How to market yourself if you have no experience

No Experience

Frequently jobs advertised as “entry level” ask for years of experience. Sometimes you wonder how you’ll ever get any experience when every job requires you to already have experience. It’s a troublesome and common issue faced by many young Australians that have no experience.

So what are some of the ways to get around this issue?

Work your way up

Sometimes you can’t step right into your dream job and you have to take stepping stones to get there. You could start by identifying the key requirements you’d need to be considered for your ideal job and then come up with other ways to develop the skills and requirements you need. Sometimes you might have to start out as supermarket cashier or fast food team member to gain customer service skills as a stepping stone to land your dream fashion retail job.

Gain appropriate qualifications

Some jobs require specific qualifications that you should obtain if you wish to work in that field. Qualifications provide a source of credibility to employers.

Extracurricular activities and volunteering

Engaging in extracurricular activities or volunteer programs can be a great way to increase your skill set and many skills you learn from these experiences are applicable to part-time and casual jobs. Some examples of extracurricular activities and volunteering include team sports, the school debating team, volunteering at an animal shelter, student government, volunteering at a soup kitchen, university academic societies or an interest club.

Explore your personal network

Not all jobs are publicly advertised and sometimes you can find jobs through your network by asking friends and family if they know of any available work. Given that they already know you you’re likely to be at and advantage for getting these jobs and they may overlook your inexperience.

Write about key skills

In your resume you could include a key skills section which highlights what key skills you have and examples of how you have demonstrated these key skills through sports, volunteering, baby sitting, extracurricular activities etc. This can highlight to the reader of your resume that whilst you don’t have specific experience you are capable and have developed applicable skills from other activities.

Focus on achievements and awards

In your resume focus on key achievements and awards you have from your schooling, university, sports or other extracurricular activities. You can highlight impressive school or university grades.

Write about your interests

Including interests in your resume could help you to make a connection with the resume reader or interviewer and act as a source of common interest or help start conversation.

Focus on your personality traits

Seek out jobs where they are more interested in personality traits rather than previous experience. These jobs are often looking for a long term cultural fit and are willing to train you in the role.

Read about things you should consider when choosing your part-time or casual job here.