Most job positions require experience. But it’s hard to get experience when you can’t even get a break. You have to start somewhere so here are some tips to help you get a job when you have no work experience.
Voluntary and community involvement is just as valuable as paid work experience, so why not volunteer? Not only will it boost your confidence and tie you over before you find a paid position, but it will prove that you are committed to getting into the workforce. Some voluntary positions include training, which is good for bulking up your CV. Plus it feels good to make a difference in someone else’s life, no matter how small. Click here to look at some of the volunteering opportunities in your area.
Get your face out there and start networking. Develop contacts with anyone who might help you find job leads. This includes friends, family and neighbours. Let everyone and anyone know that you are hunting for a job. You can do this by directly asking for work or you can ask for information and advice. If attend a family celebration, let your aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone know that you are looking for work. You’d be surprised at who Aunty Mary or Uncle John knows.
Make sure your CV is catered to your personality and skillset.
Identify your accomplishments. Put the most important information first. Sometimes the skills you have gained from other experiences can be more relevant than employment. For example, if you worked on a community project then this proves you are capable of working hard. The same applies for awards you may have received in college or school. Because you are a college student, you should (in theory) have good research and problem-solving skills which could be useful for the job you are applying for.
Reorganise your CV so that your academic achievements are given priority. To reiterate the point above, be sure to list any awards of honours you have received in school or college. This will prove you have a strong work ethic.
Alternative CVs are a good way of getting noticed. They stick in the employers mind and they also offer you the chance to flex your creative muscles and show that you are capable of thinking outside the box. This mightn’t necessarily work so well if you are applying for a small, part-time position, but everything is worth a shot. It worked for this guy.
For more CV advice on Campus, look here.
If you manage to get an interview, don’t offer that you have no direct work experience. Your experience in voluntary jobs or other fields (such as acting, blogging, performing music, etc.) counts as valuable experience as long as you can explain how it transfers as a skill useful for the job you are applying for. For example, if you are looking for work as a sales assistant, it is essential that you can work as part of a team and deal with members of the public. So if you have experience in amateur acting, then you are used to collaborating with a group and are skilled in communicating yourself.
Remember, be persistent. It is very easy to become jaded when you have been rejected for every single job you have applied for or can’t even get to the interview stage. But don’t take any criticisms or rejections to heart and instead use the experiences as a learning tool.