Have you looked at job ads these days? It seems like every job out there is asking for experience. Even entry-level jobs are asking for three years’ experience. How are you supposed to compete when the only job you have ever had is babysitting for your aunt or that part time gig at the local McBurgerWendy’s chicken joint. I mean, seriously, if it’s an “Entry-Level” job, why do I need three years’ experience?! C’mon man, That’s bull!

I agree, but that doesn’t change the fact that right now, the labour market is a buyers’ market. Employers are asking for three years’ experience because they can. Complaining about it won’t change much. Instead, you need to start finding places where you can get that experience now. Stop thinking about getting “work experience” and start thinking about getting “relevant experience”.

Here’s how you can do that during your time here at TRSM:

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VP of being kick-ass wicked: TRSM has 25+ different student groups and each of those student groups need people to take leadership positions. Start applying to the positions that would give you the experience you are looking for. For the accounting students, the title Treasurer looks sweet on a resume. And Business Technology Management students should be thinking Director of I.T or Communications for possible places. Not only will you be building on your skill set, but you’ll be demonstrating to future employers that you have leadership and organization skills.

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Talk about what you can do, not what you took: There is nothing I hate more than seeing a resume with the words “Relevant Courses” followed by a list of letters and numbers. Okay maybe the movie “Hangover part III”, that was just awful. No one outside of TRSM knows what “GMS 401” is, so why include it on a resume. Especially when the phrase “Keen understanding of operations management and strategy” sounds so much better. Tell employers what you can do because of the courses you took.

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Highlight experiences you do have: It’s true. Most employers are not impressed that you “Handled Cash and Answered Questions”. However, employers are looking for someone who has excellent analytical skills and can communicate effectively. Start looking at the experiences you have with a view towards your results. “Effectively communicated with over a 100 customer daily” sounds a lot better than “Answered phone calls”.

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Come talk to us: We are here to help. For many of you, this will be your first time job searching. I have been job searching professionally for the past eight years. There are six other people like me in my office. We are here to help. Brings us what you have already and we can show you ways to make it better.

Every employer wants to hire the very best person for the job. That’s just human nature. The problem is that most of us look at our experience through the not-good-enough filter. I honestly believe that the work experience you have already, along with your education qualifies you for most of the jobs that are out there. The trick is making a resume that speaks to what you CAN do and not what you HAVE done.

Posted by Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy is Manager of the TRSM Business Career Hub. He has over 10 years of experience helping students successfully navigate the job search process. His areas of expertise are resume writing, interviews, and Batman-related trivia.

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