You’ve seen a job advertised that you’re really excited about, but you don’t have any experience. You can’t get experience without first having a job though! It’s a real Catch-22 situation.
Whether you’re fresh out of education or looking to take your career in a new direction, trying to land that first role can be daunting and frustrating. Don’t be disheartened though. In this blog article, we’ve put together seven top tips to help you secure a job with little or no experience.
1.Think outside of the box
Before you convince yourself that you don’t have any experience think back over your previous jobs, even if these were temporary roles during the university holidays. Try and make links between the knowledge that you already have and the experience that you need. It might not be a perfect match, but if it has relevance, include it on your CV.
Can you draw experience from any sports teams you’re a member of, or maybe you were part of a university club that provided you with useful transferable skills? Is there a role that you fulfil in the community which may be worth mentioning on your CV, such as being part of the PTA, a school governor or fundraising for charity?
2. Don’t fake it
You may be tempted to sweep your lack of experience under the carpet but don’t try to hide the elephant in the room! A cover letter is a perfect opportunity to address the gaps in your expertise, yet highlight to potential employers what other attributes and transferable skills you can bring to a role. Experience is important, but so are soft skills such as enthusiasm, motivation, being a team player and creativity. Think of scenarios where you can demonstrate your key qualities and make them jump off the page on both your CV and cover letter.
3. Fill your CV
Find training courses or attend workshops to obtain the knowledge you need for a role. Not only are you educating yourself, but you’re also demonstrating your dedication and commitment.
4. Network, network, network!
What’s that age-old saying? It’s not what you know; it’s who you know! There are a plethora of online networking groups out there just waiting to be discovered. Do your research and find the ones that best suit your situation, sector or demographic. It might not lead directly to a role, but members may be able to offer you valuable advice, course ideas or suggest relevant intern opportunities.
Sometimes we feel as if we’re the only ones experiencing a challenging work situation, so even if it just makes you feel like you’re not alone, networking may give you the confidence boost you need to keep persevering.
5. Become an expert in your field
A fantastic way to stand out in networking groups, or if you are successful and called for an interview, is to show that you really know your stuff. Do your homework on the industry and companies that you’re interested in, join forums, read blogs, and research the key people in the business. This is another perfect opportunity to show off soft skills such as determination. It also really demonstrates that you’re hungry to succeed!
6. Find experience
Internships, volunteering and work shadowing are a perfect way to add experience to your CV and to find out what a role is really like. Just make sure that they are relevant to your job search. There’s no point wasting precious time on experience that isn’t going to help your cause, especially if you’re doing it for free!
7. Be realistic
You may have a crystal-clear vision of where you want your career to go, but it might not be the time for you to get there just yet. Be realistic about where your education, skills and experience can take you in the short to medium term. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to get there eventually; you may just have a few extra rungs of the ladder to climb on your way up.
Every role can teach us new skills, expand our professional networks and increase our knowledge. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is the typical career. Be patient and don’t give up!
Found these tips useful and want to find out more about securing your perfect job with little or no experience?
If you’d like to kickstart your career in 2021, then please contact me to book an introductory 30-minute consultation where we can talk through your current situation, and I’ll advise you on how I can help.