‘Experience needed’ is a phrase jobseekers worldwide despise. If you’ve got your eyes set on a certain career but are having trouble getting your foot in the door because employers keep asking for experience, don’t despair – you may simply have to reassess your route in. Plenty of people have managed to land their dream career without the experience necessary. Here’s how…
If you haven’t got experience, the next best thing is education. Whilst a degree can be a requirement for many higher level jobs, there are other alternative education routes such as short courses, online courses and workshops which could be more focused (for example, you may not have a Marketing degree to get into a marketing job, but if you’ve taken an short SEO course and attended a Social Media Marketing workshop this could prove just as advantageous).
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. It may sound clichéd, but it’s very much true – get friends in high enough places and you’ll increase your chances of getting your foot in the door. Attend networking events within your trade. If you want to become a photographer, go to photography conventions, attend photography workshops and join photography clubs. Make sure you’re networking online too. Build up connections on Linked In, join Facebook community groups, follow and reply to leading industry experts on Twitter and join online forums within your trade.
Start a blog
A blog is a great way of showing off your know-how, building up a reputation within your field and networking with others. You can start a blog on anything you like. If you want to get into music promotion, start a music blog. If you want to get into finance, create a finance advice blog. You can start a blog using platforms such as Blogger and WordPress, whilst sites such as Blogging.com can give you advice on how to write a successful blog. Create regular content, interact with your readers and support other bloggers – you may attract the attention of a potential employer. Alternatively, use your blog as evidence of your passion when applying to a job.
Nobody wants to work for free, but sometimes it can be the perfect way to get that experience that employers are so eager for. Sites such as Do-it.org have listings of all kinds of voluntary positions in all possible trades. In some cases, an employer may be so impressed by your work that they take you on full time. Even if they don’t make the offer, it doesn’t hurt to ask whether they could offer paid work having proven your worth through the voluntary work you’ve done.
Emphasise soft skills
Sometimes the experience is there – you just may not have realised it. A completely different previous job may have contained some roles which are transferrable. These could be soft skills such as being able to work in a team, handling money or talking to clients on the phone. You may even be able to use sports achievements and personal challenges to show evidence of skills such as commitment, teamwork and problem-solving. Just make sure you’re not throwing out random adjectives like ‘hardworking’ and ‘reliable’ – give proof of your claims so that employers believe in you.