Why 0 Years of Experience Isn’t Always a Deal-breaker

When it comes to job hunting, we’ve all shared this same experience. The one where you’re ready to apply for your first job, or make a career change, or get a feel for what else is out there. At first, you’re excited, motivated, and ready for something new. You start by hopping on a job board and entering your desired position and location. You spend hours reading through job description after job description trying to match yourself up. Initially, the positions sound great, and you’re fully convinced you’d be a shoe-in for multiple openings. Then you reach the qualifications section, skim the bullet points, and you realize you’re hardly the candidate the company is looking for. Suddenly, any enthusiasm you had when you started the search has faded, the discouragement sets in, and you quit all together. Your old gig doesn’t look too bad anymore, does it?

The truth is, even though there are companies out there that are sticklers on quantifying years of experience, others actually prefer candidates that are new to the industry. That sounds crazy right? The truth is - you don’t necessarily need the exact “experience” to land your next job, and here’s why…

Your Skills are Transferable

Statistics show people change jobs an average of ten to fifteen times in their lifetime.


You’re probably wondering how that’s possible, considering how difficult it is to switch jobs just once, let alone ten times. The key here is to focus on your transferable skills.

What exactly are those you might ask? There are two types of skill sets: hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are teachable, easy to measure, and are often learned in a classroom setting. Examples include: computer programming, foreign language proficiency, and a degree or certificate. Soft skills are personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace, including worth ethic, patience, communication and motivation. Transferable skills are the learned (hard or soft) skills that you consistently apply, profession to profession.

More often than not, your transferable skills will fall in the soft skills category. The idea here is to tailor your resume and interview answers to show an employer what you can do, and how it will contribute to your success in the role you’re applying for. If you can prove that you’re coachable, hard-working, and innovative, the company will want you on their team. Industries are constantly looking for different perspectives and new strategies to get ahead of the competition. A fresh mindset can help drive breakthrough ideas!

You’re a Blank Canvas

Businesses invest significant time and money into establishing their own practices. Research shows that inefficient workflows can cost up to 30% of your company’s revenue. In deadline driven industries in particular, time is money and the quicker a new hire becomes acquainted with the day-to-day operations, the better overall.

For hiring managers, inexperienced applicants are like a blank canvas. To them, you are moldable, eager to learn, and easier to train. Sometimes, it’s advantageous when the new employee does not hold any preconceived notions on how things should be done. When teaching a fresh mind, the chances of having to backtrack, retrain, or break old habits learned at a previous job or internship are slim, which makes the overall onboarding process a little less complicated. And let’s face it, it’s never easy working with a “know it all.”


You’re Affordable

The average cost of training an employee is $1,252, and takes about 33.5 total hours. That’s nearly a full day of work and someone’s whole paycheck.


Needless to say, onboarding, though necessary, is not particularly economical. That’s why, businesses have to be smart when making hiring decisions. More experienced candidates will have higher expectations. More benefits, higher salaries, certain non-negotiables… they’ve worked hard to build their resume and now, understandably, they’re seeking more.

Inexperienced hires tend to care less about the perks as new entrees to the industry. In this position, they’re likely more concerned about gaining the skills they need to succeed in the future, which is typical for anyone trying to land their first “real” job. Hiring an inexperienced applicant can be cost effective if the company is capable of training and teaching the essential skills to produce quality work!

Moral of the story - don’t sell yourself short when it comes to applying for your next job! Even if you don’t have all of the position specific requirements, apply anyway if you think you’d be a suitable candidate. You may be exactly what the company is looking for!


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