Learn about the entry-level catch-22 and how you can work to overcome it in this free career lesson.
If you’ve been looking for an entry-level job recently, you’ve probably run into a frustrating issue: A listing is labeled as entry level, but it also requires its applicants to have anywhere between one and five years of experience. So how do you gain work experience if you don’t have enough experience for an entry-level job? This dilemma is sometimes referred to as the entry-level catch-22.
It may seem like a strange problem without any clear solution, but there are some logical reasons as to why it exists. Some companies increase their job requirements to lower the number of applicants they have to look through during the process. This can turn away applicants who are unqualified, unmotivated, or both.
They may also be asking for more experience simply because they can; the number of job seekers in the market outweighs the number of jobs themselves. By asking for more experience, it also allows them to cut back on the amount of time they would have to spend on training a new employee.
The reasons listed above may sound absurd, frustrating, or even unfair, but we unfortunately can’t change them. But with a better understanding of why this catch-22 exists, you can equip yourself with tactics to overcome it and land the job you’re after.
While there isn't one simple solution to solve this problem, there are a variety of actions and tactics you can employ to try and work around it.
Read through the infographic below for some insight on how to best tackle the entry-level catch-22.