Help – I have little work experience should I still apply?

Dear Aunty,

I am a young graduate with 2 years work experience. My contract ended earlier this year and since then I have struggled to get another skilled job. The problem is that most jobs in my area of expertise seem to want more than 2 years experience.

Should I apply even though I don’t have more than 2 years experience? 

Aunty says,

If I had a Kwacha for every time I have been asked this question I would be a rich lady!

The important thing to remember when applying for any job is that most job adverts contains lots of requirements – one of which might be the number of years of work experience that you have.

If you look at some of the job adverts at you will see that there can be anywhere from 5 to 50 requirements. Requirements can include:

  1. Skill requirements such as IT, communication, time-management, research and analysis etc;
  2. Academic requirements such as grade 12 school certificate, diploma, degree and/or professional qualifications etc;
  3. Knowledge requirements such as knowledge of a particular subject, industry, function, task, environment etc;
  4. Experience requirements such as the number of years experience in a particular job, sector or level.

In the list of example requirements above we have listed 15 requirements in 4 categories – only 3 of which relate to experience. Many job adverts will go into much greater detail so there will be many more requirements than this. The key then is to ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how you meet as many of the requirements as possible.

If there are 50 requirements for the role and the only one you miss is the requirement to have more experience then you still will have met the other 49 requirements – this still could put you in a strong position to be called for an interview.

I would always recommend writing out and numbering all of the requirements stipulated in the job advertisement. You can then match your skills, knowledge and experience so that you can see how many of the requirements you meet and how strong your application could be.

I hope that this advice will be of use to you and wish you all the best for the future.


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