“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters,” the saying goes. Sad but true. Put yourself out there and meet people in different positions and levels in the industry you’re interested in. This is important because some open positions aren’t publicized at all.
How To Get a Job With No Experience
If you are just starting in your career or looking to change positions or industries, you may feel limited by a lack of experience. However, every professional has been in the same position at some point in their career. If you approach your job hunt with the right strategy, you can use your relevant skills and abilities to show employers you are the right candidate for a job, no matter how much experience you have. In this article, we go over some steps you can take to get a job without any experience to help you become a stronger candidate.
Whether you are just out of college or trying to switch industries, there are a lot of things you can do to compensate for a lack of experience. Here are 11 steps you can take to gain new qualifications, improve your overall application and impress employers:
Find a Personal Connection
Even though many jobs are filled using online postings, it never hurts to make a personal connection. Hiring managers are going to check references before they make an offer anyway. Knowing someone at the company who can put in a good word for you can help you get noticed even with a lack of experience.
Connecting with people on LinkedIn is a great way to keep track of your personal connections like your classmates, professors, past coworkers and bosses, and even friends of your parents! These people may not get you the job, but they might open the door or they may help to shine a little light on your application.
As you go to apply for a job online, search your connections to see if anyone works at your target company. Ask your connection if they would consider forwarding your resume to the hiring manager. Always apply through the regular channels as well.
Don’t Have 3-5 Years of Experience? Here’s How to Get It
In this guide, we’ll help you out. We’ll take a look at how to get the experience you need for jobs, how to address your lack of experience in interviews, and why you probably have more experience than you think. This way, you can break through the experience barrier and get the job you want.
Class Projects and Student Research
For instance, if you completed an ambitious project such as a capstone or thesis, then you could use it as an example of your ability to plan and stick with something challenging. The project may not relate to the field you’re attempting to enter, but the experience you gained completing it is still transferable.
The same is true of any research projects you worked on while a student, especially if they were with a team. In this case, you can emphasize how working on the project taught you to be a team player, meet deadlines, and adhere to high professional standards.
Extracurriculars and Clubs
College, as we all know, is more than just going to class, doing homework, and taking exams. You also have myriad extracurricular activities and clubs to occupy your free time. And in many cases, the experiences you gain as part of these campus groups can be relevant to a job opportunity.
In particular, if you held a leadership position in a campus group, then that’s absolutely something you could discuss in a job interview. Most (prudent) employers want to hire people who will stick around at the company and eventually move into leadership roles. If you already have leadership experience you can discuss, that can be a great sign to an interviewer.
Alternatively, a club or extracurricular experience could be an example of how you can manage your time, stay organized, and perform under pressure. Or, you could use it as an example of your ability to communicate well and resolve conflicts. Depending on the job you’re interviewing for, there are all kinds of ways to spin your extracurricular experiences.
For instance, maybe you spent your summer researching your family history and then turned the results into a digital book. You could use this project to highlight your writing skills, persistence, and computer abilities. Plus, it’s going to be a lot more interesting than all the similar internship stories the interviewer has heard.
It’s easy to overlook your student jobs, writing them off as work you did to earn “pizza money.” But while your reasons for getting a part-time job in college might be strictly practical, such jobs can still be a source of relevant experience.
For instance, my first job in college was at the campus post office. I helped deliver mail to various departmental offices, and I also came in to sort the mail on Saturdays. In a pinch, I would even sub for the person running the information desk.
Depending on the position, I would emphasize different aspects of this job. But the point remains the same: any work experience you have is likely relevant in some way. Discard the idea that campus or student jobs aren’t “real” jobs.
Informational interviews are different from traditional job interviews. Instead of determining whether you fit a specific position, informational interviews are a way to learn more about a field or job. They can be especially useful if you’re attempting to enter a new industry and want to learn more about the necessary qualifications.
So how do you set up an informational interview? Unlike regular job interviews, there isn’t an application to fill out or a hiring manager to talk with. Rather, you’ll need to take the initiative and set up informational interviews yourself.
This is easier than you might think. To start, people love to talk about themselves and what they do. Furthermore, most professionals are happy to help people interested in their field (especially if you’re a student or recent graduate).
Even if you did do an internship or two while in college, perhaps you still lack the required experience. Let’s say you majored in a humanities field, did a couple of internships related to that, but now you want to work in a more technical role. In that case, you would likely benefit from doing an internship that lets you learn the necessary technical skills.
Certainly, it can be disheartening to realize that you need to do yet another internship if you already did one as a student. But the long-term benefits could still be worth accepting lower pay or weird hours in the short term.
This is especially true when you consider that internships can lead directly to full-time jobs. Companies will often recruit from among their interns, which makes sense. Interns already know how things at the company work, which means less training and onboarding. And the company already has a sense of the intern’s work performance, meaning less interviewing.
Frequently asked questions on how to get a job after college:
1. How long does it take to get a job after college?
2. Why does it take so long to get a job after college?
The majority of recruiters say their biggest challenge is finding candidates with the skill and quality they need for the open positions. With this in mind, it’s up to you to acquire the skills and qualifications for the job you’re aiming for.
Lack of preparation
Finding your first job requires checking off some non-negotiable requirements like having your resume up to date with relevant experiences, a cover letter, an online portfolio, and being interview-ready. Having your ducks in a row will give you more confidence when you start applying to your first few dream jobs.
Applying only to job boards
By this point , you should have the foundation to start applying for jobs. You can still get caught in the loop of sending the same resume and slightly altered cover letter to job postings on all kinds of different platforms without hearing anything back . It’s tough to be in that position because you don’t get any feedback on what to change. This is a passive approach to applying for jobs , and there are more active ways to start getting more experience, building your network, and moving towards that dream job .
What’s the quickest way to get a job after college (Even with no experience)?
- Set your goals. Have a clear idea of the type of job you want, including the work environment, culture, salary, location, and specific tasks. Set a goal for when you’d like to begin working as well. Having clear goals helps you get and stay focused in your job search.
- Update your information. Keep your resume, professional portfolio, and social media profiles updated. As you complete each project or apprenticeship, add the results to your resume.
- Schedule a dedicated time. Set a regular time for your job search, and steer clear of distractions during that time. This will help ensure that you give the job search the time and energy it requires for you to be successful.
- Dive into your network. Tell everyone you know that you’re available and looking for a job. Begin with your family and friends, and remember people you met in school, church, volunteer activities, and online communities.
- Create a list of references. Don’t wait until a potential employer asks for your references. Go ahead and approach people who may be willing to be a reference. You may wonder who’d give you a reference when you don’t have work experience. Think back to your volunteering experiences. Former professors may be references as well. And, of course, if you’ve completed an Acadium apprenticeship, your mentor will give you a reference that will act as a solid social proof for you.
- Connect with a recruiter. Don’t be shy about reaching out to recruiters. It’s their job to find the right candidates for jobs, and they’re only too willing to connect with job seekers.
- Stay organized. I’ve heard of job hunters tracking their efforts with a spreadsheet. If that’s your style, go for it!
- Be mentally prepared. Stay positive and motivated. Rejections are part of the process. Don’t let them discourage you.