This blog post was written in response to the Coffee Shop HR World Café topic: “How can job seekers get interviews when entry-level job postings demand previous work experience?”
When entry-level positions demand that all applicants have work experience, how can recent grads and those seeking to enter the field land their first job?
What an interesting topic, as this is something I’ve been struggling with in the past few months. When I used to work in Hong Kong a few years ago, this was not as much of an issue. As an executive recruiter in Hong Kong, I was able to help candidates get into positions where they have not had the work experience in the field easily. The clients seem to understand and accept the fact that for entry positions, having the appropriate education such as a BBA degree for an HR administrative assistant is sufficient. Perhaps it has to do with the labour economy in Hong Kong at the time.
I honestly don’t have a definite solution to overcome this but I do have some ideas that may work.
One of the ways to overcome this may be going through an internship. An internship is an excellent way to enter and gain some experience in the field you are interested in. Even if there is no internship available, you may be able to find your own internship. Through internship, you can gain some work experience in the field you want.
Two is to go through contract jobs. Through contract jobs, you are able to gain a few months of work experience that most employers look for. This can be difficult at times because a lot of contract jobs do ask for individuals with some work experience.
Third is to work for the company in another role that you are eligible for. You know of a company or industry you are interested in, apply for a role that you are eligible for and through this, you can gain some experience in the company and learn the culture. While you are with the company, you may want to try to gain some cross-training and job shadowing someone in your ideal role.