What Does Entry Level Mean? No Experience Jobs

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Looking for your first job can be confusing. It’s hard to know what to search for, and even if you do find a job that looks interesting, it’s hard to tell if you have the required experience to actually land the job. Here on One Day, One Job, we write about entry level jobs for new college gradates. If you’re a college student or a new college grad, then you’re in the right place. We’re going to take a look at the intricacies of what “entry level” really means, and help you figure out how to determine what companies really mean when they list experience requirements on a job posting.

What Does “Entry Level” Mean?

The only word that is commonly used to to identify jobs that are suited for new college graduates is “entry level.” Many companies use the term, but there are just as many that don’t. Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

An entry-level job is a job that generally requires little skill and knowledge, and is generally of a low pay. These jobs may require physical strength or some on-site training. Many entry-level jobs are part-time, and do not include employee benefits. Recent graduates from high school or college usually take entry-level positions.

Entry-level jobs which are targeted at college graduates often offer a higher salary. These positions are more likely to require specific skills and knowledge. Most entry-level jobs offered to college graduates are full-time permanent positions.

As you can see, there are really two definitions. For this reason searching for “entry level jobs” often won’t yield the results that you’re looking for. You’ll come across too many jobs that you’re overqualified for because you have a college degree, and you’ll also miss out on all the jobs from companies who don’t call their jobs “entry level.” You can try searching job boards that only list entry level jobs for new college grads, but those also offer limited options. The only way to consistently find great career opportunities at companies that are willing to hire new college graduates is to learn how to read between the lines in a job description.

Does Anyone Really Have No Experience?

Now that we’ve gotten to the bottom of what “entry level” actually means, we need to discuss how you can figure out which jobs to apply to as a new college grad with “no experience.” If you find an awesome job that says that it’s specifically suited to new college grads who have no work experience, then you’re all set. If you find a company with a college recruiting section on their website, then you’re also in good shape. That is, unless you come across a company that lists “entry level jobs,” but then includes job descriptions that say that they require “3 years of experience.” Before you rip your hair out in frustration, you should realize that every single company has a different interpretation of what a year of experience actually is.

One company that we worked with said that internships, volunteer work, coursework, membership in college organizations, and almost anything else that might help you hone your professional skills can be considered experience. That means that this company would actually list a job as being entry level and requiring 3 years of experience, but they would consider applicants who had never had a full-time job before. This is probably the broadest interpretation that we’ve seen, but you should make note of it.

There are also companies that say that they want someone who has 1-3 years of work experience. They mean what they’re saying. They want someone who has spent time in a full-time job. That doesn’t mean that they won’t hire you, though. Companies are often overzealous in the experience requirements that they list. They have an unrealistic perception of who the ideal candidate is. These are the types of jobs that many new college grads don’t have the confidence to apply for. That’s the wrong attitude. Many of these jobs are within the reach of new college grads who are able to sell themselves. The key is being confident enough to apply and framing your non-work experience in terms that make you sound like you’ll transition into the new job with ease. We’ve seen it work time after time.

How Do You Identify These Jobs?

Reading between the lines is tough. The most simple advice that we can offer is to apply for any job that you think that you can do. If the job description sounds interesting and doesn’t seem to be beyond your capabilities, go for it. As long as the experience requirements on the job posting are within the range of 1-3 years, you should at least get a look. Whether you’re scanning job boards, searching Google for jobs, or targeting specific employers, you need to realize that there is almost no consistency between companies when they list experience requirements. When you’re job searching, you need to look carefully at job descriptions and company websites to get an idea of their culture. See what kind of experience their current employees have through LinkedIn, and use that information to get a better sense of what companies are actually looking for.

If this is overwhelming for you, then don’t worry about it. Every day we profile of a new employer who is hiring new college graduates. You can look at our archive of the best entry level jobs, see what kind of jobs are available to people with your college major, or subscribe to get our jobs in your e-mail every day for free. We’re pros at reading between the lines, so you can trust us to find the entry level jobs that you will probably never find on your own.

What Kind of Opportunities Are Out There?

We often hear from new college grads that they’re not sure what kind of jobs are relevant to their college major. The beauty of many entry-level jobs is that your college major doesn’t matter much at all. There are a ton of jobs out there that will let you start fresh; but what if you feel committed to trying to put your education to good use? A few months ago we added tags to all of our posts to make it easier for you to navigate the hundreds of entry-level employers whom we’ve featured. In this post we’re going to link those tags to specific college majors.

Our list of college majors comes directly from the 2004-2005 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Higher Education General Information Survey. We’ve also included the number of graduates for each major to give you an idea of what kind of competition you’re facing. The tags pages that we’ve linked to our based our opinions of which employers match up best with each educational background.

1,439,264 undergraduate received Bachelors degrees during the 2004-2005 school year. Below you will find the distribution of new graduates in each major and the types of jobs that we think might appeal to them. This is a work in progress, so please leave comments and suggestion on anything that may be miscategorized or left out.

Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Conservation (23,002 new grads)

Architecture (9,237 new grads)

Area, ethnic, cultural, and gender studies (7,569 new grads)

Biological and biomedical sciences (64,611 new grads)

Business (311,574 new grads)

Communication, journalism, and related programs (72,715 new grads)

Communications technologies (2,523 new grads)

Computer and information sciences (54,111 new grads)

Education (105,451 new grads)

Engineering (64,906 new grads)

Engineering technologies (14,837 new grads)

English language and literature/letters (54,379 new grads)

Family and consumer sciences/human sciences (20,074 new grads)

Foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics (18,386 new grads)

Health professions and related clinical sciences (80,685 new grads)

Legal professions and studies (3,161 new grads)

Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities (43,751 new grads)

Library science (76 new grads)

Mathematics and statistics (14,351 new grads)

Military technologies (40 new grads)

Multi/interdisciplinary studies (30,243 new grads)

  • You designed your own major, you can figure it out yourself.

Parks, recreation, leisure and fitness studies (22,888 new grads)

Philosophy and religious studies (11,584 new grads)

Physical sciences and science technologies (18,905 new grads)

Precision production (64 new grads)

Psychology (85,614 new grads)

Public administration and social services (21,769 new grads)

Security and protective services (30,723 new grads)

Social sciences and history (156,892 new grads)

Theology and religious vocations (9,284 new grads)

Transportation and materials moving (4,904 new grads)

Visual and performing arts (80,955 new grads)

Have any input? Leave a comment.


63 Responses to “What Does Entry Level Mean? No Experience Jobs”

  1. Willy,

    Great post. I tell students all the time that “entry-level” is being redefined in most industries. For the most part, graduating with a college degree and “no experience” is simply not enough these days.

    However, you make an important point about how “internships, volunteer work, coursework, membership in college organizations, and almost anything else that might help you hone your professional skills can be considered experience.” I would agree that most organizations will consider these types of experience when evaluating you as a potential hire. If nothing else, they might increase your starting salary (which is never a bad thing).

    Again, very useful post.

    Heather Huhman
    Entry Level Careers Examiner
    Examiner.com
    http://www.examiner.com/x-828-Entry-Level-Careers-Examiner

  2. Holly says:

    What a great post! I work as a recruiter in Boston for Hollister Staffing (www.hollisterstaff.com) and deal with mostly college grads. In my experience, they all seem to have a hard time determining what they are qualified for and what they aren’t. I agree with you that today having a college degree and no experience isn’t enough, and find that grads who had internships, got involved on campus, etc have an easier time finding a job than those that did not. This is all great advice, thank you for sharing it!

  3. Jason says:

    I’ve actually applied for the same job I interned for and when I did intern they said that I am an excellent worker, but they didn’t have a position open. But I applied for the job when the position opened, had my application forwarded to a manager the same day, got called in for an interview the next day, had probably my best interview ever, waited the whole two weeks for a call, finally called 3 days after thr two week period and found out they hired someone else. This is coming from the guy that I did the job that takes normally a month or two to catch onto in a week and said I am the perfect candidate, passed with a 3.9 GPA after 4 years of college while working a full-time job and taking care of a home, but no prior experience in this field. NO EXPERIENCE = NO JOB It’s all about who you know in the company. Sad but true….

  4. pam says:

    I don’t think its fair that people have to be experinced in almost everything just to find a job. What about students right out of school that needs a job to pay a few bills or so. believe it or not, majority of the time the ones with no experience would be a better worker for the job position then the ones who are experienced.

  5. Gustafson says:

    I find the term entry level to mean that the hiring company doesn’t want to pay much and that the hiring company is OK with the fact that they will have to bring you up to speed.

    Entering into a new industry, be that after graduating or changing professions usually entails changing job tasks and responsibilities.


    Gustafson
    http://theviewfromhome.com/thejobhunt – my job search notes

  6. Freddy says:

    Very nice post willy, this has woke me up alot. I am currently searching for a job in the boston area since my contract is almost up for my current job and it seems like I will be unemployed again with only 7 months of networking experience. I have an associates degree now and still have a very hard time landing a job because of experience as usual so, im looking into taking some certifications for extra help. Any suggestions on this would be helpful.

  7. lisa says:

    I totally agree that it is unfair that people with no experience cannot find jobs very easily as imyself am a 16 year old just left school and it is so hard to find a job because of having no experience and age restrictions are increasing on every thing which also has a great impact.

  8. Jessica says:

    I agree with some people. What about us college graduates that have the degree but no experience in the field because there were no open internships available for that major in the local area? Does that mean we’re going to be homeless? Even people with graduate degrees have a hard time getting employed into entry level jobs. I read on this woman who had two master’s degrees and she couldn’t get a callback for a manager’s training position at a McDonald’s despite the fact that only a high school diploma is required. I swear, it seems like it’s required for you to have a Ph.D. from Yale to even get a callback for an entry level position.

    • Renee says:

      I have a Bachelors of Science degree and no official work experience and am finding looking for a job is such a daunting task. I have known people who had no college education and very little work experience have better luck than I am having. I can’t even land a Target job. Very depressing. You spend thousands on a college education, work hard (believe it or not, but college is work), and where does it get you?

      Some say that companies prefer those with little to no experience because they see an easier mold (no bad work habits, etc). If they exist, I haven’t seen them. I wish this was true with many companies!

  9. La Shandra says:

    I just graduated from college and I now carry a License as a Psychiatric Technician. I have not found a job since August because every single job keeps telling me I need 1 yr of experience. I have searched everywhere for places that will hire without experience and I have found NONE. I have invested 1 year of my life to go to school for this profession 5 days a week 8 hours a day in school and now I am in the process of becoming a Sheriff because I really need a job. I just think its very sad that I had to switch my whole career because NOBODY will hire me without a year of experience……. Where do I get this year of experience if nobody will hire me without any experience??? Its discouraging

  10. retired at 24 says:

    After 13 years at the same job and 4 promotions I am now overqualified for most positions I apply for. 20% unemployment in Usa will maybe be the downfall of the economy. Good luck grads!

