That is horrible advice! Seriously, follow @mawburn’s advice. In fact, I’d encourage you to apply for any job that is remotely interesting to you. Why? Because it gets you experience with Interviews and it gives you connections with possible employers.
Get interviews, be polite, show interest in the company, not just the job. Research the company. Go to their website, read up on what they do, their recent clientele, their news press releases, anything! Mention those items in your interview when asked if you have any questions about the company. Why? Because as someone who has helped my boss hire new employees, we DIG that stuff! If you bring up a recent press release we had over our new product launch, or our recent work with company X, we’ll overlook your inexperience or lack of a qualification. We want people who are interested in what we do, as they are more likely to be employees that we’ll retain for numerous years.
And above all else, send a Thank you after your interview (regardless if it went well or not). Thank the company for the phone/in person interview, remind them of your interest in the company (not the position, the company) and that you look forward to hearing from them (if you haven’t already). I can’t tell you the number of resumes, I picked out of the “no” pile because they sent a thank you letter, but it has been a few. Granted, not all thank you letters will get their resume out of the “no” pile, you just can’t fix everything with a single letter, but if you were “on the edge” or “just barely didn’t make the cut”, you have a shot.
Should you get a second interview, and someone stumped you with a question in your first interview. Find the answer to that question and bring it with you. You will surprise me to no end if you come in and we ask “Do you have any questions for us?” and you respond, “Yes, the same one you stumped me on last time, … but I have the answer now too!”
You should continue to apply for jobs just slightly out of your qualifications because, well… you are a developer. The goal of a developer is to continue learning. When I look for someone, I look at their current experience, the jobs they’ve done, the roles they played, etc. That means far more to me than 5 years of experience. If you have 3 years and you were a lead or a critical role to a big project, I quickly forget about the lack of 5 years. Express your interest in learning and any opportunities a position at the company may grant you in that regard.
Lastly, take a look at your resume. If you simply have 3 years of .NET, 2 years Ruby. Get rid of that. Replace it with the projects you’ve worked on.
Company I Worked For (2004-Present)
Title at Company
Big Project 1
As an architect, I analyzed and designed the underlying framework according to the business needs of our client. The project was designed to do X, which required careful consideration to memory/network usage. I developed documentation so our developers knew how the framework was to be developed and utilized by the system as a whole. I set time aside every week to review recent code changes to verify they were adhering to the design and requested changes when it wasn’t.
As you can tell, that gives a lot more information about you and your abilities, than putting 3 years of .NET
The industry really is easy to get into, if you are willing to show your interest in the industry. That’s really all a company wants, is someone who is interested. Someone willing to learn, willing to grow, willing to work hard because they value the industry they are trying to get in.