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What is meant by relevant work experience?

Candidates might often wonder why they don’t get the much awaited response that they should get. We have discussed some of the reasons in our previous posts. However, today we are going to talk about another important aspect which goes into your application either being rejected or shortlisted and that is relevant work experience.

So what do you think relevant work experience actually means? This is a variable component and varies from recruiter to recruiter, whether he is looking at post MBA experience or is considering your total experience.

Let us demonstrate this using two real-time examples. Consider these two job postings.

1.      Senior Product Manager Online (5-10 yrs)

2.      Brand/Senior Brand Manager – FMCG (6-10 yrs)

In the first posting, you will see that it is clearly mentioned that candidates with a total experience of 5-10 years including 1-5 years in product management should ideally apply. MBA here is not mandatory but is a plus. If you have a look at the snapshot below, you will see that the recruiter has shortlisted Sunil because he fits both the criteria. Also, he will be given a preference for this role because of his MBA degree. Mohit might seem like a really good fit but the recruiter considered him “Not Suitable” since he does not fit the overall work exp criteria. Owing to his Business Development experience instead of Product management as the job demands, Rahul does not fit the profile at all and hence, he is rejected.


In the next posting, the recruiter is a looking for a total experience of 6-10 years in brand management (either agency or industry). If you follow the below snapshot, you will find that the recruiter has shortlisted Abhinav and Akshay as they fit the requirement perfectly. Rahul was considered “Not Suitable” because even though he had the relevant role experience, he was lacking in the requisite years of work experience. Amit was rejected because even though he had the required total years of experience, his relevant post MBA work exp was only 3 years while the rest was pre-MBA work experience as a software engineer.


A number of times candidates apply to jobs taking into account their overall experience. Sometimes they even apply to jobs with a completely different domain experience. We would strongly advise candidates to go through the job description in detail before sending out an application. Focus on quality and not quantity!

Your views are most welcome!

Disclaimer: Candidate names, institutions & locations have been changed to protect the identity of jobseekers. However, current Organization/Designation and years of experience have not been changed to fetch accurate data.

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