When most people think of entry-level administrative positions, they picture a job that doesn’t require any previous experience. However, many of these opportunities include experience requirements, making this starter position seem like anything but. For those coming straight out of school or looking to shift careers, this can be especially frustrating as it makes it look like there isn’t a way to break into the field. However, all is not lost.
In many cases, the requirements list can be viewed as the ideal scenario as the hiring manager pictures it. Often, a few of the points in the ad actually fall into the “nice to have” category and aren’t the hard and fast requirements they seem to be. At other times, it’s a method for narrowing the candidate pool, often discouraging those who aren’t necessarily qualified to manage the work from applying in the first place. However, if you can demonstrate that you have the skills and aptitude to handle the work, you can still be selected.
Additionally, if the job posting mentions “relevant” experience, you may be surprised at what can kind of previous work can actually qualify. Almost any position that provided you with skills that clearly transfer to the job to which you are applying may be applicable, allowing you to meet the requirement even if you’ve never technically worked in an office.
Should You Apply?
Whether you should take the time to fill out an application or submit a resume is a subjective one, and must be handled on a case by case basis. First, you need to be realistic regarding whether you have the ability to perform the required work and if your potentially applicable experience is anywhere near the requirement.
Second, consider reviewing the application type before you move forward. If you’re submitting a resume and cover letter directly, you may have a better chance than an automated system. And, if a standardized application asks whether you have a specific amount of administrative professional experience in a yes or no format, then you will likely be screened out immediately by the system if you can’t honestly say yes.
How to Apply
In situations such as these, your cover letter is likely more valuable than ever. It will give you the chance to explain how your prior experience gave you the needed skills for the work and lets you express your enthusiasm for the opportunity. If you can show your excitement or passion for the work and have the majority of the primary skills the hiring manager is seeking, you may be able to get an interview even if you don’t have experience in the field.
Often, the biggest risk to applying for a job you are only partially qualified for is being passed by, so consider whether the time spent is reasonable based on your chances of being selected and proceed accordingly. If you would like help finding an entry-level administrative job, TempStaff can connect you with local employers interested in people like you. Contact us today to see what is available in the area.