Even when job market is flourishing, it can still be hard to find a job — especially one that you love. But finding ways to land a job with no experience, well, that's a whole other story. It seems nearly impossible to find a job when you're just starting out in a career, as even entry-level jobs are asking for one-to-two years' experience. It can be frustrating and scary for sure. But don't worry, there are ways around this troubling oxymoron – you just have to get creative.
According to financial site Nerd Wallet, you need to pursue experience all on your own. What exactly does that mean? Well, to gain experience, you need to seek for it. Try interning or volunteering in fields you may be interested in. Take your hobby seriously and make it a side job. For example, if you want to write reviews for movies, create a blog. Also, don't be afraid to cold email people you admire for informational interviews to get an insight on the industry and their job — the possibilities are seriously endless. As long as you know what your passionate about and where you hope to see yourself in the future, take that drive and create goals so one day you do get the job you want. But if you're feeling down because you've been sending hundreds of resumes out with no responses, then you've come to the right place. Here are nine ways for you to land a job when you have no experience.
1. Articulate Your Most Valuable Skills And Talents
Don't let your lackluster resume hinder you from getting jobs. Figure out what your most valuable skills and talents are and bring them to the table. "Everyone has valuable skills and talents, but we often underestimate them or forget what they are. If you can’t articulate them, no one else will," says founder and CEO of Pocket Mentor Caren Merrick in an email with Bustle.
2. Re-discover Your Strengths
There are ways to discover your strengths even if you don't currently have a job or enough experience. Be a self-starter and create small side gigs or hobbies to see what your possible dream job could be. This is a great way to discover what your strengths are and where you may be lacking."Take a bit of time to discover or re-discover your strengths so you can articulate the value you bring to a new employer. These may have been used in previous jobs or volunteer work, and when you can offer specific examples, and even quantify, you will be persuasive," says Merrick.
3. Shift The Interviewers Away From Your Lack of Experience
When you're in an interview, try not to focus on the things that you don't have. While I don't advise lying about your strengths and experiences, you do want to share what you can bring to the table and how you can make a difference in the company. Remember: you're already bringing something unique — and that's you. "Most of your strengths are 'transferable skills' and you want to shift the attention away from your perceived lack of experience in one area, to these valuable skills that you offer," says Merrick.
4. Focus On Your Transferable Skills When You Interview
When your experience is lacking, being aware of what your transferable skills are is important, because they can help acquire the job you want. Managers appreciate people who know how to manage their time and have great communication skills. "You should especially look for those transferable skills you can identify that show how you think, and good project management (juggling multiple deadlines) and communication skills (writing or speaking persuasively for results) as these are highly sought after in every position according to research," says Merrick.
5. Show Your Personality And Passion
Whether you have 10 years of experience or two, your personality and passion can be a huge influence on whether you get the job or not. "Many legendary CEOs base hiring decisions on likability in your personality (Richard Branson), basic intelligence in being smart (Jack Welch) or passion and intelligence (Sara Blakely)," says Merrick.
6. Write A Great Cover Letter
According to U.S. Money, writing a one-of-a-kind cover letter can really make you stand out from the rest. Discuss what you can bring to the table and how passionate you are about the job, and talk about why you love the company. Whatever you do, don't just use a generic cover letter that you use to apply to all your jobs — it usually won't get you anywhere because it will sound robotic and not genuine.
7. Know Your Worth
If you don't believe in yourself or have confidence (with humility, of course), then your possible future boss might not believe in you either. Don't let your lack of experience deter you from achieving greatness. According to Fast Company, leadership development and CEO coach and consultant and founder of Lead From Within Lolly Daskal said, "You might not have years of work experience, but what else in your background can demonstrate your worth to an employer? Experience doesn’t have to just come from traditional jobs; market any skills you’ve developed in other areas of your life."
8. Gain Experience Through An Internship
It might sound silly, but internships or fellowships, are a great way to gain experience when jobs aren't lining up. While it might seem like a weakness on your resume, it can show your interviewer that you're willing to do anything to gain experience for your career. According to Forbes, internships are considered to be the new entry-level jobs. They can allow you to figure out ways to use your passion, skills, and relationships to get promoted and get the job you want.
While networking can seem intimidating, it's probably one of the most valuable things you can do for your career. According to U.S. Money, networking and knowing the right people can allow you to get the inside scoop of possible jobs coming in, especially since most jobs are provided through personal connections.
Remember one thing: everyone started from the bottom before their career bloomed. Don't beat yourself up because you don't have enough experience and you're not getting the jobs you want. Do the dirty work, network, and prove to your boss and yourself that you got what it takes to make it to the top.