11 smart steps to get a job with no experience
If you are fresh out of school and you have not worked before, you might be wondering “How am I supposed to get a job with no experience?”
The situation may become even direr when you realize that many job ads specify that previous professional experience is required or that it would be considered a major advantage.
However, don't lose hope just yet because there are actually plenty of things that you could do to get hired with no experience.
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How to get a job with no experience
Getting a job with no experience is actually easier than you think. Sure previous work experience is an advantage.
But it is just one of many factors and qualities that a job candidate must have.
Here are the steps that you can take in order to compensate for your lack of previous work experience.
1. Research the positions you want to apply for
It is very important to understand exactly what job you are applying for.
If you have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who works in the same field or does the same job, then ask them to meet over a coffee.
Ask them about what they do, what their main responsibilities are, and what main skills are required in order to do what they do.
If speaking to somebody is not an option, then a few simple searches on the Internet might suffice as well.
Google “what qualifications are necessary to become a [profession]” or “what skills are necessary to work as a [profession]” and you will get a basic understanding of that particular job.
2. Obtain the right set of skills
The next logical skill is to obtain the cortical skills that would be necessary to do the job you want to apply for.
Perhaps you have already obtained them through your education and interests?
(Another important life skill is to negotiate your salary during job interviews. So make sure to check our extensive guide on how to successfully negotiate salary and increase your chances of getting hired.)
3. Apply for a professional course
In case you lack certain skills and knowledge, then you can apply to a professional course.
For example, if you'd like to pursue a career in Search Engine Optimization, then you can apply for a Google Certification Course.
4. Consider volunteering
To get experience for a job, you could become a volunteer. Volunteering is another wonderful way to obtain certain professional and soft skills.
The only downside is that you won't be getting paid. But if you can afford it, then you will definitely obtain some valuable and relevant experience.
5. Obtain experience through freelancing
In case you do have the necessary skills that are required to do the job, then perhaps you could do some freelancing for a few months before you apply for a full-time job.
You can enrich your portfolio of projects you have worked on through freelancing which is proof of professional experience.
6. Update your social media profiles
You can center your social profiles around your professional interests by producing relevant content.
This way you will be able to list your profiles as relevant features in your resume.
7. Apply for an internship position
To find a job fast without experience, you could simply apply for an internship or an entry-level position.
By design, these types of employment are two of the major pathways through which job candidates obtain work experience.
If you are still in college or university, then check if there is an internship program available for students. And here are some tips on how to become the perfect candidate for an internship.
8. Find a seasonal job
Seasonal jobs often have lower skill and qualification entry requirements. Besides, some pay pretty definitely.
So check if there are local job ads about available seasonal positions and apply for something you see yourself doing for the duration of a season.
9. Get references
Listing references in your resume could be an advantage when applying for jobs with no experience.
You can ask one of your college professors to give you a reference or a staff member of the organization you volunteered for. And here are some tips on what to do in case your references do not respond.
10. Network your way to full-time employment
LinkedIn offers you access to countless recruiters and hiring managers.
Revamp your profile to best reflect what you are capable of as a professional and start following the companies you'd like to work for.
11. Become familiar with the companies you want to work for
To get an entry-level job with no experience, you better open the websites of the companies you'd like to work for. Find out what their mission, vision, and goals are.
Find out what are their values and what their company culture is all about. Consider how you fit in that narrative and what you can bring to the table.
If you are particularly interested in working in the office, then make sure to check our extensive guide on how to get an office job.
How to apply for a job with no experience in that field
The fact that you have no experience in the field shouldn’t deter you from applying for jobs.
Here is what you can do in order to increase your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers.
1. Craft an outstanding resume
The key to applying for a job with no experience in that field is to craft an outstanding resume that subtly and exquisitely communicates that you are perfect for the position.
In other words, you have to show that you are “hungry” for the job and you are passionate about what you will be doing.
2. Emphasize your skills
To get a job with no experience in that field, you have to make sure to highlight both your professional and soft skills that are relevant.
The ability to actually do the job that you are supposed to do is just as important as having experience in the field.
3. Customize each application
In order to stand out when applying for various jobs, you might want to take your time and customize each application to best match the positions you are applying for.
This might entail changing the order of your professional and soft skills (listing the most relevant first) and modifying your resume statement.
You could even approach some companies directly by sending them job application emails.
4. Apply for as many jobs as you can
Remember that you are competing with thousands of other candidates.
That is why it is recommended to play the numbers game – the more jobs you apply to, the more likely it is to be contacted by recruiters.
5. Prepare for your job interviews
After applying for various jobs, eventually, you will be contacted by recruiters.
This means that soon you will be going to job interviews so you better take the time to prepare yourself and make sure to arrive on time.
How to get a part-time job with no experience
If you are a student who needs a part-time job, then you should check with your college/university. Most schools have part-time job programs that will put you through a selection and consideration process.
But don’t rely on just that alone to get a first job with no experience.
Make sure to take the steps outlined above in order to polish your resume and grab the attention of your potential future employer.
When it comes to entry-level part-time jobs, employers have the expectation that a big portion of the candidates won’t have previous experience.
This means that you can easily get a job with a well-polished resume.
My experience finding a job with no professional background
I remember the days when I was fresh out of college, armed with a degree but lacking the hands-on experience most employers sought.
The countless job listings that demanded "2-3 years of experience" felt like a brick wall I couldn't scale. But I was determined not to let that discourage me.
I started by taking on small projects and volunteer roles related to my field, which not only gave me a taste of the professional world but also allowed me to build a network.
I met a mentor along the way who saw my potential and dedication. He introduced me to a startup looking for enthusiastic individuals willing to learn on the job. That was my break.
The initial months were challenging. I had to learn quickly, often putting in extra hours to catch up.
But my determination paid off. Within a year, I had not only gained invaluable experience but also made significant contributions to the company.
Looking back, I realize it wasn't just about finding a job; it was about proving to myself that passion, perseverance, and a willingness to learn can open doors, even when experience seems like a strict requirement.
Sure, having work experience is great. It’s important and employers definitely see it as an advantage. But it is just one of many other important things
The right question that you should be asking yourself is “how to get experience for a job?” And there are plenty of ways you can achieve that through the strategies outlined above.
Frequently asked questions
How can I make my resume stand out without job experience?
Focus on transferable skills, relevant coursework, personal projects, and a strong cover letter that highlights your passion and eagerness to learn.
How do I handle interview questions about my lack of experience?
Emphasize your willingness to learn, highlight relevant non-work experiences, and discuss how your unique perspective can benefit the company.
How can I gain experience while still in school?
Consider part-time jobs, internships, volunteering, or joining school clubs related to your desired field.
Can personal projects be included in my resume?
Definitely! Personal projects can demonstrate initiative, skills, and passion for a particular field.
Should I apply to jobs even if they list experience as a requirement?
Yes, job requirements are often a wishlist. If you meet most of the other criteria, it's worth applying and showcasing your potential.