Does Years of Experience = Value?

How many times have you applied for a job and you receive an email saying your resume was great but your years of experience was too little? Take it from someone who took five years to graduate after transferring school and taking time off to work. I get that message a lot. But each time I get that rejection it truly makes me wonder, does not “working professionally” somewhere for five years mean I do not know how to do a job? Does working somewhere for more than years mean I am the most knowledgeable person at my place of employment? Do years truly mean experience? 

Based on conversations I have had with many of my peers, I feel like they share my sentiments. I mean they tell you if you want a job when you graduate to intern, intern, intern! Then you work three or four internship and you still graduate college looking at a piece of paper you can do nothing with because you don’t have the “experience”. But for some reason you can’t get the damn experience they want you to have because no one will hire you. It is a vicious never-ending cycle. What the hell do these employers want from us? 

Even if I work the same job for 5 years but I am not learning anything new, did I really gain more experience? Or did I just gain more time at a job? Where do we draw the line? I did some research and I found that experience does not truly matter to most as much as it may seem. Based off some light research, employers are more interested in your skills and character rather than how long you have been doing something. If you work in communications like me you will learn that your experience does not matter as much as your willingness to adapt to change and hit the ground running is. Our field is constantly changing and moving with the waves of technology that something we did five years ago may be considered outdated. 

When asked what advice he would give to a graduating class of college seniors, Jeff Fluhr, CEO of Spreecast said: 

“One of the things I tell people is that experience is overrated. I still sometimes find myself falling into the trap of thinking, when I’m trying to fill a role, “Has the person done the work that the role requires?” That’s the wrong question. It should be, “Let’s find a person who has the right chemistry, the right intellect, the right curiosity, the right creativity.” If we plug that person into any role, they’re going to be successful.”

Employers these days are more concerned with intangible skills when searching for a candidate. Someone could have all of the experience required but not fit in with a company’s culture. Those things matter than years of experience. 

Don’t let those rejection emails turn you away. Don’t let those years of experience turn you off from applying to jobs and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do your job because you haven’t been there for 40 years. Years of experience do not equal value or success.