Getting a job with no experience

Getting a job with no experience

1. Tailor your CV for every job application

Look at the job description and try to identify what skills the employer wants. What seems most important on the job ad and in the job description? Then emphasise what they’re looking for in your CV.  You can do this by being sure these skills are included (assuming you do have them),  reordering items on your CV so the required skills are at the top of the skills list.  Also, emphasise them by adding bullet points and other content. Use plenty of examples to show how you have used the skills sought.

2.  Educate yourself

Undertake courses (there are many virtual courses available now), attend workshops, to get certificates and diplomas relevant to your area of interest. This will not only help you gain the knowledge for the job, but also show your dedication and commitment. In addition, tutors and fellow students are a great way to start and expand your network.

 3.  Become an expert in your field

 Learn everything there is to know about your chosen industry and the job. This will not only prepare you for the career – it will also help you when networking and interviewing for jobs. To become an expert in your field, interact in forums, read blogs, and join groups both online and offline. Make sure you also know some key names in the business – online and offline; locally, nationally and even internationally.

 4.  Focus on your transferable soft skills

Transferable skills can be – surprise, surprise – transferred from one situation or job to another. Examples of soft skills are interpersonal skills, organizational skills, leadership skills, and communication skills. Focus on your ability to motivate people, multitask, supervise, or speak in public.  Think of examples of how you can show you have those soft skills. If you've organised a meeting or answered the phones, that's admin experience. If you've set up a Facebook page or created a flier, that's marketing. Think outside the box!

5.  Market yourself

Employers tell us that many young people are not good at marketing themselves. They don’t know how to produce a stand-out CV and conduct a professional job interview. So practice. Get a friend or family member to check your CV for errors and accuracy.  Ask them to carry out a dummy interview with you – there are many sample questions on the internet.

 6.   Apply speculatively

If you only apply for advertised jobs, you're going to be assessed against set criteria. Approach speculatively companies that interest you.  Demonstrate you've done your research, and ask if there are any vacancies as you're looking to break into the industry. If the answer is no, ask if you can apply again in 6 months, and find out what you can do in the meantime to improve your chances.  Aim to find out the contact details of the hiring manager and be sure to leave a copy of your CV behind for them to hold on to in case an opportunity arises.

7.  Volunteer

And if you can’t find work of any kind? Still stay busy. Volunteer, participate in community activities, be social. You’ll feel happier, meet more people, and opportunities may present themselves. But try to make sure the experience you're getting is relevant. If you're still taking your first steps, don't waste time with unrelated work, especially if it's unpaid!

Finally, be patient, and be willing to start at the bottom. Getting a foot in the door may take time. It might also be exhausting, and you may feel like giving up, but if it’s what you really want to do and what makes you happy, go for it!  And if you need some help, remember we are only a phone call or email way – contact us!

Posted: Friday 19 November 2021