Watch out for minimum qualifications on university job postings!

I had a bit of a learning experience today while applying for a position as a Web Developer at a university. The job had as a minimum qualification, 3-5 years full-time web-development experience. I’ve seen in many places where people are encouraged to apply for jobs, even if they don’t meet the minimum requirements, so I thought, “Why not apply for this one?” Well, after spending my entire morning filling out forms, preparing a page with my projects and a well-crafted cover letter, and then submitting those forms, I was presented with a radio button questionnaire that asked if I met the minimum experience requirement. I saw no other option but to be honest and put “no”, and then submitted my application. Then, I got an automatic response saying that I didn’t meet the minimum requirements and would not be considered for the position. I called the HR department and they basically told me I was out of luck. I wish they would have asked that question at the beginning so I didn’t waste my whole morning. :frowning:

So, yes, I know that we should take a chance and apply for jobs that may not quite be a fit, but I just want to warn others that at least for university jobs, they are real sticklers about the minimum qualifications, and you might end up wasting several hours of your day.

I hope at the very least my mistake will help save someone else a little time.

My $0.02 on the topic:

If a job post asks for less than 3 years experience, then yes by all means a new graduate of FCC can certainly apply and be considered. If you knew ahead of time that 3-5 years of professional experience was required, then no, you certainly would not have the level of skill they’re looking for.


Thanks for the two cents, Ian! :grinning:
I get what you are saying, I knew going in that I had fewer years of experience, so I shouldn’t expect any consideration. However, the “less than 3 years experience” job posting seems like kind of an enigma, so I feel like I have to apply for jobs that I don’t meet the minimum requirements for on the off chance that a company might be unable to find a person to meet the reqs, or that I might have some interesting background and projects in my portfolio that might catch someone’s eye. What’s your opinion: is the number of years of experience a “Christmas wish list,” or should it be an indicator to not apply for a certain job?

Some HR departments are like that. They are the gatekeepers and they guard the gate fiercely. Sometimes you can get by them by approaching the technical hiring manager directly. It’s kind of like a casting director (HR) versus the director of the film (the technical lead manager). HR/casting is supposed to save the technical manager/director time, but he has the final say (or she), so if the technical guy wants you, HR can’t do much about it. If you get the director’s love and devotion, they can tell HR to hire you even if you don’t meet the job requirements. Get on LinkedIn and ask to chat with some product managers, CTO’s at startups, and even founders/CEOs at startups. They are a lot more accessible than what you might think.

It also depends on the University and who is hiring. My friends dad has worked with SQL for the past twenty years at a big public University in California. They probably would only hire someone with adequate experience, but there are always exceptions to the rule. I don’t think one University’s policy extends to all universities, either. Bureaucracy probably gets in the way more there than other places.

Good job applying! My suggestion is apply to everything you possibly can. :smile:

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Thanks, Nick! The insider advice is very much appreciated! :+1: