Why Do Entry Level Jobs Require Experience?

Fact-checked

We’ve all been there—you’re fresh out of college and ready to take on the professional world, but every job you apply for says it “requires experience.” What gives? Why can’t companies just give new graduates a chance? It’s not fair! Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

This article will explain everything you need to know about why do entry level jobs require experience, what kind of experience they’re looking for, and how you can gain the experience you need.

So, let’s get to it!

What Are Entry Level Jobs?

Entry level jobs are positions typically filled by recent college grads or those new to an industry, and they usually require little to no experience and provide on-the-job training. As they often lead to career advancement opportunities, entry level jobs are a great way to get your foot in the door at a company. However, although some jobs hiring at entry level may require no experience, others may require a few years of relevant experience. The best way to determine the amount of experience required for a particular position is to read the job description carefully.

Why Do Entry Level Jobs Require Experience?

Although it’s very annoying, employers have a few reasons why they’re asking for experience when potential employees apply for an entry level job:

The Job Market Is Competitive

In today’s job market, there are more job seekers than there are jobs, which leads to employers being very picky when it comes to hiring. They often receive hundreds of applications for each open position, so they’re looking for any reason to narrow down the pool of candidates—and requiring experience for entry level positions is one way to do so.

Employers Want to See You Have the Necessary Skills

When you have experience in a certain field, it shows you have the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. For example, if you’re applying for an entry level marketing job, employers will want to see you have some experience with marketing, which can include internships, coursework, or even a personal blog where you write about marketing. Some courses on Udemy and Coursera allow you to practice what you’ve learned and build a portfolio of your work that you can send with your job application.

It’s a Way to Weed Out Unqualified Candidates

Another reason why employers require experience on entry level positions is to weed out unqualified candidates. If you don’t have any relevant experience, most likely you won’t be able to do the job, which is why employers use experience as a way to screen candidates. But don’t think that faking your experience will get you through the door. Some employers may use a background check service to verify your skills and see what kind of worker you are.

It May Be a Requirement of the Industry

In some industries, experience is a requirement, not a preference. Some of the jobs that require experience are often of sensitive nature. For example, if you’re applying for a job in the healthcare industry, you’ll likely need some experience working in a hospital or another medical setting, as the healthcare industry has strict regulations and standards that must be met. Therefore, employers in this industry often require experience in order to ensure their employees are a good fit.

It May Be Required by Law

In some cases, employers are required by law to hire employees with a certain level of experience. For example, many states have laws that require teachers to have a certain amount of teaching experience before they can be hired. This is because teaching is a highly regulated profession, and employers need to ensure their employees are qualified and have a minimum of four years of entry level experience.

Employers Don’t Want to Train You

Another reason employers require experience is because they don’t want to train you—they’d rather hire someone who already has the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job. This saves them time and money, and ensures their employees are able to hit the ground running.

DID YOU KNOW: Although training employees isn’t a common practice, it has been proven that, if given a proper training, they would be more capable and efficient of doing their job.

How to Get a Job with No Experience?

Although it’s very difficult to find a job when you have no experience, there are some ways to make yourself more attractive to employers:

1. Highlight Your Transferable Skills

One way to get a job with no entry level experience is to highlight your transferable skills—these are the skills you’ve acquired through other experiences such as school, work, or volunteer work. For example, if you’re applying for a job in customer service, you can highlight the fact that you have experience dealing with clients in an NGO and point out a critical situation you were faced with and how you solved it. This will show employers you have the necessary communication skills for the job, although you may not have direct experience working in customer service.

2. Get Creative with Your Resume

Having a well-written resume is important, but it’s even more important if you’re applying for entry level jobs that require experience when you don’t have any. In such cases, you need to make sure your resume stands out from the rest, and one way to do so is to get creative with it. Use infographics, charts, and other visuals to highlight your skills and qualifications. Also, make sure you customize your resume for every job you apply for, as this will help you stand out from the crowd and make a good impression on potential employers. If you don’t know how, there are many resume writing services such as CraftResumes and ResumeWriters that can help you.

3. Sell Yourself in the Cover Letter

The purpose of the cover letter is to introduce and sell yourself to the employer and state your interest in the position. This is your opportunity to show employers why you’re the best candidate for the job. Instead of asking yourself “why do entry level positions require experience,” make the most out of your cover letter in as few words as possible. Be sure to highlight your transferable skills and explain how you can use them in the job you’re applying for.

4. Network

Another way to get a job with no experience is to network. Get connected with people in your industry and let them know you’re looking for a job, attend industry events and meetups, and reach out to people on social media.

