Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Any Experience

John Krautzel
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If you find yourself discouraged by the job search because you lack the experience desired, it may still be possible to nab the job you want. While experience is important, job seekers changing fields or fresh out of college still have the capabilities to impress hiring managers with their transferable skills and eager personalities.

Showcase Your Ambition

You don't have to hold off on applying to jobs that you may not be qualified for during your job search. Instead, showcase your initiative and ambition with a well-written cover letter that highlights just how much you are willing and eager to learn as a new employee. Spend time detailing how you are gaining skills by seeking out professional development opportunities or taking internships to familiarize yourself with the industry. Employers who see you as someone who's willing to put in the effort to learn all aspects of the position may be more apt to take a chance on you.

Highlight Your Soft Skills

Although hard skills and knowledge of software, hardware and industry-specific operations are important, employers are also seeking candidates who can relate to customers and co-workers. This is where your soft skills come into play. Outline how you are detail- and deadline-oriented in your cover letter, include achievements and scenarios of client communication you've had in the past, and describe your positive disposition to win over the hiring manager viewing your application materials. The more time you spend during your job search polishing your soft skills, the better chance you have to impress potential employers.

Target Your Professional Network

Even though you may not have the experience required for your dream position, you may luck out by nabbing an interview through a connection from a professional in the field. Focus your job search on making valuable connections with people who work within your industry by attending local networking events and offering to present or speak at industry conferences. Employers want job seekers who are well-versed and represented within the industry. Work with a mentor or member of your network to build your brand and establish an online presence as an expert so your lack of experience is not the primary focus when meeting with hiring managers.

Know the Jargon

Knowledge is power when you don't have the experience. Showcase what you do know about the field by learning the jargon and the ins and outs of operations within companies you hope to work for in the future. Spend ample time during your job search researching firms so you are armed with information that can help you win over potential employers.

Experience is crucial when interviewing for positions; however, experience is not the only aspect of your professional persona that hiring managers evaluate. Showcase your eagerness, enthusiasm and willingness to learn during the job search to increase your opportunities within the field.


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  • Mira G.
    Mira G.

    I am printing this information and use it as my rule of thumb...thank you very much! very positive indeed!

  • Weneeke M.
    Weneeke M.

    Also very helpful and will beneficial to anyone who read it. :)

  • Nancy J.
    Nancy J.

    I have 32 years experience in the Insurance Industry mostly Claim Examiner I was laid off 2 years ago and found my current position 8 months after being unemployed. I have been in my current position for almost 2 years now I took this job just to get in the door. Since the merger of these 2 companies seems difficult to move anywhere within the company. The job I currently have is a no brainer and the work is minimal. I no longer choose to continue my career as a Claim Examiner how can I best move forward into a new career with in the Insurance Industry (ie., Management, Supervisor) to make excellent Salary and move forward to retirement.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    Thanks for the great comments. @Diana H. being fired certainly can be an unsettling experience. You continually go through different scenarios in your head about things that you could have done differently or said differently, etc. Got to let it go and move on. What about nursing agencies in your area? What about going to different direction and do home health care? There is such a great need for that. @Janice B. same for you. Maybe doing home health care wouldn't be so bad. My kid does home hospice care. It gets hard on her sometimes - especially emotionally - but she loves it. Not caught up in a hospital. Not having to walk all of those hallways and be on your feet all day. This way it's almost like working for yourself. Maybe something to think about? Granted the pay won't be the same but the pride of having a job well done may make up for some of the lost pay. I know in my area there is a huge need for home health nurses and I would be the same is true in your area. In the next 10-20 years, the larger percentage of Americans will be in the "senior" category and will require home health care. We need to start preparing and training right now to be ready for it. Worth a shot ladies.

  • Diana H.
    Diana H.

    I have been a RN in a specialty I can no longer physically do & only an associate degree for 24 yrs. & in nursing 35 yrs total. At 60, single, just want a M-F job now. I've been off 3.5 months with broken foot, now healed. I have put up with awful, bullying, lying bosses x 4 yrs & resigned. Next job x 2.5 months in new position I was blatantly lied to twice!! I called them on it in a staff meeting nicely & was fired!! Never ever been fired from a job!! But was glad I broke my foot (@home) & don't work there anymore! Interviewed for first job last week & hope to have it next week even though it's part time but should be full time by end of 2017. If not, I live in very rural Texas so will have to move & willing to do that. Any tips for a old professional looking to have better days & hours to have till retirement age??

  • Janice B.
    Janice B.

    I have been a LPN all of my professional life. I have worked continuously and now need a position where I sit down. I have never had a desk position. Are there any places I could get help with a resume? I need to change directions and really don't know where to start.

  • Cahyana P.
    Cahyana P.

    Good advice !!

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Elliot f. thanks for your comment. So sorry that nothing has come up for you. Two years is a long time! Are you taking advantage of events in your area? Job/Career Fairs? Networking events? What about volunteering in your community? Have you reached out to any recruiters? What about temp agencies? What about your resume? Have you given your resume to a trusted colleague to review and critique? We always think that our resume is perfect until someone else views it. If you use a recruiter, many times they will work with you to create an awesome resume. Just some thoughts. I hope at least one of them helps! Don't give up. If what you are doing right now isn't working, you need to mix it up. All the best.

  • Elliot F.
    Elliot F.

    I want a job just like the one I had been doing for thirty years. At this point, I have been looking for just such a job for almost two years. Guess what? I'm forgetting the answers to interview questions, and after being one of the most diligent application developers in the business, I no longer have the confidence to be optimistic.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Tawauna F. thanks for your comment. Since you have been filling out a lot of applications but have not gotten any bites, you may need to just start at the beginning. Since you just graduated from college, you might want to take advantage of your college's career services department. Typically when a job seeker says that they have applied for many jobs but no bites, it's because of their resume. Remember, that resume is your calling card - to get your foot in the door. The better your resume, the better your chances. Any work that you have done - from childcare to volunteering - should be included on your resume. Any accolades from college should be included, too. Did you work on any team projects? Talk about it. You need to let the hiring manager know that, even though you just graduated, you still have life/work experience. Your career services office may have some insight into jobs that are posted on college campuses only. Many companies want to hire new graduates so they use college's job boards to post these jobs so that they can get those new graduates. Something to check out. You also might want to consider finding a recruiter who specializes in your field of expertise. They can present you to the company and then, at the interview, it's all on you to sell yourself. Hope this helps. Good luck.

  • Tawauna F.
    Tawauna F.

    I have been struggling with finding a job in which I just graduated from college for...I am starting to give up...I've filled out alot of applications in this field but nothing so far.

  • Nancy Anderson
    Nancy Anderson

    @Jan D you might want to consider finding a good recruiter to help you find your next position. Don't really need a miracle although it would be great! Just make sure that you are talking it up. Make sure that you are networking. The old adage it's not what you know but who you know is still true today. So use your extensive network and take it for a run. My network is what brought me into my current position. If you are not comfortable with a recruiter - what about using a temp agency. You can find a great permanent job that way. Or, if you aren't concerned about a permanent job, you can just enjoy the temp work and get a chance to check out other companies and meet new people. All the best.

  • Jan D.
    Jan D.

    It would take a miracle to get me hired. A miracle.

  • LTanya W.
    LTanya W.

    Great information. Thank you

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