How To Get a Job With No Experience
In this video, we take you through 4 essential steps of getting a job and if you stick around until then end, we’ll unleash an interviewing tactic that’s going to help you stay poised under pressure.
If you are just starting in your career or looking to change positions or industries, you may feel limited by a lack of experience. However, every professional has been in the same position at some point in their career. If you approach your job hunt with the right strategy, you can use your relevant skills and abilities to show employers you are the right candidate for a job, no matter how much experience you have. In this article, we go over some steps you can take to get a job without any experience to help you become a stronger candidate.
How to get a job without experience: tips and examples
A lack of experience doesn’t mean you can’t land a job. It just means you have to go about the job search strategically. The following eight tips have been crafted to help you do just that.
1. Aim for entry-level positions.
Entry-level jobs are the earliest positions on a career path. Unlike more senior positions, entry-level jobs don’t expect applicants to possess years of professional experience. As a result, focusing your search on entry-level positions will improve your chances of getting a job that can lead to something even bigger.
Research the title of a specific, entry-level position in a field that interests you and search a job listing site for that title. For example, someone might search “junior marketer” on FlexJobs.
2. Tailor your resume.
Your resume is your opportunity to highlight the value you can bring to your next employer. But, not all employers require the same skills, experience, or qualifications – even if they are advertising for the same position.
Employers have different needs and will highlight different aspects of a position on a job description. As a result, it is important that you tailor your resume to each specific position to which you are applying in order to improve your chances of getting an interview.
2. Once you have identified positions that interest you, read through each job description and highlight the skills, experiences, and qualifications that match your own for that specific position.
3. Tailor your “master” resume for each job by highlighting the specific skills and experiences that were emphasized by their respective job postings. Try to mirror the language used, when possible, to help get through automated hiring tools like applicant tracking systems.
3. Highlight your transferable skills.
Your transferable skills are the skills you bring with you from one job to another. These can be everything from technical (“hard”) skills like coding and wireframing to sought-after personal (“soft”) skills like communication, problem solving, and the ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity.
When you lack prior work experience in a field, highlighting your relevant transferable skills is a good way to demonstrate your value to an employer. For example, someone applying for an entry-level IT support job might highlight the communication skills they previously developed in a sales position or as a member of their high school debate club.
4. Emphasize your education and extracurriculars.
If you lack relevant work experience, consider emphasizing the skills you developed through your studies or as a part of an organization. For example, someone applying to an entry-level UX design position might emphasize the specific skills they learned in design-oriented courses they took as an undergraduate. A recent high-school graduate applying for a job as a server might highlight the communication skills they honed as a member of a community leadership organization.
5. Build experience by interning, volunteering, or doing it yourself.
If you are struggling to identify any relevant skills that prepare you for your dream job, consider interning or volunteering at an organization that could provide the necessary experience.
Through internships and volunteer opportunities, you can familiarize yourself with the field and gain an understanding of day-to-day tasks, while also padding your resume with relevant experience.
For instance, someone looking to find work as a project manager might volunteer at a charity that organizes citywide cleanup efforts to gain experience working on large-scale projects. An aspiring social media manager, meanwhile, might intern with the marketing manager of a start-up to get hands-on experience handling a business’s social media accounts.
You can take matters into your own hands by working on a portfolio that showcases your abilities. This can be a good way to highlight your abilities to potential employers with real-world examples.
6. Build a network.
A 2018 study by the HR consulting firm Randstad USA found that although different age groups tended to use different channels to find job openings, people of all ages agreed that their personal networks were paramount to finding employment . In addition to providing references, network contacts can also let you know about openings before they are advertised.
Whether you already have an established network or not, you should make a habit of taking time to build and nurture relationships with contacts throughout your career. Some common ways to connect with people in an industry that interests you include:
7. Take courses to build in-demand skills.
Today, there are many options available to help you further develop your skillsets. While community colleges provide cost-effective courses and associate degree programs, four-year colleges offer the opportunity to study a subject in-depth and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Professional certificates, meanwhile, train individuals in a specific skillset, such as Cybersecurity.
How to Get a Job With No Experience: Interview Preparation
Once you’re getting interviews, it’s time to focus on preparing to turn those interviews into job offers. Getting interviews is half the battle when it comes to getting a job with no experience, but you need to take advantage of each opportunity you get to interview!
First, make sure you’re researching each company before talking to them. Employers are going to be impressed if you know about their company, industry, and competitors, and it can help set you apart and put you over the top when you’re trying to get hired without experience.
Next, be ready to explain why you’d succeed in their job. Even for an entry-level position, or a job requiring no direct experience, employers are going to make their choice based on who they feel is most likely to be able to step into the job and succeed. So think about your soft skills, your education, any internships or work experience you have from other industries, and how it will help you.