How to Get a Job When You Have No Experience
If you’re like the majority of people that are just starting their career search, you probably don’t have a lot of experience. Maybe you’re fresh out of school, or maybe you’ve just had one or two entry level jobs. It doesn’t really matter, because either way, you find yourself with a pretty sparse looking resume, and very little confidence when going out to look for the right job for you. So, how do you overcome this?
There are a number of things that you can do to show that you’re qualified for a job, even if you don’t have a ton of experience on your side. A smart hiring manager knows that experience doesn’t necessarily equal skill, but you need to fill in the gaps for them so that they can see that you fall into this category. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- 1.) Focus on soft skills. What are soft skills? These are the things that will show your ability to grow within a position. They come naturally to most people, but they can be refined. These include friendliness, professionalism, courteousness, drive, and determination. When you are able to exemplify these things, both on your application and in person at an interview, then you can show a hiring manager that even though you don’t have experience on your side, you have the natural disposition to succeed within the company.
- 2.) Draw attention to non-obvious experience and skills. Sure, you don’t have a lot of professional experience, but you do have experience. Were you your class president? Captain of the baseball team? You have experience in a non-professional setting, now you need to show why this can be translated into the workplace. These are non-obvious, but they are extremely helpful. Maybe you held the record at your high school for the most amount of free throws made in a season. What helped you to get that record? Surely it wasn’t laziness. Find the talents and skills that have helped you so far in life, and let them shine in your interview.
- 3.) Show confidence; but not too much. You want to come across as confident and talented, but you definitely don’t want to look like a cocky jerk. You’re likely to be asked about your strengths and weaknesses at an interview, so take some time and focus on both beforehand. What are you good at? What do you need to work on still? Knowing both, and presenting them correctly is a must. Be confident, but be humble about it. This not only shows that you’re realistic about your skill set and that you know what areas you need growth in, but it shows that you’re going to be a decent coworker and not a drag on the company culture.
- 4.) Look for experience. You might not have experience, but you can still get it. Are there internships out there that would benefit you? What about entry level jobs that will allow you to work your way up through the company or the industry? Any volunteer positions that might translate into professional growth? Any classes or certifications that could help? There are tons of ways to get experience and grow your professional resume, so if you can’t find the job that you want just yet, you need to think creatively so that you can get it. There are a lot of people that want the skills that you have, it’s just a matter of showing them that not only do you have the skills, but you have the disposition and the determination to succeed in the opening that you are applying for. You don’t need experience to do this, but it helps!