  11. I am a 21 year old who went from school to Prison and now that I want to do the right thing I can’t get a job! I never actually got to have a job. I do have my GED but it seems to me like that doesnt even matter any more because I have no work experience.

  12. Pam says:

    It seems that prison-to-work people have an easier time getting jobs than college-to-work ones who got their Bachelor’s degree after going to college straight out of college-prep high school, no taking time off, no having babies out of wedlock, no criminal record, no drugs, no none of that. There are more welfare-to-work programs in the states than there are college-to-work ones. Entry level means an employer would rather hire someone with their GED and a felony record and a few out of wedlock children because the welfare-to-work programs give the employers money to participate in that. In my experience, I lost a job somewhere (for mistaken identity and my personal credit problems in their background and credit check) at which the welfare-to-work person was getting all the promotions and to this day is probably still there…well, guess what. The welfare-to-work girl doesn’t have “bad credit” from drowning in student loan debt from COLLEGE. That’s one main reason why employers would rather hire them than college graduates… sometimes I think school-to-prison is more acceptable by society as to what people SHOULD be doing, and that’s what makes those people a “better fit” in most companies. They’ve done “what they’re supposed to be doing” with their lives and so welcome, welcome. People like me are “unnatural” and a ‘freak’ and a misfit of society and no employer wants to hire that. (these days, not even in San Francisco…)

    I may have to get my Master’s in Biotechnology or Bioagricultural Engineering just to get an entry level job washing petri dishes and labelling specimen jars at some lab somewhere in some remote part of the country where no one lives…and that’s IFFF I can get “work references” all the while no one will hire me.

    I’m competing like hell for an UNPAID internship with a government agency whose work is in my field. This is pathetic.

  13. Christian says:

    It’s very discouraging to know despite all our hard work at school trying to better ourselves, employers cease to recognize our talent. It’s bull in my opinion. Now I have to consider re-enlisting into the Military. That is something I really didn’t want to do as Military life does indeed suck very much. At least there I don’t have to know someone to put food in my stomach and a roof over my head. I’m tired of seeing people who don’t qualify at all getting jobs because they knew someone. Does honest hard work even count at all today? Good luck to everyone.

  14. Tom says:

    I’m 27 and have a BS in Computer Science but no experience and no relevant work history (I last worked at a 7-11 in 2002). I graduated from College May 2007 so I’m not a recent grad either.

    I’m having no luck finding work and am probably totally screwed

    Where are entry level IT jobs? Jobs that offer training?

    I’m at my wits end here…

  15. Jack Lan says:

    I need help looking for a job in Davis, Ca or surrounding area. No experience.

    Thanks.

    • Pam says:

      Davis? Good luck with that. You’ll have to be willing and able to haul it down to San Francisco or San Jose and then the jobs will ignore your application when they see that you live “way out” in Davis. That one is a catch-22 but the job market in nearer-by Sacramento sucks worse. Those jobs, it’s like they purposely DON’T want an education, they demand work experience and reachable work references or your application goes straight into the trash and you never hear from them. Good luck being in Davis and looking for a job.

  16. Jin says:

    For me, to find a job is to play a game. Like every other games, rules exist. Me? Even with almost 2 years experience in real jobs, I still fail most of the interviews just because I don’t want to play that game. Honestly, I hate being interviewed.

    1. you have to understand the game and
    2. you have to want to play it

    good luck,

  17. Garrett says:

    So I graduated with three bachelor degrees from my university; Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Japanese. I was one of those kids who got really good grades in HS, and was able to go straight into one of the better universities in my state. I worked my butt off to get those three degrees; spending practically 20hrs a week in lab, doing massive amounts of HARD coursework, and pretty much having no social life. I didn’t take summers off, so I could graduate on time. I did graduate on time. But tell me why its been six months already, and I still don’t have a job. I’ve looked in biotech/research, but I’m competing against MA/Ph.D holders, so I’m screwed. I don’t want go to through more schooling, because I’m already in a HUGE debt thanks to student loans. But lucky for me, I have a BA in Japanese. The plan now is to move to Japan and work for a government agency through the JET program. Thank goodness.

  18. Sean says:

    I graduated with a degree in finance in May of 06. I am still waiting tables because I am under qualified for degreed jobs due to lack of experience, yet I am over qualified for bank teller jobs because I have a degree. I really thought earning that degree would open doors, not close them.

  19. Kimberly says:

    I am about to graduate with my BS in CJ in July of 2010. I have already started job searching and find that to become a paralegal, i don’t even NEED a degree.. but that might be all I qualify for… I spent time at home raising my children. I have an 18 year old daughter, 3 in between, and a 2 year old. I of course don’t have any ‘reputable’ work experience, nor is it long enough, except the tenacity to have stayed at home and collect a ‘not so good check’ LOL. It is pitiful, you can’t get anywhere these days without a college education, well now it seems you can’t get anywhere WITH one!

