Picture this: you come across a job posting and think, “Wow, that’s my DREAM job!” You instantly get excited about this opportunity and start crafting your CV and cover letter. However, when you work on your CV you realize that you have very little relevant work experience to show off.
You may be out of college, embarking on a new career path or re-entering the job market after taking time off, and this might be very intimidating for you.
Employers will tell you that you need more experience, but how are you supposed to get it if no one will hire you?
If you are in such a situation, your job search is not over yet.
Here are some few tips to help you combat lack of work experience when trying to land a job interview;
Come up with a great CV
Before you can impress the employers with your awesome interview skills, you have to land the interview to start with and this will depend on your CV. The toughest part of a job search is to be an impressive candidate on paper without sounding over the top. It’s about finding the right balance between showcasing your skills, being clear on your goals and presenting your achievements. The first step you will take in landing your interview without any industry experience is to get the structure of your CV right.
Get an internship
There may be no better way to demonstrate enthusiasm and commitment to a job for which you are marginally qualified than to offer to work for a short period on an unpaid trial basis. This might sound rather tedious, especially if you’ve already been working for more than 10 years, and changing careers feels like starting at the bottom. Your chances of landing an interview, however, will most definitely increase if you’ve done an internship or two within this field. It doesn’t matter how long the internship lasted, it is about showing that you are willing to sacrifice your time and energy in gaining valuable experience within a particular field.
Networking is very important, especially when you don’t have any experience within a particular industry, it would really help to have an industry connection put in a good word for you.
Pay attention to soft skills
You don’t have the work experience that will let you sail through a hiring process, and that’s not something you can change overnight. But what’s much more within your control are the soft skills that you display to an employer like, friendliness, professionalism, responsiveness and follow-through. Being stellar in these areas can serve as a counterweight to your lack of experience.
A great way to set yourself apart from your competition is to go after it is what you want. Although this seems risky and you might come across as being overly ambitious, you will most definitely create curiosity. It’s about getting yourself in the position to land an interview, so do what you have to do. Don’t be afraid to contact the employer. After applying for the position you could just send a follow-up email or make a quick phone call to introduce yourself and notify them of your application.
The idea here is to put yourself in the employer’s shoes. What should make them excited about hiring you? That’s what needs to be reflected in your cover letter, your CV and during your interview.