You need a job, yet your resume isn’t as robust as you would like it to be. You’ve dabbled here and there, but the experience you’ve accumulated still doesn't feel like enough.
Whatever your past circumstances were—whether there have been many gaps in your work years, or you’re looking for your first job now—there’s something out there that’s right for you.
And, there are many career options that you can step into directly, get trained, and climb the ladder. So, never fear, not all jobs demand that you have years of experience. Having little to no experience is only a temporary thing!
Remember, we all have to start somewhere, so start here by checking out what to do if you don’t have the right work experience, and the types of jobs that just won’t care! Be prepared for a pleasant surprise and discover what kinds of careers are available to you.
Applying for a Job When You Have Little Experience
You’ve been searching the online job boards, but you keep coming across the same key phrase, “x-years of experience required.” So, you move onto the next posting, only to be discouraged again.
Hold up—don’t be so quick to move on or close that browser! If a job seems like it was made for you, well, maybe it was. Some things for you to consider:
Have applicable experience. Just because you didn’t get paid to do something (think volunteer work or day-to-day activities) doesn’t mean the experience isn’t there. Or, say you have a portion of the employer’s experience ask, just not the full amount? That still counts for something, and it’s definitely worth highlighting! If you have a resume and cover letter ready, apply away.
Prove you’ve got those mad skills. If you know, beyond any reason, that you’d be able to get that work done, then you should apply. Maybe you have done some volunteer activities or freelance assignments for the type of job you’re interested in. That counts. Use it to your benefit: If you have it, flaunt it!
Ask for help. Do you know someone, or someone who knows someone? Well, that’s why we have a network of people, so that we can ask for help when we need it. If you want that job, then be industrious. Hey, you may still be told no, but at least you know you did everything in your power to get as far as you could.
Make your resume work for you. You need that resume of yours to be in tiptop shape. Maybe you have a friend who has easily gotten jobs, or you know a writer who happens to be good at spiffing up resumes. Having a few sets of eyeballs on it before hitting send will only benefit you in the end.
How to Get the Job
Once you have interviews lined up, learn whatever you can about each company. Take what they stand for, and apply that to who are you and what you can do for them. Be prepared to tell your interviewer these things when you meet. Realize that since you have an interview, they’ve already looked past the fact that you don’t have the experience. Now is your time to prove to them that you have what it takes to rock the job you’re applying for.
Accentuate the positive. Soft skills are lacking in candidates, according to many hiring personnel. If you are blessed in the soft skills department—critical thinking, problem solving, communication, people management, to name a few—then you must make sure to highlight those in both your resume and during your interview. Don’t sound arrogant, though; that’s not considered a good quality!
Have realistic expectations. For some careers, there’s no way around the fact that experience and appropriate education are what it’s going to take to get the job. Being realistic about who you are and what skills you have will help to determine that type of jobs you’re qualified for. It can be hard to find a job right now because of the tight market we’re currently in. Don’t be discouraged; be reasonable.
Show enthusiasm. You don’t have to grab pom-poms and do the splits. That would be a little over the top. You’re just trying to convey the fact that you’ll greet each day excitedly, and your sponge-like nature is ready to soak up information so you can be the best at your job. You’re passionate, not ridiculous.
Be interview ready. Research some of the most commonly asked questions at the company you’re interviewing for, or even in general, and write down your answers. Rehearse them, memorize them, and try to sound natural during your interview! Also, have a couple of really good questions ready for the person interviewing you.
Hiring managers are looking for people who not only can fill the role but also match the company culture. Your interviews are a way to prove you can fit in seamlessly and get the job done meticulously.
13 Jobs You Can Get Without Prior Experience
So what if you don’t have a degree or experience, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great jobs out there for you. And, let’s be honest, we all have to start somewhere. Here are some great job choices where experience is gotten via actually working. Not only that, they even have livable salaries!
Bartender: Believe it or not, you do not need any outside training to become a bartender. Usually, you’ll work with an experienced one who will train you right on the job. You’ll start out being the bar-back, helping keep the bar neat and products stocked. The bartender will teach you the tricks of the trade. You’ll get a portion of the tips, along with an hourly salary.
Administrative assistant: As an administrative assistant, you’ll keep the office organized and running smoothly. If you’re familiar with computers, are extremely organized, and have your high school diploma or GED, then you’re qualified for this position. There will be some on-the-job training before you’re let loose to run the place.
Security officer: Your mission, if you choose to accept it, will be to protect buildings and people from malevolent sources (aka, bad people). You’ll need to be at least 18 years old and pass a background check before being accepted into the position. Then, you’ll get trained to fulfill the essential duties.
Home health aid: When you decide to become a home healthcare aid, you are entering a career that will look differently almost daily. Your duties will depend on who your employer is and what the needs of the patient are. It can be exhausting and stressful, but so are many careers where you’re giving of yourself to help others. Your employer will be the determining factor of your educational needs. Some will train on the job, while others only hire employees that have certificates or diplomas in the field.
Real estate agent: Depending on which state you’re in, you either have to be a minimum of 18 or 19 years old to get your real estate license. Each state has its own set of educational requirements, but typically, you need to complete a real estate course and pass your state’s real estate exam. It can be a great career choice, especially if you have a personality conducive to selling.
Medical assistant: There are two types of medical assistants, clinical and administrative. Clinical, you’ll work directly with the patients, and administrative work behind the front desk. You’ll need your high school diploma or GED. Most physicians will want you to have had some post-secondary training, through either a local medical assistant school or an accredited online CMA college program. However, some doctors will have you trained on the job.
Veterinary assistant: In most instances, you’ll just need a high school diploma or GED to become a veterinary assistant. There are some veterinary clinics that will allow you to work prior to graduation. For this job, you’ll receive training, most likely through the veterinary tech or veterinarian directly.
Legal assistant: Paralegals and legal assistants are always lumped together as the same thing, but that’s not really the case. Paralegals need more schooling, whereas legal assistants don’t often need anything other than their high school diploma or GED combined with on-the-job training. Legal assistants act more like a secretary, running the backend of an attorney’s office.
Medical biller: As a medical biller, you help with the often daunting task of navigating the laws, guidelines, and regulations of insurance companies. You’ll need to complete a medical billing course and get your diploma. Certification isn’t required in all states, so you should check with your state guidelines to find out what you need to do.
Elevator installer: Becoming an elevator installer requires an apprenticeship. So, you’ll earn while learning this high-paying trade. You do need your high school diploma or GED, be able to pass a basic math, reading, and mechanical test, and be physically fit enough to handle the heavy equipment.
Delivery driver: You just need a clean driving record, and in some instances, no felonies, and you can be a delivery driver. There may be some on-the-job training involved.
Retail Work: Job seekers can generally find entry level jobs in retail such as cashier, stocker, and loss prevention
Before you kick yourself in the butt and let those destructive inner voices get to you, remember that no one starts out having experience. People build it over time. And, in time, you’ll have all the experience you felt you were lacking in the beginning. And, you can pay that forward by training someone in the position you once were in!