2011, 3:14 pm

I graduated last Winter with honors but am having trouble getting work because I lack experience. I can't seem to find a paying job that doesn't require at least 2 years of experience in its field, and as I don't have this experience in the first place, I can't get any experience at all. I want to be financially self sufficient as soon as possible.

What should I do?



Last edited by Veresae on 31 Aug 2011, 8:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Fnord
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SadAspy
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31 Aug 2011, 10:52 pm

I feel for you man. I'm sure someone will respond telling you to do volunteer work in your field. I've done that, and it hasn't helped me at all.

Employers don't want educated people who distinguished themselves academically. They want high school dropouts for grunt work.



Gnonymouse
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01 Sep 2011, 7:44 pm

Get an internship at the kind of company you'd want to work for. I did this and got my first job at the same company I was interning at.



GoonSquad
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02 Sep 2011, 9:34 pm

^^^ That's how I got my first job too.



Unfortunately a degree does not guarantee competence anymore. Hence, companies require experience even for entry level jobs.


It's not easy, but volunteering and interning is about all you can do. :(

Keep trying and you'll make it.


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yamato_rena
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03 Sep 2011, 11:27 am

Interning is better than volunteering generally - you can be paid and you're likely to get more responsibilities. In other words, more experience. What field are you trying to go into? Have you talked with your university's career center?



SadAspy
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03 Sep 2011, 12:37 pm

I've applied for internships and never get them, despite having a master's in my field.



MuchoMacho
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03 Sep 2011, 1:48 pm

If they require 2 years experience, apply anyway. Let them know upfront you don't meet the experience requirements but sell them on the other factors (personal recommendations from professors or other knowledgeable people) and tell them you're willing to start out at a reduced pay rate to prove your ability to outperform.

I own a company where I hire people all the time and if you come off as hungry, ambitious and can sell yourself, I'll easily throw out the "requirements" I posted in the job requirements.

Good luck.



pinkbowtiepumps
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09 Sep 2011, 5:29 pm

I've found myself in the same boat - in order to have a permanent position in my field, you need 2-3 years of experience! I managed to find a year-long paid internship in the field I'd like to go into. This way, when combined with previous internships, I will hopefully be able to get a job for the long-term.



Madao
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11 Sep 2011, 1:19 pm

Volunteer or interning in your profession would be the best option to gain experience. I'm in the same situation as you. Every single job application I've had required at least 3 years experience. How do they expect people fresh out of college to get a job if there's no entry level positions? :-I



Electric_Kite
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11 Sep 2011, 10:23 pm

I volunteer and just get 'We want two years professional experience." It's better than not volunteering, but it doesn't really fix the problem.



LostInEmulation
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12 Sep 2011, 12:37 am

MuchoMacho wrote:
If they require 2 years experience, apply anyway. Let them know upfront you don't meet the experience requirements but sell them on the other factors (personal recommendations from professors or other knowledgeable people) and tell them you're willing to start out at a reduced pay rate to prove your ability to outperform.


Did exactly the same and apparently did impress people enough to be asked for interviews three times. (I ended up getting a job offer via a recruiter, but that is another story.) If your field has recruiting/headhunting, put your info on a job portal and UPDATE IT WEEKLY even though not really much changes (the update makes it go onto the top of the list).


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smart_idiot2010
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13 Sep 2011, 2:15 am

MuchoMacho wrote:
If they require 2 years experience, apply anyway. Let them know upfront you don't meet the experience requirements but sell them on the other factors (personal recommendations from professors or other knowledgeable people) and tell them you're willing to start out at a reduced pay rate to prove your ability to outperform.

I own a company where I hire people all the time and if you come off as hungry, ambitious and can sell yourself, I'll easily throw out the "requirements" I posted in the job requirements.

Good luck.


Absolutely! I was so frustrated with the job search until I got advice from my brother. After deciding he needed to quit messing around got a real job at 28, 7 years and a lotta ladder climbing later headhunters for the "big guys" call HIM. He told me if you meet the other requirements, to NEVER count YOURSELF out of a job just because of length of experience. Look at what kind of experience and education they require, but not that number. Instead, use your resume and if at all possible a good cover letter to emphasize the QUALITY of your experience over the QUANTITY. Show them why they want you! Would you want someone with a year of experience doing one thing over and over in a big office or someone who basically managed a smaller one for 4 months? Someone who worked some by-the-book job in tech for 2 years or who can prove they taught themselves code and builds incredible sites in their spare time? My brother will actually hire a young guy with "potential" who tells him they are willing to learn and tackle anything he throws at them over some guy who comes in touting his years of experience. He actually sometimes throws out apps from people who have stayed with the same job too long, thinking it shows lack of ambition/ interest and hires self-taught guys who can show him their ability on the spot.

What you're seeing is a number HR throws out there to weed through app.s; it is a guideline. While it is never a good idea to lie on resumes, do "fib" on online applications that ask you to check off for less than 1 yr, 1 yr, 2 yrs experience because that can make all the difference. I went from no calls to 4 a week just changing from "less than a year" to "a year". And you know what, they never said anything. 10 months part-time experience= 5 months full time (or 10 months if they don't specify!), count related volunteer work, give yourself a bit of credit for classes you took. If someone really likes what they see, they won't care that the other guy has 6 months' more experience.

I remember after four months of hunting with 2 pathetic "bites" that didn't get past emails, I figured what the heck, followed my bro.s advice, and applied to 5 positions that I never would've thought about applying to based on the year's experience required (2 yrs of experience doing something ridiculously specific vs my 9 months of matching part-time experience, 3 months of similar full-time experience, 2 summers of kinda related volunteer work, and multiple labs in college I gave myself credit for). 2 days later I got a phone interview with the first place like that I applied to. The guy told me he had other candidates with more experience, but he liked me so he didn't care and had me come in. I didn't get the job, but I was in the final 3, and actually enjoyed the interview. It was ok though, because the next day I went to another interview for place #3 out of 5. I got hired for that job with roughly half the experience it asked for, based on one bit of experience buried in my resume that they liked and I almost left out.

As hard as it is for Aspies, once you get into the same room with a person the job is yours to lose. At that point unless you say something to change their minds, they think you are plenty qualified for the position. A guy with a little more experience isn't the one who gets the job, it's the guy who impresses them, who they like the most. The guy they want to have on their team. For a couple of hours, just get wired on caffeine, suck it up, and be that guy.