Greetings everyone. It's been a while!
Just wanted to jump on here and get your perspective on a topic that I've been wrestling with for a little while now:
I've finished my studies and completed my degree and have just started really looking for a position at an agency somewhere. Perusing through the job boards etc I find one thing quite often:
(x) years industry experience required. Where x can be any number, ranging from 1-5.
Now, here is the dilemma I find. How can one have said years of experience, without being in the industry. I know there are those positions out there, for example an entry level position, but is this the only option available? Did you still apply for those that say 'industry experience required', or did you just break into the industry through those entry level positions?
Me, I haven't yet broken into the industry, but I have had experience working with clients and fulfilling the requirements of many of these positions, just not in an agency setting.
So what do you think? What's the best plan of action?
Maybe expand your options outside of agencies. I had trouble also when I started. Without knowing the particular job skill you are referring to I was trying to get into web design. I started looking at businesses that weren't particularly web related since most large businesses have websites that need updating. I started at a large school which had three websites, and through working there for a while got involved in Sharepoint development and design for their intranet.
They other option could be looking at local businesses. See if they have site. Offer to produce one for them. It may be at a cheaper rate but it's experience.
Also set up an online portfolio of your work to advertise yourself.
First of all, ditch the agencies and start applying directly for work. Even if it says you need n years experience, just apply for it. The worst thing they'll do is ignore it. It's probably likely that no one has applied for it either, and if you take the initiative they'll be inclined to give you the job after an interview.
When it came down to experience summer internships always paid off for me, because at least then I had some experience to go into work with. I landed my first job within a few hours of applying for it, simply because I was the only graduate that had experience with C# (thank you summer internship last year).
It's an unrealistic thing to ask for, so my advice is to ignore and simply apply with a truthful CV/Resume and cover letter.
Good point Ultimate. My latest job I applied for I really didn't even expect an interview since some of the skills required I had no or little experince, but I got the job. I was just honest and said I was keen to learn and it was the direction I wanted to take my career. Personality does count too sometimes.
My advice would be if the job advert has both 'essential' and 'desirable' criteria then providing you can meet 90% of the 'essential' and/or 60% of the 'desirable' then you apply for that position.
Also, did you do any part-time work whilst at college to supplement your studies? If so, can you use some of those transferrable skills to show the future employer you can do the job.
When an employer is recruiting, they ask themselves 3 questions:
Can this person do the job? - the resume or application form you submitted should mirror your experiences against what EACH employer wants
Will this person do the job? - How motivated are they, am I just one of 20 employers they have applied to or do they really want to work with me?
Will they fit in? - what personality are they, will they compliment or destroy the team I have here?
Success in anything we do is 80% determined by our attitude, by our belief and by our determination. The remaining 20% only is down to skills and experience and both of those can be learned.
If you can show that 80% and you can demonstrate (not just declare) to the potential employer that you are right for this job, then you will be successful.
If your instinct is telling you this is the job for you, then go for it and make your experiences relevant to what the employer is looking for.