Searching for a job can be challenging. But it's double the challenge when you don't have job-related experience. But because you don't have specific experience doesn't mean you're out of luck. There are ways to make yourself marketable. If you have the right attitude and willingness to work, you can land that job and start your career.
1. Volunteer Work Is Experience
You might not have paid experience, but your volunteer work means a lot. If you helped organize a fundraiser, that needs to be on your resume. It's a great way to show off your organizational skills. Don't be shy about stating how much was raised. Showing how you were able to generate revenue is a particularly strong transferable skill if you're going for a sales position.
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Even if you just walked dogs at the local animal shelter, put it on the resume. It shows initiative and a willingness to take on responsibility.
2. Send Out Your Resume
Sometimes fortitude will get a job over experience. Make a schedule for yourself to send out a certain number of resumes per week. Call various companies that you're interested in working for. Even if they're not hiring, go ahead and send them a resume. But make sure you customize your resume for each position.
Make it a functional resume. In other words, stress your skills and how they relate to the available job. It takes a little work but by customizing your resume for each opportunity, you'll show each potential employer that you're the right person for the job.
Consider also: How's the Job Market for New College Grads?
3. Pay Attention to Feedback
If you don't receive a job offer after an interview, inquire why. Keep it professional. Just send a friendly email asking how you could have been a better fit for the position. It's a great way to see what experience, or lack thereof, kept you from getting the job. It also lets you know what skills you need to emphasize next time.
4. Point Out Your Education
Anything you've accomplished in the classroom should be touted as experience. If you built a special project for your engineering class, that coursework needs to be on your resume or at least in your cover letter.
If you've been honored in any way for academics, you need to tout that. Also, mention any certifications or licenses you may have earned.
You don't necessarily have to have a college degree. A continuing education class is also worth noting. Anything that shows you have educated yourself for the betterment is a plus.
5. Internships are Hands-On Training
Whether you were in high school or in college, internships should always be noted on a resume or cover letter. Even if the internships were not in work-related fields, it shows that you have a track record. An internship doesn't have to be paid to be a benefit.
Consider also: Do You Need a Functional Resume?
6. Know the Job Description
Analyze every job description that interests you. Pick it apart. How does it relate to your educational background and any work you've done? You need to identify what transferable skills you have that will benefit the prospective employer.
If you have worked as a volunteer entering sponsor data into an organization's database, that's a learned skill and is transferable to a data entry position. By knowing exactly what the employer is looking for, you can match your skills to their needs.
7. Clear Career Goal
Have a clear career goal that you can communicate to a prospective employer. Explain your career goal in the context of the job position you're applying for. It demonstrates that you've put some thought into your future. It is a reflection of what you see as your abilities and assets to achieve your aspirations.
- CNBC: How to Sell Yourself When You Don’t Have the Exact Experience
- Monster: Should You Still Apply for a Job if You Don’t Have Enough Experience
- Careers Workopolis: How to Get a Job Without Experience (when no one will hire you without experience)
- Career Sidekick: How to Get a Job With No Experience (8 Tactics)
- Indeed: How to Get a Job with No Experience