Landing a job has become one of the most challenging tasks out there. Regardless of the job you are interested in, you will find hundreds of applicants vying for the same position. Though, with existing challenges compounded by the presence of online job search engines and platforms, finding a job and applying to them has become significantly easier. There was a time when people had to scroll through daily and weekly newspapers to get info about the local job listings in their area. And people still do that nowadays. But it has become a thing of the past with the explosion of the internet.
It’s not only the competition that is worrisome. But a majority of the openings currently seek candidates with both know-how and prior experience for the open position offered by the organization.
Not many companies are willing to hire professionals with no prior experience in the field. Now, this creates a problem for individuals who have no previous experience in the industry or are fresh college graduates. But it does not mean that all is lost.
11 Tips and Tactics to Get a Job With no Experience
There are several ways you can get past the question, ‘how to get a job with no prior experience?’ In fact, in this blog, you will find several tips and tricks that will help you land a decent job with no experience in the industry whatsoever.
So, without further ado, here are some tips and tricks you should take to heart.
#1. Educate yourself
Yes, you read that right. This is the first thing you need to do before even thinking about applying for a job, regardless of the industry you wish to associate yourself with. Companies seek prior experience in the field solely for one reason – they do have to train the personnel on how to do their job adequately. It is the primary reason they hire experienced personnel who might take higher remuneration rather than hiring someone with no experience, albeit with lesser wages and other expenses.
So, naturally, if you want to join a company or industry that values experience over anything else (including talent), you need to get educated about the job and industry. And the best way to do that is by taking professional classes that serve the same purpose. You may attend practical workshops that will make you job trained. Most importantly, get diplomas and certificates that you can attach with your resume. Even if you have to earn a degree along the way, do it!
There are two reasons behind this – first, obviously, to make you aware of what is needed of you in the job you are interested in. Second, it shows your future employers how serious and committed you are to working in the industry and their company. Companies look for professionals who can not only do the job but stay at their position for a long time to save them from the hassle of finding a replacement. So, by educating yourself about the work and its requirements, you are helping yourself tremendously in getting your dream job.
#2. Highlight your Transferable Experience
Now zero experience does not necessarily mean that one has to have zero working experience as a professional. It is a term generally used to indicate that the person has zero working experience related to the field, industry, and the job they are applying for. And all they need is a unique skill set that hardly any inexperienced candidate possesses. And in all honesty, this is not surprising with the number of jobs popping in the market every year.
Not many colleges prepare their students with the real-life skills they need to succeed in the market. But all this does not mean that you cannot leverage your prior experience, albeit in a completely unrelated industry, to get a job with no experience. And one way you can do that is by highlighting your transferable experience in your CV or at the time of screening.
What does that exactly mean? It means the best way to approach this problem is by showcasing your work experience to look appealing for your next job. There is an excellent example you can take into account. Suppose you are a barista and would like to switch to bartending; what would be transferable skills you would have that would propel you to do great as a bartender? In such a scenario, there are several skills transferable you could exhibit to your future employers. And these could be; your ability to handle customers, how you follow recipes and keeping your workspace clean and compliant with the necessary health and safety codes. You can use this example and the mentioned transferable skills, even if the industries are not as correlated as a barista and bartender.
#3. Start Working your Way Up
If you are applying for a job with no experience, you need to become aware of certain things as soon as possible. It is by working your way up unless you want to be on a lower end compared to several of your co-workers working on the same level as you are. The reason, you might have guessed it already. They have experience, and you don’t. And there is not much you can do about it. Or is there?
You need experience, and you will find companies are willing to give you a chance if you are eager to work for little money and, in some cases, no money at all. Now, it might not sound motivating. But it’s the only way to acquire the necessary skills and experience to get you equipped to apply for a more suitable job. That’s what many inexperienced professionals do in such a scenario. They work for low wages or even no wages at a company for about 3 to 6 months, get the necessary experience and skill they need, and then apply for a job elsewhere. In some cases, the company that has currently hired them or makes them an offer to be a permanent employee if they have been particularly impressed by their work and dedication. It’s nothing new. So, if you do not have any experience in the field, you should go get some!
Also Read: Examples of Strong Answers to “What is Your Greatest Strength?”
#4. Emphasize your Soft Skills
Companies nowadays look for ‘what else you can do,’ apart from the job you are applying for. They want someone with versatility and enough talent to handle other aspects of the job. Soft skills can easily propel an applicant as a top candidate for the job, regardless of their experience working in the industry. These soft skills are not industry-specific, but they are vital for doing their job well. Some of the soft skills that businesses look out for are:
- Efficient organizational skills
- Communication skills, primarily how to communicate with a potential or existing customer
- Problem-solving abilities
- Giving attention to detail
- Time management skills
- Leadership qualities
- Interpersonal skills, and more.
