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Dear Job Seekers: Stop Apologizing for the Experience You Don’t Have

By | Lily Zhang |

Let’s say you’re applying for a new job, but you have limited relevant experience. You’ve cleaned up your resume and crafted a beautiful cover letter outlining the value you hope to create for the company and how you see the skills you’ve built transferring to this new position. In other words, you’ve taken exactly the right approach.

But before you hit send, stop and ask yourself: Are you making this common, but damaging, mistake?

One mistake I see all the time in this scenario is calling out your lack of experience for the hiring manager. You might not even notice you’re doing it, but you are any time you start a sentence like this:

  • “Despite my limited experience with marketing…”
  • “Although I do not have experience directly managing people…”
  • “While I only have work experience doing administrative tasks…”

The reason this mistake is easy to make is because it seems like a seamless transition from why you’re interested in the position into how you are qualified beyond the typical relevant work experience recruiters look for. Problem is, when you write this, you’re essentially saying that you’re not a great hire, that you’re not quite the right fit for the role, or even that you would be starting from square one. And that’s just not the case!

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