Finding a job can be a daunting task, especially when you have little to no experience. However, with the right approach and mindset, it is possible to land that first job (even in a new role or industry!) and kickstart your career. In this blog post, we will share our best tips for how to get a job with no experience.
How to Get a Job with No Experience
You have the passion. You have the grit. You have the dream of a career in a field that you have no experience in. Here’s to getting a job with no experience by showcasing that you are simply the right person for the job.
From identifying transferable skills to networking and tailoring your resume, we will cover the essential steps you need to take to increase your chances of finding a job. These tips will help you to stand out among other candidates and showcase your abilities, even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the field.
- Identifying transferable skills from previous experiences is an important step in finding a job with no experience. Transferable skills are abilities that you have gained from previous experiences, such as volunteering, internships, or even hobbies, that can be applied to a job. Examples of transferable skills include teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. By identifying your transferable skills, you can better understand what you can offer to potential employers.
- Researching industries and positions that align with your skills and interests is a great way to find job opportunities that fit your qualifications. Start by researching different industries and identifying the types of jobs that are typically available in those fields. Then, research specific companies within those industries and see what positions are currently open that may fit your skill set and preferences. By doing this research, you can target your job search to the most promising opportunities.
- Networking is a powerful tool in the job search process, especially when you have little to no experience. Reach out to people in your desired industry on LinkedIn or by email and try asking for informational interviews or coffee chats. This can help you gain insight into the industry and potentially open doors for job opportunities. Additionally, networking can help you make connections that can lead to job referrals or recommendations.
- Tailoring your resume and cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and how they align with the position you are applying for is essential. Your resume and cover letter should demonstrate how your skills and experiences make you a strong fit for the position. Be sure to highlight any relevant coursework, volunteer experience, or extracurricular activities that showcase your abilities.
- Learn as much as you can about the new industry or role you’re interested in. Even if you don’t have experience (yet!) in this new area, you can still devour information through Youtube videos, blog posts, podcasts, and even online courses and ebooks. As a result, you’ll be able to discuss your interest in a genuine way during interviews because you’ve already immersed yourself in this world.
- Reach out directly to decision makers. If you’re pivoting roles or industries, it’s possible that your resume could be passed on because you don’t have the direct experience. In this case, you’ll want to reach out directly to recruiters or the job’s hiring manager on LinkedIn to share what transferrable experience you have and why you’re a good fit for the role, even if it’s not immediately apparent.
What Type Of Job Can You Get With No Experience?
While it may sound too good to be true, any role is up for grabs whether you have a background in that industry or not. There is no hard and fast rule for what industries are more friendly to those with no prior relevant work history.
As a career coach, I highly recommend career mapping where you want to be. With this clarity in mind, every career pivot is reverse engineerable – and obtainable!
But Does Getting A Job With No Experience Mean an Entry-Level Position?
Just because you’re entering a new field or industry doesn’t mean you have to start from the bottom. For instance, chances are you have transferable skills that you’re able to leverage from your previous experience.
I recommend studying several job descriptions for a target title and analyze for responsibilities and skills you’ve already proven yourself in. Don’t discount soft skills – these are just as important as technical skills – if not more important.
How to Get a Remote Job with No Experience
The same advice applies to landing a remote job. The main difference is that hiring managers want to know that you’re self-motivated enough to be able to work from home without constant supervision or the support of being in an office with co-workers or managers.
If you’ve never worked remotely, you can highlight your self-motivation and time management skills by recalling experiences when you have used these skills (even if it was for personal projects).
Have you led any of your own projects or even school projects in a remote or hybrid setting? Be sure to highlight this transferable experience during the interview stage.
If you truly have no experience with this, then try coming up with a new small online project that you can talk about during interviews! Examples include creating a portfolio or resume website or creating a series of LinkedIn posts highlighting your knowledge and skills (which doubles as a way to get recruiters to find you!).
What If You Have A Degree But No Experience?
That’s a start because it allows you to aim for jobs that are considered skilled and that at least gets your foot in the door.
Having a degree showcases:
- You have a curiosity and capacity for learning new things
- You’re a hard worker
- You can see a project through from start to finish
- You have stamina and endurance
If you’ve already obtained the degree, you can leverage it by demonstrating how committed and devoted you are to this new practice area. During the interviews, your school projects, courseworks, unpaid and paid volunteer/internship experiences can all be shared to lend to your credibility.
Is Experience More Valuable Than A Degree?
