Do You Have Equivalent Experience For a Position?

Examples of Equivalent Experience


There isn't a standard for what is considered equivalent experience. Here are some examples of education and experience equivalencies:

Sample Education and Experience Equivalencies
Job Requirement Equivalent Experience
High School Diploma 4 years of work experience
Vocational/Trade School 1 year of related work experience
Associate Degree 2 years of college or related work experience
Associate Degree High School Diploma plus 4 years of experience
Bachelor's Degree 4 years of related work experience
Bachelor's Degree High School Diploma plus 8 years of experience
Master's Degree Bachelor's Degree plus 2 years of related experience
Master's Degree High School Diploma plus 12 years of experience
Experience in Place of a Degree or Work Experience

In many cases, while a degree is preferred, some combination of coursework and experience, or else extensive related professional experience, is acceptable for consideration for a position.

Experience other than on-the-job experience may suffice for work requirements. For example, a degree in a related field, coursework, leadership experience in clubs, volunteer work, internships, or community service in place of formal work experience may be considered.

Mentioning Equivalent Experience When You Apply

When you apply for jobs, it's important to clearly state in your applications, cover letters, and interviews exactly what constitutes your equivalent experience. Emphasize the components of your experience that are most related to the job and that prove that you have the core competencies to excel in the position.

In your resume, be sure to put the experience most closely matched to the posted requirements at the beginning of the document, if possible. This “pride of place” positioning will help seize the hiring manager’s interest and encourage him or her to read through the rest of your resume. You might consider using a resume summary statement to highlight the pertinent skills.

Using Your Cover Letter to Explain Experience

Your cover letter is also an excellent place to elaborate on how your experience matches the requirements of the job. Of course, if you land an interview, you will then have the opportunity to make your case in person. Thus, you should make sure that you are prepared to talk about all of the hard and soft skills you have that make you a fantastic candidate for the job.

  • Hard skills include teachable proficiencies such as computer knowledge, foreign language proficiency, word processing, or a degree or certification in a specific career field (for example, accounting, management, or business administration).
  • Soft skills, also known as “people skills,” include capabilities like leadership, motivation, oral and written communication, problem-solving, flexibility, teamwork, mediation, time management, and work ethic.