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What is good for the Goose is good for the Gander (Work Experience Vs Relevant Experience)

I remember a particular incidence about a meal, nicely prepared and all. Everyone who ate the meal enjoyed it and felt it was fantastically made. Well… everyone, except for one person, who had a serious stomach upset and was taken to the hospital by the other members of the entourage who had enjoyed the food like hoc nau an with no side effects.

So, I’m sure you agree that what works for one, works for all.

Not quite.

This same theory (or anti-theory) applies to job search and job applications. What works for one job application may not work for another, and the experience detail needed for an application may not work for another application. Debunk the “One Size Fits All” myth when it comes to job applications. One size, volume and manner may not/will not fit into all job profiles and job description.

Your work experience should be relevant to the specifics of the job, in terms of requirements. For example, the work experience needed for the position of Customer Service is different from the one needed for the position of an Accountant. So if you submit the résumé you had previously submitted for the former job as an application for the latter. You’ll most likely find that your application has been posted to the recycle bin. Your work experience is your first pitch to your prospective employer. Submitting a generic work experience to a well defined and specified job, is throwing a written ‘I don’t care’ attitude in the face of the employer. Be sure of one thing, you will get a cold dash of harsh reality as response.

Now, you may worry about the fact that you don’t have formal experience expected to fit in the specified job. If you are really interested in the job (which I’m assuming you are), think about something you’ve ever done in that line of work and take your time to flesh out that part. Ensure that you give details on what you did during that experience and the things you handled, no matter how minute they may look.

Your work experience should be written in relevance to the job you are applying for. A well written, relevant work experience gives your prospective employer the knowing that you are committed, interested in the company and not sloppy.


A pinch of advice: Do not lie about your work experience. If you do not have any form of experience that fits the job description and you are very interested in the job as a career path, simply indicate it in the ‘interests and growing capabilities’ section of your résumé.

If the job description is for entry-level or graduate trainee recruitment, you are allowed to send in your generic résumé. This means you will be trained for the role and responsibility you are to handle. Also, if the work experience required is not stated as a matter of compulsion, you can submit your generic résumé.

Be objective in criticizing your résumé. Ask yourself this question- “if I were the recruiter or employer will I give this résumé a second and third consideration?”

Remember, what is good for the goose may cause a metabolic upset in the gander.

Further reading: Focusing résumé, work experience and relevant experience.

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Nathan Jeffery
Notification Bell