As you’re applying for jobs, you’re likely to come across the requirement for a minimum amount of required work experience to be eligible for a position.
But what does work experience actually mean? What counts as work experience? And how do you calculate years of work experience?
This article will unpack all of those questions and more.
Let’s dive in.
What is Work Experience?
Work experience typically refers to any previous employment or internship where an individual has gained knowledge, skills, and expertise that can be applied to a new job. This can include both paid and unpaid positions, as well as freelance or self-employment.
The above definition was provided by Michael Samuel, Founder & Career Coach, CEOMichaelHR.
What Counts as Work Experience For a Job?
Work experience can vary depending on the position you’re applying for. It may include full-time or part-time roles, internships, temporary
positions, freelance projects, and even volunteer work.
The key is that the experience should be relevant to the job you’re applying for, showcasing the skills and knowledge you’ve gained in that particular field. For example, if you’re applying for a marketing role, experience in a marketing agency, an internship in a marketing department, or volunteering to manage social media accounts for a non-profit organization can all count as work experience.
The above content was provided by Shri Ganeshram CEO and Founder, Awning.com
Do Years of Work Experience Matter For Getting a Job?
Yes, years of work experience do matter for getting a job. In fact the number of years of work experience that you have is often a key requirement listed on a job posting to determine whether or not you have the qualifications to even get an interview for a job.
And the more that I go through my career, the more that I understand why work experience does matter. There are many soft skills that simply take time to develop when working in the corporate world. Things like how to manage a project, how to get buy in, how to work across teams, are all soft skills that you often need real hands on experience to develop.
That said, work experience isn’t the only thing that matters for getting a job. And many leaders look beyond work experience when evaluating a candidate.
In fact, Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal, says the following:
“Rather than focusing solely on years of experience, I like to look at what someone has accomplished in their career. Have they built something significant, created new products or services, or led successful teams? These are the types of accomplishments that truly demonstrate a person’s expertise and value.
Of course, years of experience do matter to a certain extent. It’s important to gauge whether someone has the necessary experience to perform the job at hand. However, it’s not the only factor to consider.”
How Do You Calculate Years of Work Experience?
Once the start and end dates of your employment have been established, you can calculate the total number of years worked by taking the start date and subtracting it from the finish date.
Your total years of employment would be 23, for example, if your start date was January 1, 2000, and your end date is May 1, 2023.
The total number of months is determined by multiplying the number of years by 12, which in this case is 276 months if you want to do the math correctly.
The above content was provided by Kaloyan Dimitrov, Resume Expert, Career Expert at EnchanceCV.
Tips for Applying to a Job When You Have Little Work Experience
Even if you don’t have the number of years of experience required for a role, apply to it if you truly think you can be successful in that role. Be prepared to argue your skill set and what you can bring to the table if you were hired for that role.
Do research before you apply, and write a detailed, yet brief cover letter explaining why the hiring manager should consider you despite your lack of experience. Be persistent, send a follow up email a few days after you submit your resume and cover letter. Some managers may choose to pass up your resume either way. But other managers, like myself, are willing to overlook work experience for the right candidate.
The content above was provided by Anna Ohler, Owner, www.smallbusinessmgr.com
Work experience is an important factor for getting a job but it’s not the only factor.
And, if you don’t have the requisite experience that you need to get the job that you’d like, there are creative ways to go obtain the relative experience, such as volunteering, helping out a non profit, or conducting your own projects in the field.