Whether your experience is hands-on learning or academic based, employers can value both as long as you can demonstrate the value.
While education can show the benefits listed above, practical hands-on application and training is also looked at favorably. Companies invest time and money in training, so coming to a job with familiarity and new perspectives can be advantageous.
On the other hand, please note that recruiting is subjective. Some companies and employers may want to hire someone “green” with zero prior experience so they can train and mold them to fit the company’s philosophy and style.
Companies that are fast-growing, have issues filling their talent gap, or are in a novel industry tend to be less stringent when it comes to requiring prior work experience.
What To Say When Applying For A Job Without Experience
There is no need to be deceptive or apologetic about not having specific work experience.
There is a need to express why you are the safest hire for the position – despite not having all the requirements met.
- Do your homework about your dream organization specifically and understand their pain points
- Highlight all the transferable skills you carry from prior work or life experience that would translate to this position and allow you to start solving these problems. (Note: you do not have to be the expert or the best in the field to do so)
- Communicate the passion and motivation that has drawn you to this particular industry and wow your dream org with how much you already know about the industry and about the organization
- Remember to speak in terms of how picking you is in the best interests of the company instead of what an opportunity it would be for you. An org’s main objective isn’t existing so you can expand your horizons, even though it may.
Related Article: How to Have a Successful Panel Interview
What Else Can You Do To Find a Job with No Experience?
Every moment is an opportunity to be that much more knowledgeable about your chosen industry.
- Volunteer in an org or non-profit if you can to get experience (even unpaid experience is experience).
- Connect with people that are already in the industry. This can be reaching out to a thought leader on Linkedin or in a community organization.
- If you don’t know anyone in the new industry; don’t be afraid to devour books, courses, podcasts – and share insights during the interview.
- Practice how to market yourself. It may not feel natural at first, but remember, the point of the interview is to understand in less than an hour, if you’re an eligible hire. Don’t hold back from shining a light on what you can offer to the organization.
- Don’t box yourself in or pigeon hole yourself to where you’ve been. Share where you see yourself heading and what you’re doing to bridge the gap from where you are today.
Case Study: How Natalia C. Got Happily Hired
Natalia was on the hunt for a new job. She had been actively applying to positions for months with no results and it felt as if no one was taking her seriously.
“They’d send ‘Thank you but no thank you’ replies or days would pass with no answer at all,” she shared.
This led to doubts. Natalia began looking at expensive courses and programs to bolster her resume because she felt she lacked what she thought other candidates had.
“I felt like a failure. Like my experience wasn’t as shiny as others. I almost got into debt to purchase a new certificate.”
What Natalia Really Needed
Natalia heard about Happily Hired Roadmap (HHR) and realized she wasn’t lacking in what she could bring to a company. She was only lacking the confidence and words to express it. HHR shifted her mindset and gave her actionable steps to reach out to dream orgs.
After going through the modules in HHR, Natalia knew exactly “what to say and how to ‘sell’ myself. My confidence boosted!”
“I Just Got An Interview AND A Company Reached Out To Me On Linkedin!”
Thanks to the personal branding module, Natalia updated her resume and LinkedIn profile, and has gained more traction than the previous months of job searching.
You too are a no brainer hire for the industry you dream of working for but you may be getting lost in a sea of applications (or not even putting yourself out there at all because you’re worried you’re not enough).
Remember to leverage all of the experiences and resources available to you today to position yourself to where you’re headed. Life is too short to be stuck in a job that doesn’t light you up!
How to Find a Job with No Experience
Getting a job with no experience can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. By following the advice outlined here, you can increase your chances of finding a job that aligns with your skills and interests.
Remember to identify your transferable skills, research the job market, network, tailor your resume and cover letter, reach out directly to the decision makers and hiring managers at companies, and be open to multiple companies and opportunities.
It’s important to be persistent and not give up, even if you face rejection or disappointment. Keep learning and growing, and eventually, you will find the right opportunity.
With hard work and determination, you will be able to land a job without experience and start building the career of your dreams.
If you’re ready to find a role that truly feels like your calling (even if you don’t have experience), check out my FREE on-demand masterclass to get the freshest strategies on how to go from feeling stuck to landing more ALIGNED interviews & offers.
Emily Liou and her team believe that everyone can land their dream job. Want to find out more about how you can wake up happier on Mondays? Whether you like to work at your own pace or have a group to hold you accountable, there’s a Happily Hired job search program to shortcut your job search today.