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I just finished school as a software developer and I'm in the stage of finding a job I have asked at many places which are hiring(even online) and all of them denied me because "I dont have the required working hours/experience" How can one even start then?

marked as duplicate by CMW, Michael Grubey, Monica Cellio, ChrisF, enderland Mar 31 '14 at 12:56

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  • At what level of the process are you getting the "You don't have enough experience?"? Is it when applying or after interview? – Paul Muir Mar 29 '14 at 13:25
  • @PaulDonny When applying – Avel Mar 29 '14 at 13:27
  • At the application level is much more difficult. I would typically focus on skills rather than experience. Try and make your resume something that just shouts out to them that you may not be the perfect fit for the job but we still need to at least talk to this person. – Paul Muir Mar 29 '14 at 13:40
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    If possible, could you edit to indicate when you started programming? Quite often people that go into CS courses have been programming in high school or even earlier. Often they were doing favors for local charitable groups or school organizations. Someone that writes their first line of code in college is at a disadvantage, and employers can sense it. In such circumstances a good approach is find some way to help charitable groups or small operators, a situation where you make either little money or none, but can develop references. – Meredith Poor Mar 30 '14 at 7:58
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This is the ultimate catch 22, luckily your in a great field that is easy to get experience in. Remember, in the software world, experience is experience and the only question that matters to most managers is whether or not you can do the job.

  • Non-Professional experience counts as experience.

Side projects that you have done, anything on GitHub and such all counts. If anything, it reflects that you are passionate about your job. It also gives your future employer a great way to get a look at your code. Build something and put it on GitHub and viola, experience.

One of my first experiences with test automation was abusing it using a browser based game. I still list that experience.

  • Focus on skills, not experience

You should sale your skills, not your experiences. If they see you as a strong member of the team that they can underpay because of a lack of experience, they will hire you. A lack of experience can be a benefit during the job search.

  • Show the benefit of your lack of experience

One of your questions during your interview process can easily be:

'I lack a professional experience in the corporate world and will be looking for a mentor to lead me down the correct career path. Do you feel as though someone in your company could be this person?'

The above says 'Hey, I am a ball of putty, mold me' and makes it look like you will fit in great.

TL;DR:

Get experiences in the field, it all counts. Sale the fact that you have a lack of professional experience as a benefit.

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Typically you would have started while you were in school by means of part-time jobs and internships. If that's not the case for you, you have a few options:

  • Apply for jobs at Career Fairs offered through your school. This means that the companies there typically don't expect you to have much experience.
  • Try to establish an online professional identity. Perhaps a personal blog, a LinkedIn account, etc
  • Might have to start out in a position that is tangential to your desired position. Maybe you want to be a Software Developer, perhaps there is a company you want to work for but they need a Help Desk Support person, try to get in the door that way.

You may have to be a bit creative for your first position and then it should get easier after that.

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