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Old 04-04-11, 11:23 AM   #1
phantomcow2
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How flexible are employers when it comes to experience?

Because I have none to little.

I'm looking for a job, seeing as I graduate from college in May. I've attended career fairs, and it seems likely the vast majority of the positions available to fresh college graduates is sales. So far I have an offer at one insurance company, with interviews lined up for two other companies this week.

While I know beggars can't be choosers, and to be sure, I'm willing to take just about whatever I can get, I don't find sales to be a particularly appealing means of employment. I'm wondering if I'm not casting my net out wide enough. A lot of positions say "1-3 years of experience required." I haven't been submitting my resume to these companies because I don't meet that requirement, but is it worth my doing so? Or will employers generally disregard my resume upon seeing my lack of experience?
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Old 04-04-11, 11:34 AM   #2
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What about internships?
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Old 04-04-11, 11:47 AM   #3
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Do they count as experience? I have completed a 1.5 year internship at a machine shop, 1.5 years at a medical manufacturing facility (I was an assistant to engineers and repaired equipment in a class 10,000 clean room), summer internship at the largest legal services firm in the world, plus two years of my federal work study. I've been consistently employed in a wide variety of jobs since I was 16, but for some reason I wasn't sure if that counted as "real" work experience, which I considered to be post-college.
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Old 04-04-11, 11:52 AM   #4
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Internships are definitely good experience to put on a resume. One of my biggest regrets was not doing any while I was an undergrad.
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Old 04-04-11, 12:01 PM   #5
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I've included all of those on my resume, but I wasn't sure if they constituted the "work experience" that employers outwardly require. I know from the comments I've received from the insurance companies that my internships are among the shinier parts of my resume.
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Old 04-04-11, 12:09 PM   #6
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I've included all of those on my resume, but I wasn't sure if they constituted the "work experience" that employers outwardly require. I know from the comments I've received from the insurance companies that my internships are among the shinier parts of my resume.
Put them down, make them tell you they don't count.
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Old 04-04-11, 12:30 PM   #7
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Put them down, make them tell you they don't count.
+1

Which insurance companies have offered you work?
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Old 04-04-11, 12:43 PM   #8
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Put them down. They don't really count as work experience in the sense they're requiring, but your time is most certainly experience. Unless of course they're looking for someone to snip wires on the bomb squad, then what you've done probably doesn't matter.
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Old 04-04-11, 12:49 PM   #9
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+1.

Add the full-time (40hr/wk) weeks of your internships and assume it is acceptable as relevant industry experience for the industry that you were working in. The resume will, of course, list the experience as internships.

The downside to internships is that if the host company decides not to hire you, there may be some explaining to do. In my experience, that actually works both ways.

So, if you apply for a job as a Dentist: 0 experience. Machine Shop? 1.5 years. Et cetera.
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Old 04-04-11, 01:21 PM   #10
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+1

Which insurance companies have offered you work?
So far I've got an offer from Primerica. Prudential expressed interest and I have an interview scheduled with them today, and AFLAC left me a voicemail asking for an interview.
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Old 04-04-11, 01:28 PM   #11
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By the way, thanks for the helpful replies. I'm going to go ahead and submit my resume to more companies. My internship duties are listed in as much detail as I can fit on a single page. If I end up taking a sales position, I hope that it has the potential to morph into something else at the company, and possibly become a nice segway into business school.
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Old 04-04-11, 01:41 PM   #12
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Any job where you are doing work that is relevant to your field of study will count as experience. It doesn't matter if it was an internship or not.
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Old 04-04-11, 02:20 PM   #13
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Any job where you are doing work that is relevant to your field of study will count as experience. It doesn't matter if it was an internship or not.
Even some thing that aren't 100% relevamt to the job you are applying for can count as experience. They will ask about it in a job interview. YOU can use that past job to show how you handle a situation, not a specific job task. List all of your work experience, paid or not. At your level, how you perform during the interview process is much more important than any job experience. As you get older, and have had more jobs, you can let some stuff fall off.
(FIW; RUN, do not walk, away from Primerica(unless you are starving))
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Old 04-04-11, 03:28 PM   #14
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Tell them you were the "opener"for the traveling Charlie Sheen Show.
Enviromental bong smoke abatement engineer
Fashion model at "Suits are Us"
Restoration expert of classic cars
Real Estate/Rental contract specialist

Lots of talent here if you know how to put the spin on it.
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Old 04-04-11, 05:03 PM   #15
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(FIW; RUN, do not walk, away from Primerica(unless you are starving))
Can you explain?

