Careers in Rare Books and Manuscripts: Frequently Asked Questions / Job Resources / Experience Required
I found a job listing that asks for three years of professional experience. I don’t have that much experience. Should I still apply?
Most job listings are written carefully and in some cases it may be impossible for an institution to hire an applicant who lacks the “required” qualifications. However, if the experience is listed under “preferred” qualifications, or if you believe you have slightly different professional experience that could be considered equivalent to the experience requested, you should feel free to submit an application. In this case, you may want to address the issue of your slightly different qualifications in your cover letter.
If you have worked in a paraprofessional ("staff") position at a library, many institutions will take this experience into consideration. Again, you may wish to use part of your cover letter to explain your reasoning if you decide to count paraprofessional experience toward the requested years of professional experience.