What is an Entry-level Job?

For a fresh graduate, looking for your first job can be confusing. It’s hard to know what to search for, and even if you do find a job that looks interesting, it’s hard to tell if you have the required experience to actually land the job.

An entry-level job is a job that generally requires little skill and knowledge, and is generally of a low pay. These jobs may require physical strength or some on-site training. Many entry-level jobs are part-time, and do not include employee benefits. Recent graduates from high school or college usually take entry-level positions.

Entry-level jobs which are targeted at college graduates often offer a higher salary. These positions are more likely to require specific skills and knowledge. Most entry-level jobs offered to college graduates are full-time permanent positions.

Most of these positions are with a good deal of on-the-job training included. Some are also part-time or temporary. According to About.com, benefits are not always offered with these positions, but many companies do include them as part of the package. Entry-level positions are good opportunities for recent graduates or those hoping to break into a new career field. Employers benefit from these employees as well because the company has the chance to train the employee in a specific manner conducive to the company’s goals.

An entry level job may or may not require (or at least prefer) some level of work experience. Most often, this work experience may be gained through internship, which are most commonly offered for 10-12 weeks during the summer break from college) or cooperative education (i.e. coops), which are often offered concurrent to the semester or quarter of education and are therefore in place of (or in addition to) the student’s normal education schedule.

The generally accepted crossover point from entry level to experienced is when the candidate has gained some level of experience in the chosen field or profession beyond graduation. However, it is usually only after a year of experience that the new job seeker is competing at an experienced level rather than entry level. For example, if a new entry level hire were to be terminated after only 3-6 months of work after graduation, that person would likely still be competing at the entry level for the next role. While the one year experience level is arbitrary and depending on the experience gained, it is the standard for most corporate recruiters when reviewing the resume of candidates.

Read: Searching for an Entry-Level Job in Kenya? Here’s what you need to know…

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