Every job seeker has been there. You’re looking, and looking, and looking for a job, but every posting you see asks for experience. How do you get experience if no one will hire you…because you don’t have any experience?
While it might not be comforting to know every job seeker has gone through this, it should certainly be comforting to realize there are ways to land the job of your dreams without experience.
Know that experience in job postings should be used as a general guide. While you likely won’t be considered for a mid-level or senior position if you have little or no experience, many entry-level positions ask for one or two years of experience just to screen out people who have never worked in an office, for example. Apply to entry-level positions as long as you seem to meet the crucial qualifications.
Here are some of the crucial ways to land the job of your dreams, even if you don’t have much experience.
Use other key points from your career to explain why you would be qualified, and mirror language from the job posting in your resume.
Remember, just because you might not have experience for one job doesn’t mean you’re entirely without experience. If you’ve worked as a lifeguard, a camp counselor or scooping ice cream, you have transferable skills. School has given you transferable skills as well. So has volunteer work, extracurricular activities and fun things, like travel.
Say you see a posting for an entry-level marketing assistant. The posting wants two years of experience in planning and supporting projects plus social media campaigns.
Think hard about whether you have anything from your life that mirrors what the job posting is asking for, even if it’s not in a corporate context.
Did you plan and post the schedules at Ye Olde Ice Cream Shoppe? Assist a professor in making sure everyone got back to the bus on class trips? Share Instagram posts every day as your family traveled through Japan last year?
Then you’ve planned, supported and ran social media campaigns. Mirroring the language in the job posting, explain in your cover letter that you’ve done these things. Make the resume entries match. You’re on your way.
Don’t stress over not being an exact match!
Job descriptions can be very lengthy. They are a set of “want to haves.” If a job candidate meets every qualification and capability, great.
But frankly, most employers secretly have a set of “must-haves.” If you have the must-haves, the rest can go by the wayside.
How can you tell which parts of the job description are must-haves? Usually, they are first, or the most crucial to the position.
As long as you have them, go ahead and give it your best shot!
Become familiar with the job description and think of ways your current skills are compatible with those in the job.
At times, you may see job descriptions that look great, but you don’t have the skills they want.
Think of ways your current skills may be compatible with what the employer wants.
You might have to set up Skype meetings for a far-flung staff, for example. You’ve never used Skype. But you have used Zoom, a similar video conferencing method. Or they want someone familiar with Microsoft Access. You aren’t, but you’ve used a similar database.
Put this experience in your resume and cover letter. Specific software is easy enough to learn once you’ve mastered one.
A Staffing Agency Will Help You in the Job Search
If you’re looking for a job, we can help. At Graham Staffing Services, we offer both temporary and permanent placements. Contact us today to check out available jobs.