Are you struggling to get a job with no experience? Then take some solace from the fact that you’re certainly not alone. Most people find it difficult to get their first break at the start of their careers, and it’s hardly surprising given that you can’t get hired without experience, and you can’t get experience without being hired. So, how do you overcome this Catch-22 situation and get your first break in a career you’re interested in? Here’s our experience-busting guide.
1. Target entry-level roles
If you’re just starting out in a competitive field where relevant experience is essential, you have to face facts – the only position you’re likely to get is at the very bottom of the ladder. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to walk into an entry-level role. The competition will still be fierce and there’ll be applicants with relevant experience who have completed internships in similar positions.
To bypass the competition for those in-demand roles, it’s worth sending out speculative applications to employers that you’d like to work for, rather than waiting around for positions to be advertised.
2. Emphasise the skills and experience you do have
You may not have professional experience in the role you’re applying for, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have skills, character traits and other experience that makes you a great fit for the role.
Soft skills that you may have gained in other positions or while studying, such as team working, attention to detail and communication, are transferable and are highly valued by a diverse range of employers. And while you may not have experience of performing a specific task before, you may have done something similar that you can draw comparisons with to strengthen your application.
3. Build your experience
Not everyone has a personal connection who can get them through the door. Instead, in highly competitive sectors, you might have to consider working for free to build up your experience. Volunteering, work placements and internships (paid and unpaid) are all effective ways of building the experience and professional contacts that could lead to a paid position.
In small and medium-sized businesses, it’s often the case that work experience opportunities and internships may not be advertised, so again, it’s well worth sending out a few speculative applications. It might be the case that they haven’t worked with someone in that capacity before, but once they see your passion for the sector shining through, how could they possibly refuse?
4. Grow your network
The idea of who you know being more important that what you know is never a pleasant thought, but nepotism aside, the reality is that a personal recommendation from someone you know can open doors that would otherwise be closed.
Attending careers fairs and networking events and even contacting people you don’t know who work for organisations you are interested in can all be effective ways of building those connections and potentially finding your first role.
Be positive and stay busy!
Trying to find a job with no experience in your chosen field isn’t easy, but if you follow these tips and don’t take the rejection you’ll inevitably experience personally, you will get there. At Linguistica Recruitment, we have roles for bilingual candidates at every level, so you’re sure to find a position for you. Take a look at our current vacancies and submit your CV today.