I recently ran a search on online job boards for “entry-level” positions.
- Account Executive – Entry Level at Indeed: 2-5 years sales experience required
- Design Assistant at LG Interiors: 2+ years office and design experience required
- Junior/Entry Level QA Analyst & Testers at Apex Systems: 1-5 year QA experience required
- Entry Level Implementation Consultant at MicroEdge: 1-2 years of consulting or equivalent business experience and 2+ years of relational database/technical experience required
How “entry-level” do those positions sound to you?
In today’s competitive job market, more and more positions that are billed as entry-level aren’t actually for people just starting out in their careers. Rather, they’re designed for young professionals whose resumes include a few years of work experience on top of that Bachelor’s or Associate’s degree.
“There are so many jobs out there now that say ‘entry-level’ in their job title, but then they want at least one year’s experience, if not three to five,” says Amanda Augustine, career expert at online job-matching service TheLadders. “They’re just jumping the gun and saying we want young blood, but you need some skills in order to get there.”
The new true entry-level positions, Augustine explains, are internships, corporate apprenticeships, and other types of limited-time fellowships and residencies. These programs, like the NBCUniversal Page Program, are often designed to rotate young people through many different areas of a company to see what jobs best suit their abilities.
Augustine says many employers are reluctant to hire recent graduates because they might turn out to be job hoppers. On-boarding new hires is expensive for a company, and there’s no point wasting those resources on an untested candidate who might quit after a few months.
One way truly entry-level job seekers can overcome this barrier is by filling their resume with internships and relevant work experience. This shows prospective employers that you can stick it out in an office setting, and it creates a network of people who (hopefully) will be willing to vouch for your credentials.
And you shouldn’t be afraid to take a position, even if it’s on the bottom rung of the ladder. “You just need to get your foot in the door,” Augustine says.
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