You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience – see the dilemma? Trying to land a job right after graduation or when you’d like to enter a new industry can be challenging, but not impossible! Here are some tips on getting the job you seek with no prior experience:
Highlight Your Soft Skills
While experience is important, so is everything else. You can highlight the attributes you do have – your character, personality, attitude, social skills, communication skills and emotional intelligence, amongst many! Soft skills need not come from work experiences, and are definitely not industry-specific. You might have already developed them through school, co-curricular activities, or perhaps volunteerism. These skills are highly valuable and often underestimated. Through training, mentorships and other personal development activities, those with the right soft skills, even without experience, will be able to succeed.
Take On An Internship
If you find yourself unable to get a full-time job, start looking for internships and traineeships instead. Not only do they provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills you need for a full-time job, they also allow you to grow your professional network. Furthermore, depending on your performance, there is a possibility that you will be offered a full-time opportunity at the company that you intern at when your internship ends. Don’t be afraid to start small – gaining experience should be your priority!
Networking is often overlooked by job seekers. Instead of just sending out resumes in the hope of getting a reply, it would be more productive to reach out to people, make connections, and learn more about a position or a company. When networking, take into consideration the type of role, industry, and culture you are looking for – make sure you have a clear picture of who to talk to! Other than informal networking methods, attending formal networking sessions would be advantageous as well. Additionally, career fairs, conferences, and exhibitions relevant to the type of job you are looking for are some other useful avenues for you to meet and talk to industry professionals. Networking may just be what you need to open the door to job opportunities.
Job hunting can be a long and tough process – stay patient and keep knocking on doors until they open. Take ownership of your job-seeking process, and optimise yourself for success!