  20. Jeff says:

    This is the fault of the public education system. Classes such as english, art, and history should come with a disclaimer making sure participants know that there are no jobs in those fields unless you are really good and have the money to invest in graduate education. High school vocational centers should train students in answering phones, customer service, typing, managing databases, and other things that employers look for these days. The government should only provide financial aid to students majoring in a field that is in demand and will virtually guarantee a job. This is sad but true, as I majored in history myself. I came into college as a physical therapy hopeful, but I was really bad at math and science, so I had to change over to something I was good at. I can’t help it because I don’t have a mathematical brain. I can’t do anything about it. Things are getting to the point where it would make more sense to turn away those who aren’t good at math and science than to give them money to obtain degrees that lead nowhere. Just turn everyone into number computing machines, cyborgs. Well maybe not that far, but I feel so stupid for wasting all of that money. High school teachers and counselors told me to go to college so I did. I did all that I could with what I had, and now I don’t know what to do.

  21. Joyce says:

    I am glad to see so many people actually feel the same way. I got a dipolma and I am the top student in college…but still no one in my field would like to hire someone with no experience. The company require experience for almost everything..2 yr customer service experience, 2 yr admin, proficient in this and that. and yet they prefer bilingual..I can speak Eng and Chinese, but they said sorry, Custmoer Service require perfect English.

  22. Dark-Star says:

    The least the older generations could do, having alternately voted away and squandered our futures, would be to provide free euthanasia centers for us.

  23. D. says:

    I graduated in 2008 with a questionably worthless B.A. in International Affairs. It is almost impossible to obtain an entry-level federal position straight out of university. I enjoy policy research, but many of the think tanks will not hire without adequate experience. I graduated from a reputable state college, but it’s gotten to the point where I have to avoid loan debt collectors because I can’t find employment anywhere.

    I’d like to volunteer as well as work, but the truth is volunteering won’t help keep the lights on. People complain about my generation feeling too “entitled.” Excuse me, but perhaps I should feel a little entilted to at least a 30k entry level postion after siphoning off more than 70k to my education. Waitressing itsn’t going to keep the collectors from harassing me!

    I completely understand everyone here. I feel as though, I’ve wasted four years for absolutely zilch. Jeff had it right. Let’s just start teaching kindergartners how to use excel, outlook, and do accounting. Why teach them all of that silly stuff, like history, policy, or civics?

    None of that stuff matters anyway…./sarcasm

    • R. says:

      I feel for you. I’m from Canada and there are a great many in your situation.

      Part of the problem is we are graduating far too many Arts degrees where the economic value is questionable, compared to the hard trades that Canada needs (plumbing, welding, etc..).

  24. Milosz says:

    I graduated with a bachelor degree in information technology Septermber 2009. I have no experience in the field but I have 8 years of working experience ovall and I’m 24. I have A+ and Network + certifications and still no luck finding a job. All these people want experience and act like they were born with knowledge in whatever they are working in. I just don’t know why they think like that. They tell me that they have been in the field for 10 – 15 years and are experts and stuff like that. First of let me say that 15 years ago if you knew what a monitor or a motherboard was in a computer you were a genius. 15 years ago, 1995 we had Windows 95 and I’m not sure if dial up internet existed yet or email. They ask me about today’s applications that THEY are using (each industry uses different applications for their needs, for example if I work for insurance industry I’ll be using some type of claims application. If i’m working for a Google i’m dealing with totally different applications). My point is that these applications are learned and NOBODY was borned with knowledge how to use these applications or troubleshoot them. On some interviews the people who interviewed me had less knowledge then me on overall information technology. Today’s job market really sucks and I just might going to have to find a temp data entry job or whatever.

  25. Bridget says:

    I would like President Obama to read this. I voted for him! I am a single mother who just spent the last four years of my life getting my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Arizona. I can not find a job. Every job wants experience. There for NO Experience= No Job. I apply for these jobs anyways just to get letters back saying that I am not qualified. I am now drowning in school loan debt, where the interest just keeps growing. I can’t even declare bankruptcy, but the thing is that I WANT A JOB! Maybe it was the degree that i got, Media Art. Ok, so now what? I’m just am thrown into the cracks where no one will notice. There should be help for college graduates who can not get work. Maybe I could get a degree change paid for by the government or some kind of help getting a job. I mean I already owe 30.000 dollars which will at least double by the time I am done paying it. This is crazy. This is not freedom! This is oppression at the fullest degree. There has to be something done about this. In other countries you get schooling for free. These colleges should be held responsible for getting these graduates jobs. Maybe then they wouldn’t give these gigantic loans out so leisurely. Please help!

  26. Brian G says:

    The reason these employers can require such extreme amounts of qualifications is simply because there are people who can meet them. There are so many people unemployed right now that people with years of experience are taking jobs that would have been given to recent college grads in time past. The college solves every problem answer that has been shoved down our throat is obsolete, we are stuck pumping out far more college grads than our economy wants or needs. 70k+ spent on an education, bills piling up, ruined credit, is this really the best solution? Is this what high school students should be working towards, would any of you have gone to college knowing the truth? Well since most of you already have your best option is to take that crappy job at minimum wage, but look at it from a different point of view, advancement. The only way you will go straight from school to well off is to invent something, or know someone, for the rest of us we have to think long term. Take that minimum wage job that despite having nothing to do with your degree works in close proximity to your desired field, for example for a person with a degree in the biotechnology field you would be well suited to take a grunt job at a waste treatment plant and move up after you move to a job that is somewhat near your field stay there for three years, and voila you have plenty of experienced in the practical application of your field (this was just a rough example i know next to nothing about biotechnology). Now that you have the experience required go find a 50k+ job out there. Of course most people who try this will be completely financially ruined by the time they get a “good job”.

