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Old 11.03.2009, 00:25
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Experience Requirement

When browsing job ads, we always find that "experience in area is required".

My question is, how is someone supposed to get experience in that line of work if nobody accepts unexperienced people anymore?

This is not exclusive to Switzerland, in fact i've seen this everywhere but I wanted to hear from other people and maybe find a way to work around this.
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  #2  
Old 11.03.2009, 08:08
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Re: Experience Requirement

Agree with you this is quite frustrating as an employee. However as an employer you want to be on the safe side and often can't afford to take the risk of hiring someone who will turn out not to be appropriate, hence the experience requirement. Plus training often takes time and can involve costs.

The best way I found is to steer your current job towards what you'd like to do in the future as much as possible, do it for a while, and only then move to another company. This unfortunately won't allow for a complete career change.
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Old 11.03.2009, 08:18
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Re: Experience Requirement

The learning curve is always tougher for a new industry. I did a contract for a cam shaft manufacturer once - for a chick that wasn't easy
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Old 11.03.2009, 08:18
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Re: Experience Requirement

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When browsing job ads, we always find that "experience in area is required".

My question is, how is someone supposed to get experience in that line of work if nobody accepts unexperienced people anymore?

This is not exclusive to Switzerland, in fact i've seen this everywhere but I wanted to hear from other people and maybe find a way to work around this.
Keep applying for entry level positions where they recognize that not all applicants will have experience I would say.
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Old 11.03.2009, 08:19
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Re: Experience Requirement

Imagine yourself to be the guy writing the job ad. When you asked the manager, what requirements he has, the only answer was: the new person should be able to do the job without much training or problems.

So what do you write? A person with experience in the exact same field would be ideal (no training costs, steep learning curve in the new job). However, a person that has the exact same job is very unlikely to apply... why should somebody trade in an existing job for the new one if it is the same?

So I believe you can safely ignore this line in the ads (everyone does) and explain in your cover letter why you think you would be able to do the job easily...
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:08
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Re: Experience Requirement

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When browsing job ads, we always find that "experience in area is required".

My question is, how is someone supposed to get experience in that line of work if nobody accepts unexperienced people anymore?

This is not exclusive to Switzerland, in fact i've seen this everywhere but I wanted to hear from other people and maybe find a way to work around this.
this is classic Catch 22. the only positions that i know of that don't require experience are internships, and i assume u are not a freshie.

I've had that problem too, and spoke with a couple of HR folks, and they recommended making the move in steps - leverage on existing competencies to get into an intermediate position, in order to acquire the skill set necessary for the job u want.

of course there is an element of reasonable-ness; a manufacturing person (eg me) cannot be a marine biologist (i like dolphins)
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Old 11.03.2009, 09:12
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Re: Experience Requirement

I once read of a women who, during the Depression in the 1930s (this was before my time too nota bene!), having completed a secretarial course with flying colours and achieving excellent speeds in touch-typing (in those days it had to be perfect first time!) and steno was unable to get a job as all employers specified ‘with experience’. Totally frustrated by this, she put an Ad in the paper.

I cannot get a job without experience and I cannot get experience without a job.
This is why I will work for you without payment for three months. And I am good.

She was offered three jobs, with payment… I’m not suggesting this tactic to folks looking for a job, but sometimes a bit of ‘unexpected’ initiative can help.

Good luck to you all. I’m glad I’m an OAP and don’t have to look for work these days.
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Old 11.03.2009, 10:50
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Re: Experience Requirement

As Longbyt mentions above, perhaps suggest a 'Try & Hire' day, what they call in German a Schnuppertag. One day may not be enough to prove much, but you'll certainly get a feeling for the firm and they you. It shows willing.

It's a similar situation for team leadership positions. If they don't know you, how can they tell your application is a fair representation of your skill set?

As ever, your relationship with others (Vitamin B, as mentioned on every employment thread) is key. If you know someone who can vouchsafe you, you're more likely to make an impression. It's so elemental on a human level to seek reassurance from someone you know about someone you don't know. Really, would you accept some stranger's word that they're up to the job?
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Old 11.03.2009, 11:04
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Re: Experience Requirement

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This is not exclusive to Switzerland, in fact i've seen this everywhere but I wanted to hear from other people and maybe find a way to work around this.
I understand your point & agree about it, but on the other hand jobs requirements in Switzerland are now starting to be more than impossible, i've recently seen entry level IT jobs (Junior Tech) that require 5 years of the following:

- University Degree (Preferred EPFL)
- Experience in Linux
- Experience in Windows servers
- Experience in Exchange
- Experience in Sharpoint
- Experience in VMware
- Experience in Networks (Cisco)
- Experience in MySql
- Experience in websphere
- Experience in CMS & Intranet
- Experience in banking applications (Bloomberg & others)
- English, French & German Fluency
- Eastern European Language Desired

Seriously, if someone have all this skills for 5 years with a university degree in any other country, he would catch up easily with Senior to Management level but in the the Swiss books it's Junior !!
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Old 11.03.2009, 11:10
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Re: Experience Requirement

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As Longbyt mentions above, perhaps suggest a 'Try & Hire' day, what they call in German a Schnuppertag. One day may not be enough to prove much, but you'll certainly get a feeling for the firm and they you. It shows willing.
Btw, some companies are starting to use this 'Try & Hire' days to get free work done now, so it's not really a good suggestion imho, i did it once & swore to never do this again.
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Old 11.03.2009, 21:25
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Re: Experience Requirement

Thanks for the replies.

