If you’re just starting in your career – or you’ve switched careers entirely – the idea of trying to get a job with little to no experience can seem daunting.
For graduates especially, it can often feel like you’re in a no-win situation – you need experience to get a job but a job to build that experience.
Below we explore how to find a job with no experience, how you can give your application a boost and what employers are looking for from candidates with less experience.
How to Find a Job With No Experience
The most important thing to remember is that while experience is useful, a great attitude to work and the necessary skills or qualifications can make up for what you’re lacking.
It’s more common than you might expect to get a job with no experience since employers are often more focused on the qualities and skill sets of a candidate.
If you’re looking to get a job with no experience, here are four key tips for getting started:
Build and Maintain Your Network
When you don’t have experience to fall back on, it’s even more important to leverage what you do have. Networking can play a huge part in helping you find a new job, particularly if you can source recommendations.
But how do you build up a network of contacts if you don’t even have experience in an industry? This is where putting yourself out there and visiting events is vital. Seek out your local careers fairs or recruitment networking events – these are just two examples of where you’ll find potential contacts already established in the sector.
Be open about your lack of experience when you’re speaking with people. Chances are that you’re not the only one doing the same thing at these kinds of events.
If you’d rather not go to in-person events, why not consider building a network through social media? Simply speaking with people in the industry on platforms such as LinkedIn – even if you’re new to the career path – can pay dividends later down the line.
Take a Look at Our Available Jobs
Highlight Your Skills On Your CV
Part of getting a job with no experience is focusing on what you do have instead – your skill set. The right skills, qualifications and certifications can play a huge part in making up any shortfalls you have in terms of work history or experience.
We’ve already detailed how to write the perfect CV and the same advice applies here. Consider creating a ‘function-based CV’ that leads with skills and qualifications rather than a traditional ‘chronological’ layout that focuses on work experience.
Since you’ll be taking up less space with your work history, you have more opportunities to provide context about your skills and qualifications. Highlight to employers the impact that your skills could have on the business and how you’d provide long-term benefits.
Also, remember to highlight your soft skills such as organisation, communication and work ethic. These are transferable skills that don’t just apply to various sectors but also to your educational career and everyday life.
In terms of formatting, you’ll want to make sure that your CV highlights your skills concisely and clearly. Bullet points and bold formatting ensure they stand out – ideal during the screening process when an employer may be looking at hundreds of applications.
Work With a Recruitment Agency
In many cases, people who lack experience tend to apply for as many roles as possible in the hopes one comes through. It’s much easier to work with a recruitment agency that understands the local jobs market and how you might fit into it.
Not only does recruitment support save you time, it also makes you more likely to succeed as you’ll be speaking with employers pre-approved by the recruitment consultants. Similarly, recruitment consultants such as ours often have deep relationships with employers. This can be useful for you as the consultant can highlight your skills over your lack of experience when recommending you.
If you’re looking for your first role or considering a career change, we’ve broken down why working with a Guernsey recruitment agency or a Jersey recruitment agency might be the best way to get your foot in the door.
Be Realistic About Your Ceiling
While there’s nothing wrong with applying for higher-level roles with no experience – especially if you feel you have the skill set to back up the application – it’s often a pointless exercise.
Instead, you’ll want to focus on entry-level roles or internship schemes that allow you to build experience, shadow existing employees and learn.
Also, consider the employer you’re applying for. While it may not be as lucrative, applying to smaller businesses can help you discover key opportunities that wouldn’t be available in larger organisations whilst still offering the same experiences in a given industry.
As always, make sure you research the company before applying and always tailor the application to the business. This demonstrates both initiative and a certain level of care which employers love to see. Writing a great cover letter is an easy way of creating a more bespoke application.