  27. Scar says:

    Very true. This is why I get jobs: because I look at the requirements and make sure I know I can do everything on the description, then I go for it regardless of what it says is required. And I haven’t failed an interview yet.

  28. Frustrated says:

    Just graduated from college in May of 2010, and I have a GPA of 4.0, I am and Honors Student, Summa Cum Laude in Medical Billing/Coding. And guess what? I totally emphathize with what all of you are going thru. Just got a text from a fellow classmate lamenting the same problem Im having , as the rest of you are goin thru. I echo all your sentiments, the same “No experience, no job” syndrome. If anyone knows of an any entry level medical billing/coding position in the San Diego area. please let me know. Were in this together.

  29. V says:

    After reading this page, it felt like people have written down what I have gone through over the last year and a half. After my bachelors degree, I thought it would be great if I continued my studies and enrolled into a masters program. I graduated in engineering from a reputed college with a 3.7 GPA, secured the best student award for my graduating year and ….. ended up without a job. All because I had no relevant experience. All my grades, my effort and whatever I gained through my education seems a waste now that I can’t put it into use. My hopes get dimmer by the day as new grads turn up every 6 months. After all, who would want to hire a person who’s knowledge gathers dust with the passage of time.

    Thankfully, I had a scholarship so I don’t have loans. A supportive family ensures I have a roof over my head and meals on the table. Otherwise I dread to imagine the condition I would be today.

  30. DJ says:

    I came across this board on a google search for any sort of job help. I read every last post and I couldn’t help but take the time to echo everyone’s statements. I’m 21, I’ve never held a job in my life, and now family and life situations have forced me to find a job for the past year now. I’ve been searching for what feels like ages now. NOTHING is turning up. I can’t even seem to get a job flipping burgers or serving donuts despite said establishments having NOW HIRING signs out front in clear view. I am not an idiot. I know how to use a cash register, I can handle money, I can serve food. So then what is wrong with me? Why can’t I be hired? It is really not fair anymore. What little money I have left is slowly disappearing and there is still no job in sight. I’m afraid of what’s going to happen to me. The last generation screwed up the economy and now we young people are paying the price. Not fair at all…

  31. shane says:

    I have my BA from the university of texas with a 3.4 gpa. unfortunately everyone growing up lied to me when they said ” go to college so you can get a good job”. After searching for a good job for several months, I have been rejected by places such as target, best buy, kohls, ect. in an attempt to get a minimum wage job. i guess you need either a masters or no degree at all because the B.A. has done nothign but hurt me. so im starting to think its Obamas fault i cant get a job. when bush was in office (before my degree) i was able to get jobs with ease.

  32. N says:

    I graduated from college in 2005 1 year after I graduated I got a job as a Rec Therapist at a behavioral health facility. Prior to this I had always worked part time mostly after school programs. While I was working full time I decided to get a Master’s in Public Administration. I had 3.8 gpa I always had a job so I balance school and work fine but I do not have relevent experience shouldnt coursework count as experience. I graduated with my Master’s in 2008 got married in 2009 and decided to take some time off. Now that I am ready to go back to work I can not find a thing. I’m unble to pay my student loans and money is running out. Do I take my Master’s off of my resume? It sucks that I invested so much time and money into something that I cant even have on my resume.

  33. Michael says:

    Finally, people I can identify with! I have a BA in History and an MA in Criminal Justice. I can write and analyze on a quantitative and qualitative level. I can also read at a very high level and understand complex topics. I had high GPAs in both my programs, have a clean background, and good credit (apparently all employers want to see your credit now) and I still can’t find a job. I’ve been looking since 2007 and nothing. If I leave my MA on the resume I’m overqualified and if I take it off I get calls back only for them to hire someone with experience. What I wonder is why do they have to waste my time if they know they are looking for experience only. From what I’ve seen there are plenty of experience people out there who can’t do their job right. I’ve had interviews with people I knew within a company and still didn’t get the job based on some weird technicalities. It’s real frustrating now. I’m tired of playing their games and being totally PC in the interview and trying to put on a positive face after the 1 millionth interview. It’s ridiculous. Here, in this country, we are told to go to school, go to college, and get a good education and yet it doesn’t pan out for many of us. As others stated, yes I could go get a minimum wage job but it’s not going to pay my bills and I’ll be further in debt when I get a real job. That and they won’t hire me because I’m a college graduate. I applied for a min. wage position a year ago with a funeral home and the girl that interviewed me wanted to hire me but she had to go through the company that owned the funeral home to get the final answer. They hired someone else because they could pay them less. Another annoying thing is I HATE when people tell me they’ll call back and let me know whether or not I get the job and they never call back, they send a letter. CALL ME!!!!! If I don’t get it I’m not going to yell and throw a fit, I want to know how I can become a better interviewer. It’s like no one calls anymore and yet we live in a society of cell phone wielding maniacs. If I knew it was going to be this difficult I would have shoved college all together, nowadays it is not worth it. How can I have years of experience when I was in school!? Really, is it that hard to train someone, just shove a book in my face if the information is too much, that’s what college did for me anyway so why can’t the workforce do that too. Frankly I’m tired of playing the stupid interview game, most of the time they know who they want to hire anyway. Another annoying thing is having to take tests to get through to a job. A test, really!? Are we all back in college again? I’m ready to take off the PC gloves and just send a resume stating what I really think I am worth to a company and if it sounds arrogant, so what, it’s not like they were going to hire me anyway…lack of experience and all.