The impression i'm getting is the whole world is heading this way. This sounds a bit like a doomsaying but its the sad truth.
If by one hand like you guys said the employer wants to get the most out of the person hired, an unexperienced worker will also earn a bit less and unless he's not suited for the task at all, will also learn the ropes after an adaptation period that changes a bit depending on what your role is.
Employers are protected by most labor laws if im not wrong, they can trial you and after some time just release you because you weren't up for the task.
The only situation I can understand this requirement as justifiable is the case that employer or anyone working with/for him has no clue about what needs to be done too.

I did find inspiring the quote by Longbyt, but moving to a place like Switzerland and work for 3 months without pay is utopic or means you don't need to work at all, life can be expensive there (i'm still in Portugal unfortunately).

So to conclude my excessively dimensioned post i'd like to say i'll keep sending my presentation letters and replying to ads, keep getting no replies or negative answers until the tide changes because nothing can come from crossing my arms, but find this experience requirement nothing but complete nonsense that we should fight and given the opportunity prove that investing in new professionals is a way to fight unemployment, to improve companies and to a lesser scale, fight this world crisis that everybody complains about.
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Old 11.03.2009, 21:45
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Re: Experience Requirement

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When browsing job ads, we always find that "experience in area is required".

My question is, how is someone supposed to get experience in that line of work if nobody accepts unexperienced people anymore?

This is not exclusive to Switzerland, in fact i've seen this everywhere but I wanted to hear from other people and maybe find a way to work around this.
IMHO, there must always be a starting point somewhere in one's career (as well as turning point e.g. promotions to managerial and leadership positions) and here these are all entry level positions or internships. In some job applications additional years of postgrad study after BSc degree i.e. MSc and PhD are also counted into years as a professional experience. This can also be seen from purely commercial reasons as it is less expensive to get an inexperienced post-grad candidate and train him accordingly along the lines of company's requirements. Practically, if I were a first-time job seeker I wouldnt be particularly afraid of applying for any position that seems to be relevant to my qualifications as long as it is not advertised as senior or managerial position because there you will require to be a trained "old smart fox" and know your area like your own pocket. One can always catch up with other candidate/rivals as you go along in your career path from entry level upwards. The truth is that, to find an experienced person in the specific field of specialization, is sometimes a wishful thinking and ideal dream for the recruiting company. The reality is that it is difficult to come across such candidate. So if you feel that you have someting suitable panning out for you go apply for it and dont even think twice!
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Old 11.03.2009, 22:20
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Re: Experience Requirement

In my last company back in oz they actually preferred people with no experience.

This meant that they could train the recruits and have them work and think its way rather than come in and think they already know everything from another firm and have to retrain them whilst they thought they were top shots.

I was lucky enough to get recruited by them from uni and am happy that I now have the "experience" to get most jobs that I would want to apply for.

I know that it is frustrating when you are coming straight out of uni and often it helps simply by knowing someone who knows someone...its not what you know, its who you know.
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Old 11.03.2009, 23:13
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Re: Experience Requirement

Employers nowadays get dozens if not hundreds of applicants. So whether they specify experience in the ad, or not, they would pick the person with the most direct experience.
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Old 12.03.2009, 08:57
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Re: Experience Requirement

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I did find inspiring the quote by Longbyt, but moving to a place like Switzerland and work for 3 months without pay is utopic or means you don't need to work at all, life can be expensive there (i'm still in Portugal unfortunately).
It happened in America and the person concerned was living with her parents, which of course made it easier to do financially. At a rough guess, there wasn't any unemployment benefit at that time anyway, so whether she worked 'for free' or sat at home without any income wouldn't make all that much difference.
My quote wasn't a 'suggestion' to follow but merely to pass on the idea that a completely different way of looking for a solution sometimes works. One EFer, I cannot remember who, got involved in some sort of voluntary work when he/she couldn't find a job and through someone they met there there, found normal employment.
Good luck again.
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Old 12.03.2009, 17:38
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Re: Experience Requirement

Yeah I did understand that even if maybe that wasn't implicit in my post.

Here I also sit on my bottom all day, sort of speaking but when moving to CH things will be expensive which is bringing some stress to the move itself.
That and the no replies from the entities that should tell me what is needed for achieving our professional equivalence there, frustrating to say the least.

Regardless, thanks for the great example and hopefully we'll do well.
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Old 12.03.2009, 18:21
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Re: Experience Requirement

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It happened in America and the person concerned was living with her parents, which of course made it easier to do financially. At a rough guess, there wasn't any unemployment benefit at that time anyway, so whether she worked 'for free' or sat at home without any income wouldn't make all that much difference.
My quote wasn't a 'suggestion' to follow but merely to pass on the idea that a completely different way of looking for a solution sometimes works. One EFer, I cannot remember who, got involved in some sort of voluntary work when he/she couldn't find a job and through someone they met there there, found normal employment.
Good luck again.
I volunteered at my current workplace when I saw a job add perfect for me, but filled already. It was just 2 minutes walk from home too. I ended up getting paid for every hour I had worked and the interviews started rolling in after I had a Swiss job on my CV. I was then offered a permonant position and I am still there 5 years later.
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Old 12.03.2009, 21:40
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Re: Experience Requirement

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Yeah I did understand that even if maybe that wasn't implicit in my post.

Here I also sit on my bottom all day, sort of speaking but when moving to CH things will be expensive which is bringing some stress to the move itself.
That and the no replies from the entities that should tell me what is needed for achieving our professional equivalence there, frustrating to say the least.

Regardless, thanks for the great example and hopefully we'll do well.
Why not to do some volunteering back in Portugal. It will be also an experience. I guess it should be quite possible to find something you are qualified for (or close to). So you will have an experience in Portugal and will be suitable to apply "experience"-jobs. Sometimes under experience they want to see, that the given person is actually reliable, responsible and able to work (unless certain area is specified), got to taste already "working"-week routine and wont need his/her enrolling trainer to be also a nanny in one.
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