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How can I overcome “years of experience” requirements when applying to positions?

I have two years of programming and general I.T. work under my belt from my current company. I'm leaving the company to move closer to my family as my mother is in need of assistance. One thing I'm afraid of is trying to apply for a job in the new area when my experience is well under what most of the companies are asking for.

I have only taken a few college courses for my work (no degree). I was closely trained for all of my I.T. tasks (including network/web security, scripting, and a ton others), and am self-taught in programming. I've also developed 3 applications which are deployed company-wide.

What factors should I bring to light to help me get past position requirements, such as needing 3 years of experience as opposed to 2 years and only knowing a select few of the programming languages listed but not the majority of them?

  • 2
    In my defense, the linked question gives answers that pounds on the OPs attitude towards applying for a position where he doesn't meet the 'years of experience' requirement, whereas this is more of a direct question with a 2nd dimension being related knowledge for the listed technical skills required. This question may bring along more constructive answers than that of the linked one as the ultimate question for it's OP is 'How do you overcome these basic job requirements and show that you have more skills than your years on the job might typically have given you?' Sep 10, 2012 at 15:51
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    My answer on that other question might help you, as it addresses the "how" and not the OP's attitude: workplace.stackexchange.com/a/1488/325 Sep 10, 2012 at 15:58

1 Answer 1


Focus on everything you did in those two years to look like to crammed 3 years into it. How long did it take before you started working on your first project? Some places may not have new hires working on production code for months.

only knowing a select few of the programming languages listed but not the majority of them

Emphasis that you have experience and a willingess to learn new languages quickly. Some programmers with a lengthy history of programming may not know a particular language because they have a bias against it and really don't want to use it at all.

Get references from your current employer. Sorry to hear about the problems in your personal life that are forcing you to leave. Your current employer should hate to see you go since you've done so well, but under these circumstances, they should try and help you out.

Working Remotely - is there any chance your current employer could let you continue to work remotely until you find something else. Even if they put you on as a private contractor, you're getting closer to the 3 yr mark.

  • +1 I do have a personal recommendation from the C.E.O. and my direct manager, as well as an opportunity to continue work as a contractor for some web design work. Thanks for the answer. Sep 10, 2012 at 16:05

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