‘Experience needed’ – it’s the bane of many job applications. It can feel like a vicious cycle getting on the first rung of the career ladder, you want experience in the field but everywhere you approach wants previous experience. How do you ever get your foot in the door?
It’s not as difficult as others would make you believe. By carefully drawing other experience from other areas you can show that you’re ideal for the role, even if you’ve never been in that role before. Here’s how…
If you haven’t got experience, the next best thing is education. If you know the niche you want to get into, consider a niche course over a more universal one – for example, financial analysis over maths. Such niche courses often teach ready-for-work skills. Others may be sandwich courses that allow you to get some work experience on top of education.
If you have too many current commitments to enrol on a course, there are a number of online degree programs that may be more beneficial. On top of this there are private tuition services, workshops, short crash courses and day courses that can all help you develop new skills complete with qualifications.
Start a blog or vlog
You can show your commitment to a subject area by starting a blog or vlog themed around it. This could be a finance blog made up of moneysaving tips, a culinary blog for sharing recipes, a tech blog for new tech stories or health and fitness blog for exercise and nutrition tips. Get successful enough and you may earn some money from the blog or vlog through ads and promotions – something that will look very good on a CV. Sites such as WordPress and Blogger are excellent for blogging, whilst Youtube should be your go-to vlogging medium.
In most cases, employers don’t want to hire an inexperienced employee in fear of costly mistakes or the cost of training. By offering to work for free, most employers may feel that they can afford to train you up and account for any blunders. Volunteering also shows serious passion – proving that you’re willing to work in that field without the incentive of money. Show your worth, and you may even be able to wangle a full-time paid job out of it.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This phrase rings true in most areas of life, especially work. Meet people that can get your foot in the door by attending business fairs, workshops and conferences surrounding your chosen area of trade. Also remember to network online by joining jobseeking social media pages and adding people on Linked In.
Emphasise soft skills
If you’ve never worked a single job in your life, you can still fall back on soft skills. These are personality traits that show you’re a valuable employee. Such qualities could be friendliness, self-motivation, confidence, creativity, leadership skills or a good team player. Emphasise these with examples of when you have demonstrated them. Draw on your hobbies and interests, as well as clubs you’ve been involved in. If you have worked a previous job but it seemingly has no relevance to the new job you’re after – get inventive. Managing a stock cupboard at a retail store can show organisational skills, counting up the till can be seen as accounting experience and handing out leaflets can be viewed as marketing.
Have you used your other experiences to land you a role? Let us know