Oh companies and telling people with advanced degrees that we have “no experience.”

I get why experience is so important, but I honestly wish more companies took chances on people who don’t have the direct experience they are looking for.

When I was looking for entry-level medical writer roles in 2019, I kept getting rejected because I lacked “experience.” It didn’t matter that I had done a lot of academic writing and published several peer-reviewed papers.

I bemoaned this until I learned an important lesson I want to share with you today.

Here it is:

Create your own project that uses the skills and experiences “they” say you “lack.”

Then add that experience to your resume.

Want an example? Here’s how it played out for me. 

– I started a blog. (It no longer exists but I was so proud of it!)

– I pitched businesses in the bioscience and healthcare spaces.

– I wrote marketing content for a handful of paying clients who said yes to me. This included search-engine optimized blog content, sales emails, social media content and educational brochures. 

(By the way, I learned a lot of those skills by reading books and blogs on content marketing. Academic writing was wonderful but I had to learn a different way to write. Remember how I always say  “ we are the bosses of learning”?)

– I added that experience on my resume.

– In 2021, I was able to convince a hiring manager to give me my first full-time science writer job.

And guess what? I got paid the entire time I was doing this! Not big, big money. But hello! I was not mad at the money!!

Go and create your own portfolio of projects. And then when they say you don’t have “experience,” pull that out and show them that you do.

Thoughts? Comment and talk to me.

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