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This “Potentials” Framework Will Make You the Truly Standout Candidate in Any Job Search


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It’s hard to find a job right now. To be honest, the whole job search thing has been plaguing college grads for decades. But there’s no denying, you have some unique obstacles to overcome. Don’t worry. Read on for 3 ideas you can use to move to the front of the hiring line and get a call back.

It’s not just you … plenty of entry-level candidates are frustrated with the job market

*Scrolling through the job board for entry level positions…

  • Receptionist: 2+ years experience preferred
  • Administrator: 1-2 years experience in an office work environment
  • Software Developer: At least 1 year of IT experience required
  • Auto Claims Associate: 2 or more years of Auto Claims work experience


How is it even possible to have experience for an entry-level job? Maybe you worked at Chick-fil-a, the driving range, or a local retail store for a few weeks during summers off. But now that you’re out of college, degree in hand, and looking for a job, those experiences seem trifling. 

It can feel beyond frustrating and desperately discouraging. Like where did these HR “professionals” come up with the idea that entry-level candidates should have experience? We honestly don’t know … but there’s good news.

Although you don’t think you have any experience, we’re ready to bet that you do!

So, we’re sharing some prompts you can use to craft a story – your “elevator pitch” – that will prove you’ve got what it takes to handle the job.


You’ve already got loads of experience … even if it isn’t in a paid role. After all, you made it through high school (hallelujah). You survived Freshman year in college. You rolled with the punches through the pandemic (#2020sucked). Those are no small feats! There are plenty of braggable points for you to pull out of everything you’ve been through.

So, before you get too discouraged in your job search, use these 3 prompts to help you see the value in your life experiences so far.

  1. Tell the hiring authority about your progress in class, sports, FT or PT jobs, or volunteer groups. Answer each of the following questions…
    • Where are you now compared to when you started?
    • What obstacles did you overcome?
    • Did you move into a leadership position or significantly improve your performance?
  1. Talk about the skills you learned through your journey. For example,
    • Did you develop interpersonal skills?
    • What new technical skills did you learn?
    • What new creative skills did you learn?
    • What talents did you use that contributed to the outcome?
    • In what professional aspects did you grow?
    • What goals have you set for yourself for further improvement?
  1. Predict how those experiences and skill sets will help you in your new role with the company.
    • Suggest reasonable outcomes for your first 90 days following the same trajectory as your previous success.
    • Talk about your strengths and how you hope to refine them by modeling company leadership.
    • Do some research regarding the required skills you don’t yet have and let the hiring authority know you’ve found ways to attain those skills. Then ask if there is a way for you to get started right away while you dive into acquiring the skills they need.


Now, craft these ideas into a short 60-second story you can share. Or, look up “common interview questions.” Use the answers you provided here to rehearse how you’ll answer questions from the hiring authority.

With a little bit of reflection, preparation, and creativity you’ll be able to prove that you are indeed worthy – experienced or not – for the position. 

And remember, people hire people, not paper … so be yourself!


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