The corporate job market is at an all-time high, with a record number of job openings. Specifically, the graduate job market is soaring. The number of vacancies has risen by 59% and is set to see an expected 7% salary rise, compared to the figures released in May last year .
Despite this boom, entry-level jobs used to be the leading pathway into the workplace for new graduates but now many require prior experience. This was highlighted in a 2021 study that found that 34% of graduate-level jobs and 24% of junior jobs in the UK require at least one year of work experience .
Scrolling through numerous job websites and spotting an Entry Level Job that seems interesting, is quickly scrolled past when the dreaded phrase ‘two years of experience required’ is read and this can be incredibly frustrating. This can often be the only element a candidate is missing. Yet, women hold back if they don’t meet 100% of the criteria, while men only apply if they meet at least 60% . It is important to remember that no candidate can meet 100% of the criteria. As there is simply no such thing as a ‘perfect candidate’.
Often this requirement is merely just a guideline and not a necessity. Employers also use this to narrow down the applicant pool, to avoid them getting flooded with unqualified candidates that have absolutely no knowledge of the industry .
Don’t let this requirement limit you.
There are numerous real-life stories that support this advice, including a recent article written by Janet Phan and published in the Harvard Business Review sharing her story. She found a job outside of her expertise which required skills she did not have. Yet, she applied anyway. This resulted in her landing a job at a major tech company! So, her advice would be, apply! .
We’ve asked one of our interns, ‘Kate’ who is fresh out of university, about her experience and her advice/ tips.
Finding a job straight out of university is a difficult and daunting task. It is incredibly frustrating when you search for hours to find a job that interests you, and you see you need years of experience. Why would I have years of experience, I have just finished university.
After speaking to friends, family and industry experts I have taken away 5 incredibly valuable pieces of advice when faced with this dilemma. Firstly, there are many ways to tweak your C.V to work around the requirement.
- Holm in on your transferable skills. Speaking from experience, as someone who entered the job market with no industry experience. Using these transferable skills when writing your C.V or a covering letter is a great idea!
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a good covering letter.
I managed to slip these transferable skills into my C.V by including details about my university projects or modules I completed. I tailored each one I sent, by including different keywords that were in the description of that particular job.
- Read the job description!
- Prepare! If you do manage to get an interview, preparation is key! Make sure you have spent time researching the company, their values, their culture, what they do, and any of their recent projects. Prepare for any questions they may ask you, but try not to over prepare! Get a good balance, you want to be yourself and you don’t want to seem scripted or answer the wrong question because you heard what you had prepared for!
- Be confident and take risks. At the end of the day, what’s the worst that can happen? They say no. At least you tried. You didn’t lose anything.
OR take a step back. You don’t need to rush, try and get some experience, this is not only good for filling that ‘missing experience’ experience but can also help you find your niche! An internship is a great idea!