  34. Raymond says:

    I totally relate to you guys, I have felt this way one time or another. I got two associate degrees, in addition I was working on my bachelors until, I was told I was no longer eligible for financial aid , because I got to many credit hours. I am now with out a job, and i have school loans to pay off as well. The last job I had was because I knew someone. And you guys are right, about its who you know. I wasn’t qualified for it at all. It was a construction job, and I am an art major who has little experience around power tools. Let’s just say it wasn’t my thing and it didn’t pan out. Plus the company went belly up. Even though it doesn’t seem fair that us folks that went to college and worked hard get the crap end of the stick. I don’t regret that I went because I learned more in the 4 plus years I went than I could have hoped to learn at home. Whether I get the job or not at least I can make the kind of art I dreamed of making as a child. Ones knowledge is priceless in my opinion, it’s unfortunate that the various schools and institutions are not upfront about the reality of actually getting a job. it’s obvious if they were they would loose money. my goal now is to try not to make any enemies because they might one day be my potential employer. Especially if it comes down to who you know.

  35. George D says:

    HR people, I hate you.

    You refuse to even look at me – despite several degrees with top marks from top universities, internships and volunteer experience, and work experience through college.

    Getting a job is impossible, because of narrow minded HR people who are unable to look at candidates as humans instead of checklists.

  36. Early Retiree says:

    I am 60 – no college. Why should I take courses just to have a bill for tuition, when I don’t have a job to pay that bill, along with all my other bills, and I will still not be able to secure employment because I do not have experience…just a college course. I am also not bilingual…meaning Spanish English speaking. The major company I gave over 8 yrs of my life for, terminated me wrongfully, but hey, who could prove that? So therefore, I have been unemployed for 4 yrs…most of the time spent caring for elderly parent who has since passed. Now I can look for work, but who can find work? I also have NO REFERENCES…so another nail in my coffin. My husband has also been unemployed now for almost a year. Just got our health ins. bill today, increase…it will cost over $5000 a year for insuring us both….Obama, can you hear my pain??? Do I dare let it lapse? And have no coverage? No Can Do.. I would take a job doing anything just needing a paycheck…Not a career at my age….careerbuilder…yeah, whatever. What happened to the fact that a person might just need A JOB? I don’t need a career, I am not 20 or 30 yrs. old. Thank goodness for that. This world has just gotten so very difficult. No one wants to “teach” you how to do anything, they want you to know a laundry list of skills to just get a $9-10 hr. job as a clerk or receptionist. And they want experience. Oh, and let me talk about that fancy new term called Networking….because they cannot call it what it really is…”who you know”. If you don’t know anyone, you cannot get a job. Did they ever think that even if you do know someone, are they a friend of yours to be used for your own gains? Maybe everyone would not ask people they know “hey what can you do for me?”.

  37. Tracie says:

    FINALLY, there are people out there who understands what Iam going through. I received my BA in Communications Studies in December 2009 and I have yet to find a job. I have NO job expereince which sucks because I can’t even get a jop at a clothing store. Thank God I still have my faith because these last 9 months has been CRAZY.

  38. Interview Challenged says:

    I have been unemployed for quite some time, and it seems that I will remain unemployed, or at best under employed. To say I am unemployed, I have a part time position at a local mall, so you may as well say that. I can do a job, I can go through the training classes they require, I can pass their tests, I can be at work every day on time, never miss a day, and perform the job. I cannot get the job because I cannot be a storyteller. I cannot make up situations that did not occur, so what to do? The STAR interview questions – I just cannot come up with answers at will. So what to do? Does anyone else have that problem? I would venture to guess that even people within the companies in question, if they have been employed there for over 20 yrs. could not pass the interview questioning, as this type of interview tactic did not exist years ago. Even if I could man- age to tell a story to answer one particular question, how do I know if that one question will be the one they ask? How can I then answer 5 more of them? I can’t. I also love the question about what was your grade point average, assuming of course that everyone is from a time and place where there again was such a thing as a grade point average. Again, what to do??? I will be forced to retired …..NOW. I don’t want to do that, nor can I afford to do that.

  39. Morgan W. says:

    It’s all about who you know and who you are related to, at least where I live it’s that way. I have been trying to apply for a job for the past 3 years, I have tried multiple employers but have either been turned down or ignored every time. Every one I know who has a job is either related to someone influential locally or a friend/relative of that business owner or one of their relatives friends. All I have ever asked for is a basic job, minimum wage pretty much and they still wont hire me. I cannot go to college, because my family can’t afford it and I can’t get a loan and even if I could I would have no way of paying it back without a job.
    With the way people hire today, it’s no wonder the economy is moving backwards.

