Candidate Tips & Advice

Catch 22: When You Need Experience For A Job....and Don't Have It.

  • february 23,2015
  • Dave Rigby
  • Improving Your Job Chances

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Ever seen the perfect job listed online, but feel utterly dismayed at the fact the recruiter is looking for staff with experience you don't have, even for low level unskilled jobs? Ever wondered why this is a common issue, and worked out what your application should say to overcome it? Then read on: 

The reasons recruiters ask for experience are pretty simple, and primarily include:

  • They don't want to have to train all their new staff, meaning they will save cash
  • They are hoping people will join the company and add value from day one by hitting the ground running rather than needing training
  • Experienced staff should fully understand what the job entails, meaning they won't be put off when they join the company if there are any unpleasant / unusual / demanding aspects to the job
  • Experienced staff are less likely to leave quickly as they will be able to settle in to the role more quickly than staff without experience

These are all pretty fair reasons why recruiters prefer to look for experienced staff, but that doesn't do you any favours to help get your foot in the door. So, what do you do? 

How to get the job? 

Firstly, don't tell any lies in your application which make the recruiter think you have the right experience.  You'll be sure to be caught out pretty quickly once you can't answer half the questions in the interview. So, here are our tips: 

  • If you know anyone who already has the same or similar job, talk to them to understand exactly what they do and how they do it
  • Work out what skills you have which are relevant for the job, and then
  • Pull together an application / cover letter which sets out:
    • your understanding of the job
    • the skills you have which will be beneficial to the recruiter and help you perform well in the job
    • your knowledge of the industry / sector / duties required (as provided by your friend)
    • your ability to learn very quickly, with evidence of where you have done this before if you have some
    • the fact you are very keen to work for the company, and finally
    • how well you believe you will do if they employ you! 
  • Once your application has been submitted, we then suggest you call the recruiter if contact details are available or can be found, explain that you've submitted an application for the position, and then go on to outline all of the above verbally to them, making sure you can convince them an interview for you is the best choice they could make! 

We can't guarantee success, but this approach can and does work! We've supported clients through the process and achieved a positive response, so there is no reason why you can't have a go! 

And finally, if you are still looking for that ideal job, just have a quick search online HERE!