Getting a job with no experience

Something that I discuss with candidates on a regular basis is how to get a job when you have no commercial experience within a particular industry. Whether a recent graduate or a candidate who has decided on a career change a little later in life. Either way, looking for a job when you have no demonstrable experience in the sector can be tough, but hopefully these tips will be beneficial to those in this situation:

Get experience elsewhere

Now the obvious place to start here would be internships, which can be a fantastic way of getting experience within an industry albeit on a temporary basis. Now I have a real issue with internships that are unpaid/pay massively below market rate, however that is a whole other article by itself. But often they can be an excellent way to get experience.

However, internships are not the only way to gain experience, in the digital age there are a whole host of opportunities to gain experience within a sector. For example, if you are interested in web development there are a whole host of free resources that allow you to create examples of work you have done in your spare time. Building up several repositories in a platform such as GitHub demonstrates your enthusiasm and can be excellent way of demonstrating your skills.

Streamline your CV

If you are looking for a career change then make sure that your CV demonstrates this, address it as close to the top of your CV as possible and address what has brought you to this change. By doing this you demonstrate to the recruiter/hiring manager that you are not simply a candidate that is mass applying to jobs.

Tailor your CV to applications

It so easy particularly when applying through job boards to mass apply to every job that comes up in your search. But putting some effort in to tailoring you CV and addressing the requirements for the role can be massively beneficial.

Focus on transferable skills

Don’t be afraid to list transferable skills that would relevant to the job you are applying for, mention you soft skills and specifically relate them to the position you are applying for.  If you are looking for a job as a team leader and have experience managing a team outside of work for example your local sports team then talk about it.

Make connections

Job searching goes beyond searching on job boards, try to connect with key people within the industries you are interested in. LinkedIn is a key resource, try and use it to its best. Additionally, don’t reject job fairs and careers exhibitions as places to meet potential employers. Use these opportunities to network and try to always follow up with any connections you may make.

To conclude, searching for a job can be a stressful process and at times can be really demotivating. But it is essential that you stay motivated and focused on your end goal. You never know where you might end up.

Adam Williams

Technical & Engineering Consultant

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