How To Get A Job With Little Or No Work Experience

Job Opportunity CalssifiedIt 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.

Work Placements

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.

Volunteering

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.

Speculative Applications

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.

Networking

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.


Comments

How To Get A Job With Little Or No Work Experience — 21 Comments

  1. I am not a fan of working for free with internships or placements, unless you really have zero skills. Asking around if you can help people, or finding out what they need, they will probably give you the job. I used to help my aunt with database entry, baby sit other cousins, tutor the neighbors, etc. I had no experience but low rates and was there at the good time.

  2. Yeah, it is very hard to find job when you have little or zero experience. Networking would be the best idea to connect people and you may get lucky to land in a good job. Internship can be helpful but you need to work for free and moreover there is no guarantee you will get a chance to work in the same company.

  3. Great tips, though my advice to fresh graduates is to start looking and working jobs you can include in your resume while still in college, those are plus points if you really want to be noticed.

  4. I believe that you should try to create a job first.

    You don’t have to open a franchise or take any huge risks. You can try coaching or blogging or something with very low startup costs.

  5. Networking is often your best bet. It’s a good idea to use other people’s networks to expand your own, if possible. I got the job I’ve had for the past 28 years through one of my college professors. He went to school with one of the founders of the company, and recommended me. LinkedIn is a good place to keep your network growing.

  6. I think that networking and proof of competence (and willingness) is key. Interestingly, a friend of mine who used to be really senior in Astra Zeneca (and he hired and fired regularly) told me once that when people hire they are not that interested in the technical competence of the candidate (for professional jobs) but in how he/she would fit in the company.

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