It’s the age-old dilemma for job-seekers. You can’t get a job because you don’t have experience, and you can’t get experience if you don’t have a job. This is not an impossible situation, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and apply some effort. Here are seven tips to get you on your way to landing a great job, even if you don’t have experience.
1. To Get a Job: Change Your Mindset
It’s not just you. Worldwide, unemployment rates in many countries are at an all-time high. It is not only young people who don’t have jobs. Many older, well-educated workers with years of experience have found themselves jobless in today’s market. Both young and old, experienced and inexperienced, educated and uneducated will be competing for the same openings. Attitude will make all the difference. You must be prepared to exercise perseverance and creativity to get the experience you need to land the job you want.
2. To Get a Job: Know What You’re Looking For
Are you applying for jobs willy-nilly? If you do not yet have an ideal position in mind, bring some focus to your job search. There’s an old adage that says “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”. Start by figuring out the kind of company you want to work for and the type of job you would like to do. Make a list of ten companies and then add two potential positions you could do at each company. Be realistic; if you have no experience, then aim for entry-level positions. You may need to place some calls to the organizations to find out what positions exist, and check their websites for vacancies.
3. To Get a Job: Know What They’re Looking For
Once you have your list of twenty potential positions at ten possible companies, narrow these down into a few key positions and investigate their job descriptions. For example, Google “sales clerk duties” and “customer service representative job description” to familiarize yourself with what’s required in the positions you are after. Read the requirements thoroughly and picture yourself doing these jobs. Figure out the duties that will be easy for you, and the ones that will be challenging. Rate your own level of skill, training and readiness for each aspect of the job.
4. To Get a Job: Identify Your Strengths
One of the most important traits hiring managers look for is confidence. They are impressed when you are comfortable talking about yourself, your strengths, and your your skills. You will need to exude confidence in your abilities, and be clear on what you’re bringing to the table. Over the next few days, begin to catalog your strengths and talents. Are you a good listener? Are you organized? Are you good at generating enthusiasm among others? Are you neat? Are you patient? What are you good at? What makes you an outstanding person? The things that you do well in your day-to-day life will be the building blocks that make you an attractive candidate for any employer. Identify these skills. Celebrate them. Hone them.
5. To Get a Job: Make Your Resume A Reflection of You
Now that you know what job you want, and the traits that differentiate you, it is time to match your skills to the employer’s requirements. Your résumé should be more than a boring chronological list of your summer jobs and grades at school. Craft your our résumé “sell” you based on “fit” and not necessarily experience. Can you see yourself doing well in the job? Yes? Then tell the employer why. Make sure your résumé includes all the great things you have to offer. Make sure it is not a stark reminder of the experience you lack. Create a functional resume with a headline and list of skills. Make sure that the skills you list will directly benefit the potential employer in the specific job you are seeking.
6. To Get a Job: Don’t Just Stay at Home
Volunteer. Giving your time to an organization that interests you can present many positive advantages. Working for a good cause can help you gain valuable discipline, experience and skills. Volunteering will build your reputation as you demonstrate commitment, willingness to learn and a great work ethic. Working for your local church or charity also presents great networking opportunities. You may even rub shoulders with people who can hire you, and you will develop relationships with people who can mentor you, and give written recommendations of your character and attitude. Be sure to add any new skills you learn or responsibilities you undertake to your résumé.
7. To Get a Job: Do an Unpaid Internship
Once you’ve written a sparkling resume and land an interview, you will already be able to speak knowledgeably about the company and the job from the research you have done. However, you may still have difficulty actually landing the job. You may need to go the extra mile and show initiative by expressing willingness to do an unpaid internship. You can even consider including this in your application letter. Most hiring managers will look very favorably on this act of tenacity and give your application a second look. It will show that you are serious about getting the job, that you value experience over just being paid, and it will give the employer an opportunity for a “free trial run”. Everyone likes getting something for nothing.
Good luck in your job search! Please feel free to leave comments, questions and suggestions below. All feedback is welcome.