An Open Letter to Recruiters

I don’t know about you, but as a rising 5th year student, things are getting serious. Doesn’t matter what you’re majoring in, the world is becoming more and more competitive. Some thrive in this competition while others, like me, are left a mess of nerves and anxiety that’s hard to ignore. I understand some people like to “go with the flow” but I am actually someone who needs to plan ahead. That’s why there was an actual moment when I said: “Am I going to grad school or not?” and if I am going, “When the heck am I taking the GRE? The GMAT?”. These tests are expensive! That’s why I opted for another route and started looking for an entry-level job.

Websites like LinkedIn, Indeed and Glassdoor make this task easy. You just type in the kind of job you want, in my case Human Resources, and all the options are right there in front of you. However, when you read the Job Requirements that’s when bad news start rolling in. I’ve been a student at UPR Rio Piedras since August 2013, during Summer 2014 I had a brief job, then I went on to do the Disney College Program and - when I came back - I threw myself into studying and becoming part of student organizations. Therefore, I haven’t had the time to take on a full time job. However, when you read these job descriptions they say things like: “2 years experience in…” or “1-3 years experience…” and I simply want to cry.

For the past two years, this is something I have struggled with and I have not even graduated from college. How am I, a full time undergraduate student, supposed to gain 1 to 3 years experience in my field when I can’t even cook dinner 2 days a week? Is there a hack for me to be able to say that I do have the experience? Do the internships I have done in the past count as one, or do I count them separately, making it impossible for it to amount to a year? Recruiters, once and for all, explain to me how I’m supposed to do this?

I understand it’s essentially not the recruiter’s fault but it would be helpful that, going forward, us undergraduates are taught how to meet these requirements. There’s something we all have in common: our desire to move forward. Unfortunately, requirements like these for entry-level jobs inhibit us from acquiring the experience necessary. When it’s time to post about a new job maybe it’s better if we think about the realistic conditions undergraduates live by. Entry level should require 0 to 1 year of experience, because it should be all about that: entering the workforce. Give us, the ones without experience, the opportunity to show you what we can do for your company or organization because eventually the experience will help people advance in their career.

If life is about taking chances, it should be about giving them too.