5. Be Patient

Finally, it’s important to be patient when looking for a job with no experience. It may take some time to find the right opportunity, but if you keep at it, you’ll eventually find the perfect job for you, even your dream job that pays 500k per year. At the end of the day, it’s not important why do entry level positions require experience but why you are afraid to start at the bottom.

DID YOU KNOW: According to Harvard Business Review, a large percentage of middle-skill positions have lowered down their degree requirements and replaced them with necessary skills requirements. After all, hiring potential can turn more beneficial than hiring degrees. 

Entry Level Jobs that Don’t Require Experience

Although experience is a must in some job positions, there are some opportunities for those who are just starting their career, as well as many jobs you can do from home that don’t require experience.

Check out this list of entry level jobs that you may find via popular job search sites:

  • Customer service representative
  • Retail sales associate
  • Food service worker
  • Administrative assistant
  • Janitorial staff
  • Warehouse worker
  • Delivery driver
  • Security guard
  • Data entry clerk
  • File clerk

Key Takeaways

Employers might ask for experience to weed out uninterested applicants, because they want someone with specific skill sets, or simply because they don’t want to train you.
If you don’t have any relevant work experience, consider looking for internships/volunteer opportunities, start working as a freelancer, network, or try job shadowing.
Some of the entry level jobs that require no experience are: customer service representative, retail sales associate, warehouse worker, data entry clerk, administrative assistant, and others.
You can find an entry level job with no experience by focusing on your transferable skills, writing a powerful resume and cover letter, and networking.

How to Gain Experience for an Entry Level Job?

If you don’t have any professional experience yet, don’t worry! There are still ways to make yourself desirable to potential employers. Here are some things you can do before applying for jobs that require experience:

1. Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in the field you’re interested in. Not only will you be able to learn new skills, but you’ll also make connections with people working in the industry.

2. Internship

An internship is another great way to gain experience. This will allow you to work in the field you’re interested in and learn more about the industry.

3. Networking

Networking is one of the best ways to gain experience. Connecting with people who work in the industry you’re interested in means they may be able to give you advice, introduce you to other people, or even help you get jobs that are hiring at entry level. LinkedIn can be a great starting point for this.

4. Job Shadowing

Job shadowing is another great way to learn about the industry you’re interested in. This involves spending time with someone who works in the field and observing what they do.

5. Freelancing

If you’re interested in a creative field such as graphic design or freelance writing, you can gain experience by freelancing. This means working on projects for clients on a contract basis to gain the experience you need. Freelance platforms like Fiverr and FlexJobs are a great starting point to gain some experience.

DID YOU KNOW: In the US, there were more than 59 million freelancers in 2020.

Conclusion

While it may seem unfair, there are a few reasons why entry level jobs might require experience. Employers might use this as a way to weed out applicants who aren’t truly interested in the position. Additionally, they may be looking for candidates with specific skill sets that can add value to their company. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t get discouraged—rather, use it as an opportunity to stand out from the competition. Be prepared to sell yourself and your skills during the interview process, and you’ll be sure to land the job you want.

FAQ

What is the difference between entry-level and no experience?

No experience means an applicant has zero relevant work experience in the field they’re applying for, while entry-level indicates an applicant has some relevant work experience and/or education, but is still new to the workforce. But how many years of experience is entry level? Entry-level jobs generally require 0-to-two years of experience, while no experience requires none.

How am I supposed to get a job with no experience?

This is a common conundrum—you need a job to get experience, but most entry-level jobs require at least some level of experience. One option is to look for internships or volunteer opportunities to learn new skills and build your resume. Another option is to look for jobs that don’t explicitly require experience. Finally, don’t be afraid to start at the bottom—sometimes, the best way to get experience is to just jump in and do it.

Why are entry level jobs asking for experience?

There are a few reasons why do entry level jobs require experience. Employers might use this as a way to weed out applicants who aren’t truly interested in the position, or they may be looking for candidates with specific skill sets that can add value to their company.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I'm a bit of a nomad – I've graduated marketing from one university, but have worked in many different fields. Through NGOs, I've coached career changers and professionals, and enjoy giving advice about training options, employment prospects and how to make the most of your career. I know what it's like to be lost and not sure where to go – that's why I love helping people find their path. When I'm not writing (which is rare), you can usually find me reading books or watching true crime documentaries (I know, thrilling stuff).

Latest from Radica

Why Do Entry Level Jobs Require Experience? Jobs That Pay Weekly [13 Offline and Online Jobs] Best Paying Jobs in Finance [Top 10 List] 15 Highest Paying Blue-Collar Jobs in 2022

Leave a Reply