  40. I.T. Superstar says:

    I myself am a self taught I.T. Administrator and Application/Database Developer who earned several certifications in the field, spent many years working with upper management reading books that target my challenges and putting things into practice while learning new techniques that have been very successful and have built a portfolio over time, which college heads were not able to do. In our try before you hire session, at my company we ended up getting rid of a few college grads because their knowledge was so far behind and seem to be spoiled. I think experience and character overrides College by far, remember in college courses you just read a little try to memorize till test time pick and choose teachers who most of time has spent little time, if any, in the field they are teaching. What is the difference between this and jumping on Google and reading the latest information about a subject, then putting it into practice. People that hire based on degrees are just selfishly looking out for themselves, because perhaps they have a degree, and end up hurting themselves and their company by passing up someone with more knowledge, certifications, character and experience, remember results is why you hire, not because you might have read something in a outdated textbook. That being said, I am working on a degree although as I take the classes it is confirming what I feel to be true. Good information is easily accessible through the internet, folks the encyclopedia Britannica days are over step into the future.

  41. B.A.'rely able to get a job with Liberal Arts says:

    I read through each and every comment. The hurt of not being able to get the jobs we were promised back when starting college is saddening and very much felt. From what I’ve learned, even professionally designated careers such as attorney grads are being offered less and less. Some have taken paralegal positions because of the state of this economy. And who helps us? As the bills mount, and collections notices go out…we are smacked back into the reality of knowing, if we are picked to interview? Our now pathetic credit histories have marred our credibility to the point where no one will even consider or give us a chance. We are the products of this world. The, get rich quick at all costs, buy all on credit and who cares about what happens later..product of hope for a better life. It may not be long before we’re jumping the border in the opposite directions. This ship we call the United States is sinking quick and I am ready to deploy my rubber raft and get off. How can a government back the notion of employ ability based on credit ability? For those of use who have 15 years experience in customer relations, 5 or more years in management supervisory type positions, that hold a BA or higher and who still can’t get employed in anything besides entry level, right out of high school jobs. What can they expect from the byproducts of capital greed and corporate irresponsibility? WE are educated, well spoken and well read graduates. WE want the job opportunities employers are selfishly giving to under qualified persons of whatever economic status. WE want our jobs back. Good luck ever owning a home with defaulted loans. I wish everyone even more luck trying to get hired on in law enforcement with student loans in collections. They see that as a weakness of integrity. This country needs to call it like it is. Our credit burdened, unemployable graduates are VICTIMS of the economy. At some point, I would hope Obama or whomever on capital hill would crawl out from behind their wall of (I am okay, you find your own way) rules and red tape and realize? If this generation of educated looses out, we will create a social caste system of the reality star haves and educated have nots. I shouldn’t be getting paid 14.78hr in a job I could have gotten out of high school. Especially not when a high school, alcohol and drug addicted pop reality star will make more than me in a single taping of their wretched life, than I will ever hope to see this year. Something is not right about that and it definitely does not sit well with me. What will I tell my son when he grows up? Mommy had a degree b/c that is what the world told her was worth earning. However, the state of the world didn’t find it worth while and now we’re relegated to poor wages and living. Look what education did for us. NOTHING

    • Pam says:

      Good luck even GETTING AN APARTMENT or in some areas RENTING A ROOM with shitty credit. I mean somewhere SAFE and DECENT and not in some crime-filled ghetto where the landlords don’t check credit. Some states have passed laws outlawing credit checking in employment but all states exempt law enforcement and Federal jobs within their jurisdictions so the only things HIRING these days, are off limits anyway.

  42. Kevin says:

    No, the job market isn’t pretty right now. But as long as you’re alive, there’s still hope. God bless you and have a great day.

  43. Eeek! says:

    All of you are telling the gospel truth. I worked full-time through college and still graduated with $20k of debt. I’m not qualified for “entry-level” jobs because everyone wants years of experience (and guess what? I was busy working my *** off to pay for my education! I didn’t have time to join fifty bazillion clubs or money to take endless unpaid internships in relevant fields! Not all of our daddies are investment bankers) and I’m now “overqualified” for foodservice, which is all I have experience in. I don’t even want a lot of money or a glamorous career; I just wanted to be able to have a family and support them comfortably but I guess that’s too much to ask. The American dream is dead but what is there to replace it? Where can I go? Europe isn’t doing any better. I would be willing to relocate but there’s no point just going to another country to be unemployed there instead.

  44. In the same boat says:

    I sympathize with everyone who posted here. I’m 27 years old and I’m currently pursuing a Masters degree in Business Administration. I graduated from Hunter College with a decent average and held a job down as a College Assistant until I was let go in 2009. Now, I was forced to spend money to get licensing as a security guard part-time at least until things hopefully turn around (and I doubt it will). I’ve had some experience working as a College Assistant, Test Assistant, File Clerk and at the Language Lab at Hunter College. I think it’s really sad that we busted our asses to get somewhere in life and this is what we get. It’s ether you have a shitload experience from since you were 13/14 or you suffer.

    • Travis Kelsey says:

      I graduated college back in 2007 with a Bachelors in Computer Science and have yet to get a job in the field. I have probably applied for over 4000 jobs all over the USA. Every company tells me I have no experience so I never get hired. I have even dealt with 10 different recruiters/staffing companies who always tell me that they will help me out but never do anything but ignore me. I have wasted the past 4 years of my life working crap $9an hour jobs and living with my parents. Im $80,000 dollars in debt from college with nothing to show for it. Its ridiculous.

  45. Maryann says:

    I am applying for a job as a LPN and it asks “do you have post-graduation experience as a
    LPN” Can you clarify what this means please?! Is it just asking if I have experience? I’ve been an actively practicing nurse for 9yrs.

