When you’re job hunting, it’s frustrating to see a position that would be perfect for you, only to read on and see the words, 1 to 2 years of experience required. How are you supposed to get any work experience if even starter jobs require time in the field?
The key is how you market yourself. These tips will help you stand out to an employer, regardless of a work history that’s lacking.
1) Be Strategic In What You Reveal, And How
Don’t volunteer info on your lack of experience to the employer. Instead, talk up how excited you are about the opportunity, and about your willingness to learn.
But if a prospective employer does directly ask about your lack of experience, be honest. Give a brief explanation of what obstacles prevented you from building up your resume in the past, and – most importantly – what you’ve done to overcome them.
2) Market the skills you do have
Have you cut your neighbors grass or raked leaves for a little cash? Edited videos for YouTube? Done photography, or another artistic craft?
Side businesses, art or technical skills, and personal hobbies demonstrate focus, drive, and a dedication to improving yourself and broadening your skills. These are all great qualities that any employer will be excited about.
3) Try a staffing agency
You can often find work through a staffing agency even if you only have a minimum, or no, experience. You can use a staffing agency to get connected to entry-level positions that don’t necessarily require experience, or a specific level of education. Just being presentable, courteous, able to take direction, and reliable is often more than enough to land a temporary job that you can then add to your resume. Or once you get your foot in the door, you might have an opportunity to transition from a temporary assignment to a permanent one.
A recommendation from a friend or family member is a great way to get a first-look from an employer. Many hiring mangers would rather have a short-list of candidates who come pre-recommended, rather than slogging through a pile of resumes from strangers.
Volunteer work looks great on a resume. It also allows you to add valuable skills to your work experience, even if you’re not getting a pay check for them. Even better, volunteer organizations are a great way to expand your social network. Let your fellow volunteers know you’re looking for a job opportunity and solicit them for leads.
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