GUEST COMMENT: On paper I look bad; in the flesh, I'm frankly amazing

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Just what is, "relevant experience"?

I've worked for about three years in banking as an analyst and salesperson. I had to take some time out for health reasons. Now I'm looking for work.

The process has been frustrating. I've applied for various roles which I'm confident I could do, but no one bothers to ask me why because they are only considering those with the so-called 'relevant experience.'

What about people who are switching sectors? What about people whose university education isn't directly relevant to the job but who are more than capable of performing it expertly?

I was recently told by a director of a headhunter firm that a particular position required (you guessed it) four years' relevant experience. But did he consider my candidacy carefully enough?

I am someone who has lots of life experiences. My background means I am a confident person. I don't mind telling others what they have done wrong.

The parental advantage

My father who was a former high-profile CEO. My brother is a buy-side analyst equals. I am a candidate with relevant experience as a person, even if I lack work experience on paper. How so? Well...

· I know about marketing because it is linked to products I've sold at my previous firms. I know which presentations and marketing materials work because I know which sort of campaigns enhanced sales.

· I know about client service; it's a crucial skill for salespeople too.

· I know a bit of PR and IR from listening to my dad at roadshows and seeing how he handled crisis management.

· I know the importance of good research; I've read many bad research reports.

· I know about business strategy and competitor analysis; this is all my dad talks about when I try to have a decent lunch or dinner with him.

And what don't I know? Well sadly it's the administrative stuff that most entry-level candidates are supposed to be doing. When you're slow on the scanner, when you forget to ask who called, or when you take a bad message, your boss thinks you are stupid and spoiled.

My job search continues, wish me well...

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