How to overcome “years of experience” requirements when applying to positions?

docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
The subject of experience requirements for a position gets a lot of chatter in this forum. Here's an interesting discussion:

Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/


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    jdubb45jdubb45 Banned Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
    In today's information age I believe there are millions of ways to get experience. For example while living at an apartment complex for 2 years and being unemployed, I volunteered to be the network administrator for the management company business's and the free WiFi network they offered to the tenants. I troubleshooted network connectivity issues (saved them 104/hr that Time Warner charged every time to come just to reset the router), backups/ restores, virus removals, implemented a content filter (bluecoat k9), printer maintenance and repair, and basically was on call for any emergencies. Today I am my own business (julesterco) on the side that gets regular calls and emails from people my family and friends send my way. This keeps my customer service and troubleshooting skills up to date. People like not having to pay best buy $130 just to perform a system restore. Another opportunity that could have manifested was when I was in college and a user pushed the dell home button which sends the laptop into a backup restore mode. I was able to get the user back up and operating in time for their presentation. This impressed the dean in which i was then offered an opportunity to work in the computer support department at the school. At the time I had a job and wasn't able to take it but that incident had I not had a job would have gotten my foot in the door. So one has to be creative in this current economy. Don't run away from those $8 1 day jobs that have you really doing just about everything from the structured cabling to actually setting and configuring Cisco VOIP systems etc. It all adds up.

    One thing I notice is that were I live craigslist is full of hundreds of volunteer/3 day work that can help a person get into the door of IT or IS. The skies are the limit.

    Lastly networking Is key. A friend of mine who was the master chef at a luxurious members exclusive only golf club told his close friend (boss) about me. His boss offered me $100/hr + membership to the luxurious members only golf club, to be the "on call" IT repair man . He was tired of paying a 3rd party "geek squad" $500/hr for nothing. They would come charge $500 instantly for having to come, then $103/hr if they had to actually reset something or troubleshoot further.

    My .02
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    powerfoolpowerfool Member Posts: 1,666 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think that when some asks for years of experience, and we will go with the example of 3-7 years, that is what they are really trying to find based on experiences that they have had. In the other thread, someone mentioned emphasizing skill... and I don't think that is the right way to go about it it. When they say 3-7, I think they are really looking for someone in the 5-7 range, but are willing to go with someone in the 3-5 range if they meet certain criteria, mainly a maturity for price sort of ratio. Plus, 3-7 years is a pretty big range.

    The best approach is to get your resume to where someone will let you in for an interview. So, focus on projects and your experience, plus education and other credentials, but put those at the bottom. The easy way to weed out recent college grads is to toss the resumes when experience isn't listed before those other items. As for displaying your experience, just list the years, which may make it look more like 3 years of experience, than two. It isn't a lie or you being deceptive, it is to see if you interest them otherwise, and then if they still want to know, they will ask. In the interview, you need to be able to answer questions like you have more experience and you need to show maturity. Another thing to consider is pay... they are going to want to pay less for a lesser experienced person, so when you eventually throw out a number (if you get to that point) you need to realize this be realistic with yourself and their salary range (if known, otherwise use public metrics, like Glassdoor.com or the trade rags' annual numbers).

    Lastly, it is difficult to offer meaningful advice online. Each situation is going to be different and you need to be comfortable with thinking on your toes and adjusting to what is thrown at you. I have had some rather interesting interview experiences... I had one interview, for a help desk manager position (about 11 years ago) where I interviewed for over 4 hours and spoke with each person that would have reported to me, the person I would be replacing, that person's boss and all of his peers, and everyone up the chain all the way up to but excluding the CEO (and only because he was out of the office). My current job, I was flown to the current location and interviewed with everyone on the consulting team that was available and the program manager and deputy program manager for the contract in the engineering group; in total about 15 people. On the flip side, I have had the very boring interviews where you sit in a small meeting room and talk with just the HR person and perhaps the hiring manager and a lackey... they put some sort of questionnaire in front of you and that is about all. Unless you talk with someone that has worked with the hiring manager in the past, you aren't going to get comprehensive advice. In that case, you could try to find out more about the hiring manager...
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    dave330idave330i Member Posts: 2,091 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Have the certs they want, ace the interview and if they ask explain how "years of experience" doesn't always equal skill.

    Its worked for me pretty well.
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