And you might have noticed these are not industry-specific skills, but they do play a crucial role regardless of the job one is applying for. Even if you have no experience working in the industry, you can highlight these soft skills in your CV to ensure that your profile is given due consideration. A tip to keep in mind here, i.e., do thorough research on the most important soft skills for the given position. Highlight them in your resume.
#5. Work the Network
Regardless of how one can search for a job nowadays, the tried and tested method of working the network still bore fruitful results. And one can even make an argument that it is still the best way for one to guarantee a position in the company they want. Working the network means asking your connections to make a recommendation on behalf of you to either their bosses or to their friend, or a friend of a friend – you get the point. It is simply asking your known associates that you are looking for a job change in the so-and-so industry and help you out to the best of their abilities. Now for that, you need to build a network – both on the online as well on the offline medium. And one of the best ways you can cultivate your network is by creating a profile on LinkedIn.
Suppose you have a specific industry in mind that you want to work at. In that case, the first thing you need to do is connect with professionals working in the same industry. LinkedIn is an excellent platform for professionals to connect with each other and expand their network. This tremendously helps you out when you ask for a recommendation in the future.
#6. Become an Expert in the Field
Even if you do not have the necessary experience in the industry, there is one thing you can attain easily, and that is knowledge. Practical working experience is not the only parameter that the hiring company judges. To have knowledge about the industry is also one of their selection criteria. The benefit of being an expert has several far-reaching advantages. And it is not just limited to the interview and the screening process. One of the chief advantages – it allows one to network better in the field.
Knowledge is a powerful tool in one’s arsenal, and the more you gather, the better your career scope would be. You need to interact in forums, read blogs and articles. May be join online groups and more to gather the necessary knowledge. It will help you become an expert in the field, and make a name for yourself in the community.
#7. Develop a Captivating Career Starting the Story
Who does not love a good story? That would exactly be the case with the interview panel that you have to present your case to. You are sure to be asked questions regarding your interest in this industry or why you are changing your line of work – it is a certain guarantee. Now you can either answer it simply because you are interested in the work or the company, or you can create a compelling story about yourself. This will not only force the interviewing panel to consider you as a serious candidate but make you above par among the more qualified and experienced applicants.
One thing you need to keep in mind is that if you are a no-experience candidate applying for a job, you are constantly fighting an uphill battle. And especially if you have to compete against more qualified and experienced applicants for the same job. You need every advantage you can get to impress your interviewer. And this is where a compelling career-starting story comes in handy. You can easily impress the interviewing personnel with your passion, skills, and experiences you have amassed, etc., to leave no doubt in the mind of the panel that you are the perfect candidate for the opening, regardless of your lack of experience.
#8. Revamp your CV as Well
If you are developing a compelling career story, then do not forget to make your CV in consonance with your story. But while you need to ensure that the key points are highlighted, you also need to keep in mind that talent and skills are what get one the job. And it is never a good idea to dwell in the past too much. You are looking to move up in your career, so your CV should reflect this as well. Your CV must indicate your soft skills and all the great ways you can contribute to the position if hired by the interviewing company.
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#9. Pick out People’s Brains!
Now you do not have to do that literally, but there is no harm in asking for advice from specialists and experienced industry personnel. In fact, there are only benefits to asking for advice. People love to feel like they are an expert in the field they belong to, and that is why seldom you will find a working professional that would say no if you ask them for some advice. But you should not go and ask any random professional working in the industry for advice. No, you should aim for the top and for that you need advice from the best people in the industry. Try to get in touch with some of the leading professionals in the industry, and for that, you could not find a better companion for your needs than the best networking platform in the world for professionals – LinkedIn. You can easily connect with top professionals in the industry on LinkedIn and ask them for advice. Many of the top professionals also hold online workshops that you can participate in and further your knowledge about the industry.
#10. Aim High but Reasonably
Naturally, to succeed in life, you must always aim higher and be ready to challenge yourself at all costs. It is the same in the case of jobs as well. You should aim higher here as well, but you should be reasonable in your approach too. If you are a beginner with no prior experience in the field, then you should adjust your expectations and admit to yourself that getting hired at an entry-level position is a good start to make. Now, that does not mean that you should aim for a better position in the company, but all in good time. You need to apply for entry-level jobs and make it clear to the interviewing committee that you are willing to learn and move up in your career, if possible, in the very same company.
#11. Be Prepared to Relocate!
Now it might be possible that you would be asked to relocate to a new location, or even to a new city for the job you are applying for. And it is also possible that you are not in your home town because of the lack of qualified jobs in your preferred industry. Whatever the reason may be, you should be ready to move at a moment’s notice.
If you are not having luck finding the right job in your preferred industry, then the first thing you need to do is expand your search area. And while it might not be the preferred solution for many of the readers of this blog, it is what it is. The job market is tough, especially for a no-experience applicant, and you should be ready to make the necessary sacrifices to have a successful career in your preferred industry.