Here’s the reality: every working professional has been-there-done-that. The vast majority have worked their way through it. You will, too.
Below are five ways to increase your chances of finding a good job, even when you have no work experience.
Search for Jobs Requiring Little or No Work Experience
Are you effectively filtering your job search so that you’re looking only at entry-level jobs? If you haven’t done so already, perform a filtered search on Simply Hired to find entry-level job postings. Here’s how:
Enter the keywords and location of your job search on simplyhired.com.
On the left-hand side of the results page, find the “Experience” filter and select “0-2 years.”
Be sure to sign up for daily email alerts on the most recent job posts related to your filtered search.
Alternatively, search for “entry level” along with your choice of supplementary keywords to find entry level jobs in your field.
Highlight Academics, Activities and Summer Jobs
If you’re a recent graduate, it’s perfectly acceptable to highlight accomplishments from your school days. Think back on your achievements in three key areas: academics, extra-curricular activities, and any summer jobs (paid or unpaid). Did you write a thesis paper related to the position or industry that interests you? Were you under the tutelage of a professor who specializes in your chosen career field? Were you captain of your collegiate soccer team, therefore conveying that you’re a natural leader? Did you learn how to use a particular software during a summer job?
On your resume and during the interview, highlight the relevant experience and skills acquired as a student. Additionally, call out any activities in which you played a significant role. Finally, tell a story about a time you leveraged positive personal traits.
Get an Internship
Consider applying to internships (even unpaid ones) in the field you want to break into. Sure, there may be a lot of grunt work associated with most internships. But you can also gain valuable work experience just from being exposed to other professionals in the workplace. Internships are also a great way to make new contacts and form relationships with potential mentors. Once your internship is over, you can list it as legitimate job experience.
Do Volunteer Work
Joining an organization and doing volunteer work is another great way to gain work experience. Choose an organization that aligns with the industry you’d like to work in. Or one that offers the type of work you want to do, e.g., social media marketing. Like an internship, volunteer work exposes you to other professionals and counts towards work experience.
Networking is always a great approach.
As a new entrant in the job market, you may not exactly feel confident. But ideally, your confidence will grow over time. What are some ways you can network? For many, social media is a great place to start. Seek out business leaders and people at companies you admire. Follow and engage with them on Twitter. Find and attend professional events in your area. Be sure to dress properly, business casual in most cases. Introduce yourself to people of interest. And as you network, be open about your job search goals.
A lack of work experience means you have to start at the beginning. That is, after all, what everyone else had to do. You can find a good job. And you will!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Simply Hired.