PETALING JAYA - Young jobseekers are a realistic lot who are willing to overlook the pay in favour of gaining experience.
Eighteen-year-old Lee Shi Yun, who is looking for a job to finance her college fees, finds it a challenge as many positions require higher qualifications than what she has.
Many of the jobs also ask for the applicants to have a minimum year of experience.
"It's frustrating to see 'diploma/degree required' or 'minimum x years experience' under the job specification," said Lee, who recently completed high school.
Through job-hunting, Lee has come to understand how vital it is to pursue tertiary education, which will stand her in good stead in applying for a job.
Lee said for now, pay is secondary to the experience that she hopes to gain from having a job.
Agreeing with Lee on the need for experience, student Lim Ben Kin, 17, said he has yet to hear from the F&B outlets he applied to as a barista.
"I do believe that many employers are reluctant to hire younger people, probably due to their lack of experience," he said.
While being more experienced and having higher academic credentials may give potential candidates an edge, it does not guarantee an immediate offer for the desired, as 45-year-old K.H. Chen can testify.
Chen, who holds a Masters in Environmental Engineering, has sent in 25 applications in the past three months but only one of them was successful.
He said that while every rejection had indeed been disappointing, he had to pick himself up to reflect on what had gone wrong during his interviews in order to prepare for the next one.
It has also not been easy for him to find employment in the once-lucrative oil and gas sector, which has seen a plunge in fuel prices.
"A job is not an entitlement; you need to demonstrate why you are the most suitable candidate among the many out there," he added.
English Literature graduate Amanda Shiew, 23, who hopes to become a writer or blogger, admitted that job-hunting could be very disheartening as it is possible to send out 10 applications and not get any calls.
Yet, Shiew, who has even applied for a job at a pet store, encourages future candidates to keep on trying.
"You will eventually get a job, after which you won't have to go through all this anymore."