The Lack-of-Experience Conundrum


Anonymous writes:
Hello I am a recent graduate with a degree in economics from a major university and a GPA of 3.4/4.0. I am trying to find an entry-level analyst position but I am running into problems with lack of experience. I worked odd jobs through my college career to be able to afford tuition but I can’t seem to find a job because I could not afford to do any internships. I was wondering what advice you could give me. I am really at a loss and I am beginning to get frustrated.


The Career Doctor responds:
You have a very common problem of many college grads especially those from the liberal arts. Employers are demanding experience from all job-seekers including those
“entry-level” positions that college grads fill. Why the trend? Because these so-called entry-level jobs are no longer training positions; employers want employees who can make an impact from day one.
What can you do about it? You need to position yourself as having the key skills that employers seek in job candidates. You need to identify those key skills you gained from your educational experience as well as from those odd jobs while in college. And don’t put down those odd jobs; while they may not have been in your field you still gained valuable business skills and experience while working them.
My partner Katharine Hansen talks a lot about these transferable skills — and how college grads especially can take advantage of them — in her book Dynamic Cover Letters for New Graduates.
We also have a growing section on transferable skills at Quintessential Careers.
Once you’ve identified those transferable skill sets that you have mastered you can then go about experimenting with a chrono-functional resume. Read our article Should You Consider a Functional Resume? Keep in mind that many employers don’t like any kind of functional resume so have a chronological version ready in case the chrono-functional version isn’t working for you.