When we say that employers look for relevant experience in the job applicants, we talk about a candidate’s past work experience that can help meet the job requirements of the job that he has applied for. This experience can be in terms of the similar work you did in your previous job, the skills you used to meet the targets relevant to this job, and the knowledge required to get the job done. It is not about the quantity of the work you did in your previous job that is useful, but the quality of the work that can make your working flow easy if you are hired for the applied job.
Relevant Experience is more about job description than it is about the job title, when employers ask, “do you have any relevant experience?” they want you to talk about the duties and responsibility similar to the job they are offering to you, it is not about job title, let’s say, you were working as a marketing head in your previous job, and the job you applied for is of a sales manager, but there is a similarity between both of these job requirements like both requires you to be a great leader and to be able to manage your personnel. So, if the job experience you have had in the past matches the skills and knowledge, irrespective of the industry you worked in and the title you worked for, it is a Relevant Experience.
This relevant experience can come from a wide variety of sources and is not just bounded to a previous job, it can be any kind of experience that you gained from your academic projects and assignments, from the internships and volunteer ships, from freelance working to running your own mini-coaching, from the certification courses to the extracurriculars, and so on. As we mentioned the sources are so many and the experience could come from almost any of the listed sources, so you need not get demotivated if you have had no job experience in the past, you can still be a potential employee looking at any relevant experience.
Why Do the Employers Look for Relevant Experience?
Well, the answer is obvious. Every recruiter wants to hire an ideal candidate to fill the vacant position as they want what’s best for their company. An ideal candidate will have relevant job skills, relevant experience, and knowledge and meet every job requirement, and this why almost every employer looks for relevant experience. For examples,
- Suppose, you worked as a Customer Service Manager in your previous job and that job helped you master the problem-solving skills, and the communication skills that are required by almost any other job in almost every industry and you also know how to deal with your customer, so this could be a relevant experience that you could share with the potential employer.
- Say, you have no previous job experience but you experience in volunteering in several organizations where you used your creative skills, leadership skills and you learned how to be a team player and the job you have applied for is of a Production Manager where you have to lead a group of employees and supervise them so these skills can be transferred to meet the job requirements.
Looking at your skills, experience, and knowledge, the employer will decide whether or not you are an ideal candidate for the position. Now, you must be thinking about how you can determine which experience is relevant and not because you cannot just talk about anything and everything in a job interview as your answer should be precise and to the point to impress the employer. Don’t worry, we have got it sorted for you.
Determining a Relevant Work Experience
Research about the job description
It is important to study what requirements you have to meet when you apply for a job. You can find the job description anywhere on the company’s website or the job listings by the HR manager. This will help you know your job better and by this, you can determine what skills, duties, and qualifications you already possess that can help you in the job.
Go through your work history
From your previous work history from internships, academics, or volunteering work, choose the skills and the work that matches the job description. This will be the relevant work experience that you will be describing to the employer. Ask yourself, “Why am I the right person for the job?” and you will be able to determine your eligibility. For example, in your research, you found out the job requires a person who possesses technical skills and you already possess all the programming skills and certifications required to do the job without any previous job experience, this will help you describe relevant work experience to the employer.
Build your resume
After you have determined your work experience, we have a special section in our resume named ‘Work Experience’ where you can jot down all the relevant experiences to build a compelling resume. Being a job seeker, you must be aware of how important it is to focus on relevant work experience while crafting a resume. This will be the key to stand out from other applicants as a strong resume can help you land on to that job.
While listing the experience, prefer quality over quantity as no employer is going to look at how long the section is, but how relevant it is to the current job. As William Osler says, “The value of experience is not in seeing much but in seeing wisely.”
You can even hire a professional resume writer who can guide you through the process.
Your features and attributes can help you frame a good answer to questions like, “Do you have any previous work experience?” As a takeaway, we suggest you list down everything on paper or on a computer than just make a mental note of things as it will help you figure things out better.
Remember, our goal is not to list every other skill and experience that comes to our mind, but it is to maximize our strengths and usefulness relevant to the job. The employer should be able to see the potential in you. Therefore, eliminate any experience for which you are even slightly unsure, as we are aiming for a bigger picture. Display your potential, showcase your achievements relevant to the job, mention the targets that you met and quantify them to make a bold impression. We assure you that the right combination of skills and knowledge can get you that job interview, so highlights your skills and prepare you for the interview. Let us know in the comment section what you like the most about our articles, and share it with your friends.
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Sandeep Bhandari is the founder of PrepMyCareer.com website.
I am a full-time professional blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I love anything related to the Web, and I try to learn new technologies every day.
All the team management, content creation, and monetization tasks are handled by me. Together with the team at PrepMyCareer, the aim is to provide useful and engaging content to our readers.