How to Get a Job When You Have Minimal Experience

Job Hunt Minimal ExperienceGetting a job without much experience is definitely a challenge. Do you get easily discouraged knowing that companies are looking for applicants with five to 10 years of experience — and you have zero? If you’re a recent college graduate or a parent re-entering the workforce, here’s how to counterweight your lack of experience:

Construct an outstanding cover letter. Don’t ever use a generic cover letter for every job you’re applying for. Recruiters will know. Be yourself on paper. Explain why you’d excel and why you’re excited about the opportunity.

Don’t stress too much about being a perfect match. Keep in mind that people get hired most of the time without being a line-for-line match with the job advertisement. However, don’t apply for jobs that ask for 10 to 15 years of experience if you only have one. Write a good cover letter and resume that focus on your achievements.

Find out why you’re suited for the job. If you think you’d be great at the job, know the exact reason(s) why. Whether you have minimal experience or not, try to focus on your personal traits or formal qualifications that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, being able to create order out of chaos is essential when applying for an admin job.

Focus on your soft skills. Though you can’t change your minimal experience overnight, you can illustrate the soft skills that will be useful to an employer. Some of these skills are friendliness, professionalism, responsiveness and follow-through. Believe it or not, these skills can actually counter to your lack of experience.

Highlight your non-obvious experiences. A lack ofexperience doesn’t mean you’re not fit for the job. Think of something else in your background that demonstrates you have the skill(s) the employer wants. Do you run a blog as your hobby? Have you been active in certain fundraising activities? Remember that experience doesn’t just come from traditional professional jobs; useful skills can be acquired through your life experience.

Be realistic. Behonest with yourself about what types of jobs you’ll be considered qualified for. Apply for jobs that can prove your worth. Point to concrete evidence that you’d truly excel among the rest.

Exert effort to get the experience you lack. If you’ve been seeing closed doors every time you apply for a job, try to look for ways to get more experience for your resume. Become a stronger candidate by participating in different projects, a part-time internship, or some volunteer work.

Lastly, try to put yourself in the recruiter’s shoes. What makes you great? Make a list. Then prepare an excellent cover letter, resume, and practice for your interviews. Look for a job where you can make a compelling case for yourself and put yourself in the running.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 80,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.