Graduating students are faced with the transition into professional fields after earning their degrees. Unfortunately, they struggle to find employment due to “entry-level” jobs preferring, or even requiring, years of experience.
Students prepare throughout their collegiate experience to enter the workforce in their field of study, but it is not enough to land a job due to extensive requirements for entry-level positions. Some entry-level jobs in a professional field require years of experience in addition to four-year degrees and other skill requirements.
This structure is absurd. Applicants for an entry-level position should not be expected to have years of experience when the purpose is to build experience.
Some students have to financially provide for themselves whether it’s for their livelihood or to put themselves through college. Achieving the job requirements to enter into a professional field can be a struggle when balancing life, working to pay the bills and activities that build an adequate resume.
Students should not have to decide whether to provide for themselves or get internships to acquire the resume to support themselves after completing their degree.
The demand for multiple years of professional experience in entry-level positions is questionable in logic. If the entry level positions are requiring years of experience, there’s no way for applicants to ever gain any experience.
These jobs also require college degrees, therefore applicants wouldn’t even be able to have the opportunity to land professional experience prior to completing their degrees. This structure sets new professionals up for failure prior to applying to professional positions.
LinkedIn provides users with available positions within specific locations, fields and career levels, with many posting extensive and unreasonable qualifications. AireSpring, a technology company, is just one example of this. Its entry-level listing for a marketing aide on LinkedIn has requirements such as a bachelor degree, analytics experience, graphic design experience, “at least 1+ years experience working in a corporate office” and “at least 1 year of actual marketing experience is required.”
The verbiage of this listing deters new professional applicants from applying because of the use of the word “actual.” It undermines the work experience of applicants as their experience will be up to interpretation for whether or not it qualifies as “actual marketing experience.”
A viral post on LinkedIn tells hiring managers to stop expecting applicants of entry level positions to have several years of experience, but rather find qualities within candidates that will work hard and care about the company.
Hiring managers and companies need to be realistic about the experience entry-level candidates can bring to the table and not turn away candidates because they aren’t “qualified” enough for these positions. It’s important for companies to identify when they ask entry-level position applicants for various experiences, because the idea of an entry-level job is to gain that experience.
The requirements to have a diversity of experiences on a resume in an entry-level position puts pressure on students to maximize their involvements on campus, yet they neglect to see that students also have to find the time to find years of professional experience, provide for themselves and be successful in their coursework all at once.
Entry-level positions should focus on the abilities of candidates and how they can grow to support the corporation. Candidates who have spent two to four years earning degrees to enter their field should have the opportunity to demonstrate their capabilities and understanding of the role.