  46. Pam says:

    Even with a Bachelor of Science in a “natural science” and a couple of state and national licensing tests to be a Pharmacy Technician, you find that the jobs in that field too, want work experience over licensure. Pardon me but I would rather not shop somewhere where my prescriptions were handled by a pharmacy tech who didn’t have at least an Associates in either Biology or Chemistry or any of the Sciences, thank you!! That’s like being operated on by a doctor who got their experience through “work experience” instead of a medical DEGREE or got the position as your surgeon because they “knew someone” — ??!?! WTF??! I should complain to some state or national pharmacy technician licensing board about that, this preference in hiring of work experience over a Bachelor’s or higher COLLEGE DEGREE.

  47. CJ says:

    At my university in New Zealand, you have to complete 9 weeks of full time work, (appropriate to your major), in order to graduate from your degree. It’s called the co-op paper, and it is worth 4 papers. It is crazy competitive to try and get placements, where they require that you go for entry-level jobs. There is possibly 700 of us going after the same jobs! and if you don’t find a placement, then you have to wait for the next semester. With no real work experience, and volunteer companies not even replying to my inquiries, I can already tell that it is going to be tough. I even state in my application that I don’t expect to get paid, as I lack in experience. Yet this is not enough to make them want to hire me. I have 6 weeks left to find a job!!!!!

  48. Tasha says:

    I recently earned a BS degree in Psychology, and needless to say, I’m struggling to find a job. Like everyone here says, companies are looking for work experience, which I don’t have. A teenager who has spent at least one year babysitting neighborhood kids would be chosen over me to work in a daycare center. For some reason, I couldn’t even land a volunteer position to teach art to children in a hospital. Maybe because they’d prefer college students. I should have tried to build experience doing something when I was still a student… I don’t know where to start now. With no health insurance, I haven’t seen a doctor or a dentist in over a year now. Sigh.

  49. Rob says:

    I earned my BA in business administration this past May. I haven’t found any work so far. I’ve applied for hundreds of positions involving my degree and not requiring a degree. It seems like I’m over and underqualified for everything I apply for. All professional jobs seem to want years of applicable work experience, and low end jobs aren’t interested in me because they think I’m going to leave at the next best opportunity. If only they knew what this generation is going through!

  50. Roberto says:

    I found out the hard way turns out regardless of what education you have bachelor, master, doctoral or associate degree wheather you have a 2.5 or 3.75 gpa, companies and coopration will like refuse you application. This not because you quilify the county does not have enough money nor help you. My thought on they way waste time look for jobs, if the field has brought good use to you and you the knowledge or know how why not share this gift to the world, I am talking about YouTube, yes it turn out you dont need experience but you must be very talented have access to a computer and special time of camera, why waste you knowledge on people who wont hire you. Invest it show this the world, here how YouTube works if one of your videos hit 1 million view you will be paid $3,300 cash and must become a member of YouTube. Suppose your video hit 2 million viewer your pay rate would double $6,600. Why waste time on finding work when you can work at home, making videos on YouTube. YouTube is your answer, the choice your waste time looking for work or option 2?

  51. I run a small disability law firm in Columbus Ohio and I can tell you that the job market is tough right now. It is obvious to me that a college degree is what a HS diploma was 25 years ago. For all those looking for a job right now, nothing beats walking into a business and asking to speak to the owner.

  52. Taryn says:

    I have a degree in the Department of Kinesiology, my major is Sports Management. I would love to implement my love for sports (and my degree) into a career that involves music and fashion, too! I’m not looking for a desk job. I would like to work with others in a hands-on environment. I am thankful to have a current job, though I am burnt out serving in the food industry. I would love to work in an industry I enjoy and, not to mention, I need something better so I can pay off my student loans!

  53. Michelle says:

    I am experiencing the same problem. I have a B.A. in Social Science with a concentration in Psychology and was without a job and still without a job. I graduated in 2004. I decided to further my studies.
    I think it is a shame that college and university students have to suffer after time, money and sacrifice were made just to better their circumstances. Hiring managers should understand what they require is unrealistic. Even the most experienced worker have some flaws.

  54. Chris Wesner says:

    After law school, I contacted every law firm in a two county area and couldn’t find a legal position. I graduated near the top of my class, had excellent grades and a great work ethic. I decided to go out on my own and couldn’t be happier. My law school was almost no help with locating a position, as the legal community in my area was saturated with seasoned as well as newer lawyers. I am now thriving and would suggest the same to anyone who is willing to work long hours with little pay up front. The rewards come down the road, but it’s not for everyone.

  55. Scott says:

    Unfortunately, it seems that a good deal of the computer based jobs require very specific experience. This can range to specific hardware, right down to having prior job experience as an administrator.. and that’s just for an entry level tech support call center!

    I’m attempting to get a job (ideally using the education I already have) in order to pay for the last few courses I would need to get my bachelor’s degree, but the associate’s degree in Computer Information Systems I already hold has gotten me only three interviews over the course of a year, and the questions regarding job experience always seemed to be the part that blew it for me. Worse, my resume is so retail heavy that it might actually be hurting my chances.

    I’m not technically a student until I can afford my last few classes, but I can’t afford them without a new job. This completely shuts me out of internships…and I just don’t know what to do. Remind me why I went to college again?

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