It can be hard enough to find work even if you have an extensive resume to back up your application. If you have little or no work experience to speak of though, things can get even more challenging. It might seem pretty much impossible to get a job in this scenario – after all, don’t you need a job to get experience in the first place? Not necessarily. There are some things that you can do to improve your chances of getting a job when your work experience is thin on the ground or completely non-existent.
If you do not yet have the right skills, a work experience or interning opportunity could be the answer. This can be useful if you need specific skills for a particular job as you will also get some hands-on experience too. It can be a great way to get your foot in the door but most work placements are unpaid. There is some scope for being taken on by the company after your placement but there’s no guarantee that that this will happen.
This is another opportunity to gain new skills or to plug gaps in your work history but again, you will not be paid for your efforts. Charities are always looking for new volunteers to join them but it will often be the case that they need people to do some specific roles so you may not be able to pick and choose which skills you develop. This can be ideal though if you are only looking for general work experience to get something added to your resume.
If you have got specific talents that you believe are much needed at certain companies, firing off a speculative application could impress. Sending your resume when the company is not officially hiring might seem pointless but you could be surprised. Many job openings are not publicly promoted so it is not always the case that a company is only looking for candidates when they advertise externally. Get your cover letter in front of the right person and there’s a chance that you can impress for when an opening does become available. It will not always work but it can be worth a try.
It’s not always about what you know but who you know. If you can impress the right people through your networking efforts, they may not be as hung up on your actual experience.
Using Your Resume
Above all, you will want to make sure that your resume and covering letter showcases your best points as fully as possible. You might not have much in the way of experience but you have probably got other skills that would be desirable to potential employers. Think about your transferable skills such as being a good communicator or being able to work as part of a team and play up these attributes. Transferable skills do not have to been developed through work. You might have demonstrated them in other areas of your life without even realizing.
Create Your Own Work Samples
Depending on the job, you may be able to get ahead by creating a portfolio and using this to demonstrate your potential. This can work well for creative roles and you do not need necessarily need to flag up that these samples were not created ‘on the job’ unless specifically asked.
It may seem impossible to find a job when you are lacking in experience but there are some ways that you can improve your prospects. This might include finding ways to gain some vital experience through work experience placements or volunteering or by finding ways to highlight your skills to prospective employers.