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LETTER: Lack of experience or bad candidate?

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Many times I have been told, “You must have at least one year of experience,” or came across an ad that said, “No experience required but one year of experience preferred.” Does that mean that if I am a college student who has never had a job, I simply would not ever be able to work?

Retail businesses typically hire for part-time positions and the majority of people who can fill these positions would be college students. While some college students may have work experience, not everyone does, and this automatically eliminates many of them from the process.

The human resource departments or hiring teams conduct a process before they even reach the interview stage. In this process, they automatically eliminate candidates who do not meet the criteria, one of which may be experience of at least one year.

Unfortunately, a system can only pick candidates who look good on paper, but not necessarily be a good worker. There are hundreds of candidates who can be equally qualified but simply have not had the chance to gain the experience. While a candidate may have the experience, they may lack work ethics, good customer service skills and the ability to work well with others.

Many candidates who lack the experience can, in turn, be the best employee in the business.

In my opinion, you should never overlook a good candidate simply because they do not have the experience. An employer could possibly be turning away the best thing that ever happened to the company. Interviewers should take this under consideration when deciding which candidates move on to the interview stage, and which ones are eliminated.

Caryn Cleare,
UPEI student

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