Another question: is it appropriate to mention in a cover letter something to the extent of "I have been researching jobs for several months and none before yours have piqued my interest entirely" ?
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Old 04-04-11, 06:19 PM   #16
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A word of caution if considering the insurance field as a salesperson- if it's commission only, don't even take the job, especially if it's health/medical related.

My wife was working for a local tire company/auto service as an Admin Assistant. Then some guy comes along and whispers in her ear she can make $65k without even trying- full commission. So she spends probably close to $400 in test prep, licensing exam, and updating the wardrobe. Decided that company wasn't the best to work for, then lands a gig at AIG that paid her base+ for the initial training period. Her 2008 earnings were a whopping $5000- out of which she had to pay day care, a $308 car payment, $325 in child support to her ex, and gas and lunches... Just doing the math on the car and child support alone told the story. (Her career change, which I supported with mixed feelings, is a primary cause of having the house foreclosed upon.)
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Old 04-04-11, 06:44 PM   #17
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Sales is my last resort. I mean the more I think of it, it's only just more preferable than no job at all.

I'm applying for a position I am very interested in that I'm really well qualified for (including experience). They have an online application process, but would it be unprofessional of me to call their HR department directly so that I may submit a cover letter?
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Old 04-04-11, 06:53 PM   #18
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Sales is my last resort. I mean the more I think of it, it's only just more preferable than no job at all.

I'm applying for a position I am very interested in that I'm really well qualified for (including experience). They have an online application process, but would it be unprofessional of me to call their HR department directly so that I may submit a cover letter?
You need to do something to stand out from the hundreds of applications they're likely to receive. If you're close by, try hand delivering your resume. Ask for the HR rep in charge of the posting. Phoning is also a good option. Shows you're interested in the position and not just throwing your resume out randomly to a ton of places. Don't forget to add your extensive negotiating experience with all your crazy landlords.
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Old 04-04-11, 06:54 PM   #19
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Cover letter, include all volunteer and internship everything counts. Get that job and look for another job while you're at it.
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Old 04-04-11, 06:55 PM   #20
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and even a thank you letter :]

maybe even a cake. jk
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Old 04-04-11, 07:14 PM   #21
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You need to do something to stand out from the hundreds of applications they're likely to receive. If you're close by, try hand delivering your resume. Ask for the HR rep in charge of the posting. Phoning is also a good option. Shows you're interested in the position and not just throwing your resume out randomly to a ton of places. Don't forget to add your extensive negotiating experience with all your crazy landlords.
Hahaha, and since one of the positions I'm interested in is a buyer, that should play nicely in my favor .

So I'm calling the HR people directly tomorrow. Thank you all again!
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Old 04-04-11, 07:31 PM   #22
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Can you explain?

Another question: is it appropriate to mention in a cover letter something to the extent of "I have been researching jobs for several months and none before yours have piqued my interest entirely" ?
I would leave out the part about searching for several months. Just say the job piqued your interest.
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Old 04-04-11, 07:37 PM   #23
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I just say I'm actively seeking a job. good luck.
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Old 04-04-11, 07:48 PM   #24
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Can you explain?

Another question: is it appropriate to mention in a cover letter something to the extent of "I have been researching jobs for several months and none before yours have piqued my interest entirely" ?
Agree with Cbad. Actually the whole sentence should be left out. To show that their position and company interests you, try to include a cover letter with some knowledge of their company. Do a bit of research. Compare some of your skills / talents to how they would benefit their current ____ project, or ____ department.
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Old 04-04-11, 08:45 PM   #25
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If I end up taking a sales position, I hope that it has the potential to morph into something else at the company, and possibly become a nice segway into business school.

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