As a young job seeker, you may be surprised to know that your lack of experience has the potential of being your greatest advantage in the current job market. Now, before you start submitting your resume to take the lead role at a Fortune 500 corporation, read on as we examine four ways your inexperience can potentially add value for a company:
YOU ARE MOLDABLE. First of all, you haven't developed any of the bad habits that someone with years of ‘know-how’ may have picked up along the way. What this means to a hiring manager is that you can be molded and trained to their way of doing things. And, the last thing any manager wants to hear from a newly hired employee is how the last company they worked for did things ‘this way’ or ‘that way.'
Employers have already spent the time and money developing their own way of doing things, and an inexperienced employee is usually more likely to be on board with learning and taking ownership of these established practices. This, of course, helps to keep things moving along smoothly since the disruptive nature of someone set in their ways can sometimes upset the workplace apple cart.
YOU ARE EXCITED. Secondly, your lack of experience lends itself to youthful exuberance for the task at hand. Like someone seeing the Grand Canyon or Disney World for the first time, a neophyte is seen as being more excited about learning all there is to know about their new position. You are seen as not only receptive, but anticipatory of the next challenge, and can hardly wait to meet and conquer whatever challenge is put before you. This is a trait that is more often than not almost non-existent in someone who "has been there, done that."
YOU PITCH IN. While more experienced employees may have created impenetrable boundaries as to what their job duties are, you lack preconceived notions as to your job description limitations, knocking down impassable walls toward productivity. Your openness to doing "whatever it takes" to pitch in and get the job done for the good of the team is refreshing.
YOU ARE A BARGAIN. Of course, it would be naive to think that the company isn't watching its bottom line when they choose to hire someone lacking experience. Profit is and always will be the key motivator for any company. And that's a good thing for all involved. After all, if the company isn't making money, they certainly don't need you.
So, go in with your eyes wide open and realize that your initial compensation package is likely to be less than they would offer someone with a stronger background in the field you are trying to break into. It's called on-the-job training, and when properly applied, everyone wins. The company pays a little less and they have the opportunity to get the same job done by someone who is willing to work for less in order to gain the experience necessary for their own future goals.
The bottom line is, don't be afraid to apply for a position you have a real interest in just because you lack experience. You may just be the person they're looking for.
But you won't know if you don't ask for the opportunity to start with.