When jobs require 3+ years of experience

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by br.avery, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. br.avery macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2008
    Hey everyone! I am needing some advice, opinions, and insights on an issue that myself, and most newly grads are dealing with...

    The other day, I was curious and wanted to check out job postings to see the qualifications and requirements for different positions I might be interested in after I graduate college. I noticed that most jobs require 3+ years of experience for entry level positions. I am nervous about being able to find a job since I'll probably have little to no experience right out of college. Obviously, the first option is to be accepted into an internship but is it practical to intern for over three years? What have your experiences been?
  2. eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    Well this is nothing new really. You can do some internships, and other entry level positions while you are in school. That just means that you will have little to no free time between school, studying, and work experience.
  3. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    This catch-22 has been biting grads forever. You're seeing what every other college graduate has seen over the past couple hundred years or so.

    That being said, you should apply anyway, and don't lie or exaggerate your experience. Make sure they know you're a capable employee and a quick study (you ARE, aren't you?), and that you'll make a great fit in the position.

    Few employers are willing to hire a fresh graduate for such a position if they can get someone with a couple of years' experience under their belt. That doesn't change it from being an "entry level" position, really.

    If you keep getting stonewalled, look into interning or volunteering to get some experience. Don't get discouraged. :)
  4. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    only now it is worse because it is an employer market. They can and will be picky. They can get people with 5 years of experience and pay them like someone with zero years.
  5. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
  6. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    Many larger organisations have graduate training programs. That's how I got started.
  7. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Depends what you're studying. If I remember correctly, you were studying something arty......photography or graphic design or something.

    If I'm right, then you're probably out of luck. If I'm wrong, then there may be hope, as long as you can show them that you can do work, and have a history of it. Entry level positions are just that: one where training you is the expectation. They want someone who can step in, be observant, listen, take orders, and do what is asked until you learn enough to do stuff on your own.

    People with work experience may be better prepared for an entry level position, since they must have done it before. However, as long as you can show that your past proves that you have the skills to be a good entry level employee, then you're OK.

    It depends on your interviewer, though. Some people don't look at the person. They just see the resumé and cover letter, and will hire the most qualified person, as long as that person sounds fairly competent.
  8. Scepticalscribe, Jul 11, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011

    Scepticalscribe Contributor


    Jul 29, 2008
    The Far Horizon
    This is something that tends to happen during a recession; I very well remember the last major recession of the 1980s, when exactly the same thing happened. It was indeed a sort of Catch-22, given that the only way one could get any sort of experience was to be employed somewhere, somehow.

    Actually, I remember a very kindly (and not profit obsessed) publisher who invented work, and small jobs, for quite a few of my friends. So many got part time jobs for a few weeks, or few months, in this particular enterprise, that we nicknamed the place "The Graduates' Graveyard"; this was an example of the bleak and grim humour of the time. In fact, it was the only place which sought to offer anything in the line of work - the guy was, in fact, a very decent chap and an excellent boss. Anyway, after working for a few weeks/months staff could leave (usually to emigrate) but at least could say that they had a bit of much-needed "experience" when they sought employment elsewhere.

    I didn't work there, as, after many fruitless searches, I stayed on at university doing postgrad degrees, and started teaching, both in the university and privately. That brought in some money, and also, enabled me to tick the "experience" button.

    In times of recession, employers need to cull the large numbers of applicants for posts, and to use a socially acceptable excuse to do so. In practice, this means that they use what most lack (experience) as a means to achieve this. It is just a notional figure to exclude most applicants from serious consideration.

  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I was dealing with that 25 years ago, not a new phenomenon.

    There's a number of ways to break threw, though in today's economy it may be a bit harder. Graduate training programs offered by some corporations, internships, starting off in a different department works as well, as you get your foot in the door.
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Alongside what everyone is saying I echo, keep applying. Catch the eye of someone on a good day and it may work. I landed a job that I had no business applying for. I think it has a lot to do with whether they believe you can offer something up front while you're still training. Some people get out of college and they're useless, others, not so much.

    It's frustrating, but it'll come.
  11. br.avery thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks everyone! I'll keep these responses in mind. Hopefully I will be accepted into an internship soon. I'm studying Communications to hopefully work in PR.
  12. brayhite macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2010
    N. Kentucky
    I've actually asked the HR person at my job a question about the years of experience, as part of my job is looking at job openings for potential lead opportunities. The amount of years experienced required seemed rather arbitrary and she agreed, saying most companies use that as a syphering tool, hoping to ward off the "joke" applications, however, if you feel you can match what the experience would give you, apply anyway.

    Further, some jobs may have some testing process, so even if you're fresh out of college, you may prove to know the stuff they're looking for, with or without the job experience.

    And just my own two cents: I've been a full-time worker and student all my college time (and still on track for a 4-year Bachelors), so experience whilst in school isn't impossible to come by. Start now, try interning somewhere you'd like to work, and use that as your springboard into your career.

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