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Trying to get a job with no experience can feel like an incredibly tough task. But you must remember this—at one point every single person didn’t have experience in their field.
We’ve all climbed this hurdle. No one gets the corner office out of thin air. (Unless, you have a serious stroke of luck or you’re born into money. This isn’t the case for most of us so consider yourself in good company!)
To get a job without experience, you have to get scrappy, resourceful, and bold. Here’s how to make it happen:
Take An Audit
The first step is taking an audit of all of the things that you have done that prove you’re capable of holding down a job.
- Have you volunteered at a local non-profit?
- Have you worked (even for free) for a friend or relative?
- Have you completed some credit hours towards a college degree?
List out all of the different things you’ve done that are related to the work that you want to do in your new career.
Did you oversee other volunteers? Overseeing people is personnel management and a highly valuable skill.
Did you manage records? Managing records is administrative work that is also a highly valuable skill.
Did you do customer service? Businesses need people to take care of customers so, you guessed it, this is another valuable skill.
Don’t be shy! Write anything and everything down that relates to the field that you’re trying to get into. If you get stumped, you may be able to ask a friend for help. Sometimes it’s harder to see our own accomplishments and easier for other people to see the value in our past work related experience.
If you take an audit and discover that you REALLY don’t have much work experience, it’s time to start building up your resume.
Seek out volunteer opportunities and consider internships. Whether or not you should work as a free intern is something that’s hotly debated. But many people have gotten great opportunities from free internships, including me.
Just choose the internship wisely and have an end goal in mind so you can steer your experience in the right direction. Otherwise, you could end up doing free work without learning anything. If you’re ambitious, all you need to do is get your foot in the door and you can rub shoulders with the right people.
Also, there are certain jobs where you may not need a great deal of experience to get an offer. Retail and entry-level customer service, for example, are types of jobs where anyone with some basic common sense and manners can get hired.
Try out a few of these jobs first just to build your resume and then move onto other things. I used experience from a job in retail to get a job at a hotel front desk position that progressed into a spot in management. Take it one step at a time, my friend!
Make It Look Pretty
After your experience audit, you may be able to move right along into this step because you have enough to build out your resume. If not, you may have to get a bit more work experience.
The modern resume is definitely different from resumes of the past. Hundreds of resumes cross the desks of hiring managers so you need to make yours stand out.
Starting from the bottom of anything can feel like a huge uphill battle. But it’s the same uphill battle for everyone. Don’t get discouraged if you’re looking for your very first job or you’re trying to get a job in a field where you have no experience.
You may not get the first or second job that you apply for but that doesn’t mean that you’re doomed to not get any job. Keep applying, keep gaining relevant experience, and keep asking for feedback after your interviews.
With grit and determination, you can eventually break into your chosen career field.
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