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05 November 2014

How to get a job without relevant experience

It’s the chicken and egg scenario – you haven’t got the experience to snare the job you want from a site such as, but without snaring the job you won’t get the experience. For the young jobseeker it might seem like an intractable problem, but help is at hand: here are several ways to bridge the gap.

Get the qualifications
Face facts: you will not get a job as a lawyer, secretary, doctor, or many other jobs without the basic skills. Working to get the correct paperwork will show that you are taking things seriously. And don’t assume that you have to wait until the conclusion of your studies to apply for experience!

Work experience and internships
Do you know anyone who may put in a ‘good word’ for you? Do your parents? The first step along the way is grabbing a day of two or work experience, and busting a gut to impress. Ideally you would do this while studying – try to clear an afternoon, evening or day when you can pop along to a local office. In an ideal world you may be taken on, or at least bag a paid internship.

Do something else
While you’re building up a compelling case and portfolio, don’t rest on your laurels. Get a weekend or evening job, preferably one with direct relevance to your intended field – the resumes of many top entrepreneurs often include stints at Google and Microsoft.

From a financial point of view the money will be of benefit, but it also gives you a chance to gain transferable skills and meet potential contacts. It’s not impossible that this stop-gap job might be more enjoyable than the one you wanted. If you can’t get a temp job, try volunteering.

Promote yourself
Build a simple website using Wordpress or Wix, preferably with examples of work (school/college/university/social groups) and perhaps a video introducing yourself. Ascertain exactly what your target company is looking for and target the site at them – sell yourself!

Do it yourself
If all else fails, you could try creating your own small business in the field. It will be a crash course and not easy, but should teach you much more than the average salaried employee. SMEs are a confident, growing breed, as this Startup piece reveals.

Consult experts
Sites such as the National Careers Service will provide information on the nuts and bolts of employment, while an aspiring applicant can seek advice and guidance from industry figures and thought leaders via LinkedIn. Examine their connections and read their resumes, and find out where they got their break – the answers may surprise you.

Quora is another particularly good site for asking questions on both career advice and also hypothetical and philosophical advice on jobs and life, while Youtube might provide practical lessons or lectures in your chosen field.

Transferrable skills
Strong communication. Accuracy. Discipline. Concentration. Mathematical and written skills. These are just a few of the abilities in which you might excel already, which could be applied to a range of fields – including the job you want. Show how your present skills fit the bill for your intended role.

If you are asking for experience, make your CV slick and stylish with no spelling and grammatical gremlins please. Your covering letter should show what you can offer the company; even if there are no apparent job vacancies it will not harm to approach a HR department.

What job do you have?
Have you got any tips on getting your dream career?

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