With graduation quickly approaching, the Portfolio Center hears a lot of the same questions and challenges from students. Twice a week, we will feature another FAQ, with pointers from our staff.
Q: Every job description I see, even for entry-level positions, has requirements that are beyond what I qualify for. Even with my degree, am I not qualified for anything?
A: Browsing jobs online can be a very frustrating experience. Shouldn’t “entry-level” mean you don’t need experience to be qualified for the job? The reality is that by the time you graduate college, you should have some sort of experience on your resume as well as a portfolio. Those two things, in addition to your degree, should provide you with options. If you lack job experience and panicking as you near graduation, there are two important things to keep in mind:
- It’s not too late to consider internships. Internships are how we build experience while in college in our desired field, so that once we’re looking for full-time work after graduation, we have some experience that relates to our degree that will make us more qualified for the work we are seeking. Internships typically do not assume that we have much (or any) experience when applying for positions, so they should still be an option even if you’re graduating. Just be sure to recognize that it is more difficult to attain an internship the further away you get from being in school.
- When applying for positions online, remember that the company/organization is seeking a perfect candidate that might not actually be out there. Don’t be deterred if you feel like you might just slightly be outside of their required range for years of job experience. You can still try and make a case, and the more cases you make (higher volume of applications) the more likely you are to at least land an interview.
Stay tuned on Friday for more pointers!