You may not have the skills yet, but if you approach the application process logically, you can put your best foot forward and increase your chances of working in your desired field. Here are 8 strategies for how to get a job with no experience that will lead you to where you want to be. With a lot of gumption and patience, you can accomplish your goal.
You must first make the commitment. Set out a plan to get you there by a certain time frame. Stop doubting yourself and think positively about your job search. You should enjoy every part of the process. Most of all, don’t take yourself too seriously, we all have to learn in order to grow.
1. Intern for the experience
How about working for free or little pay? Many people, including yours truly, landed their dream job starting out as an intern. I was slinging burgers and fries, going to school and filing papers as an intern.
If you show someone you’re reliable, offer your help wherever it’s needed, and really do your best, your internship can land you a great job at that company or a great reference that will land you a great job at another company. This is about knowing what you don’t know and being patient.
Even in my late twenties, I’m still interning to gain experience in new areas. Don’t feel like you’re too good to do an internship, I know a guy who recently moved cross country for an internship, it became full-time and he just bought a house. Luckily, internships usually aren’t full time so you can work another job that pays.
If you’re still in school, use it to your advantage and talk to your department or the career services center about what internship programs they are plugged in with. If you aren’t in school, consider enrolling in a community college class and see if you can get access to an internship.
2. Research and training are very important
Like I said, it’s important to know what you don’t already know. We do have to be both realistic and optimistic. A writer cannot just write from their heart, they must apply structure and use their analytic brain. They also must use their heart, their passion, to fuel their writing.
Similarly, in your job search, you must find something that inspires you. Find something that you will go after at any cost because you’re jazzed up about it. You’ll need to be excited about it you know?
Now comes the question, what type of training do I need? How much should I invest in it? I suggest books to start. They can give you a better idea of what the industry you’re interested in is like.
Books about your industry or specific job can really help to prepare you for what to expect and give you the language to speak so that the education you received in regards to your position can be noticed. Each job is like learning a whole new language. We just have to immerse ourselves in it until we become it and no longer feel like the odd man out.
Depending on what job you’re going for, you may need extensive training and perhaps a certification. Do your research to find out if you need a certification to do the job you want. Yoga teachers, like myself, can’t even think about getting a job until they’re certified.
Don’t be discouraged about the prospect of getting more training. Look at every part of the process as an exciting endeavor, remember, we want to enjoy the ride. You wouldn’t want to send a firefighter out to a burning building without proper training, but you can train a person on how to behave in that situation over time right?
If someone else can learn it, chances are, you can too. Besides minor restrictions such as people who can’t hear certain frequencies being barred from flying planes, there are little restrictions on what you can learn to do. Usually, we are limited only in our minds. Fear is crippling and it’s important to look at how much fear is playing a role in your life to see if it is keeping you back unnecessarily.
As you set up your time frame for getting your new job, keep in mind how long it will take to get the training you think will be required. If the job does not require a certification, work your way up from the bottom.
One of my family members started at a very prestigious company as a temp sorting mail and worked his way up to a very important role, then left to partner in a private firm. Remember, even if the job pay is laughable to start with, it’s often better than nothing. Attitude is everything.
3. Use recruiting firms to find jobs
Speaking of temporary positions, one of the things I didn’t learn in college was how to use recruiting firms to find jobs. Get your resume to 10-12 recruiters. These people are motivated to get you a job. They don’t charge you; they charge the company a placement fee.
Often enough, you may find a temp-to-hire position which just protects the company from unemployment claims if the person doesn’t work out in the first 90 days or so.
It’s a good idea to get your resume in with as many recruiters as possible so you up your chances of getting a job. Be clear with what type of a job you want and what type of a job you don’t want. This will help them find the one you’re looking for.
Another great reason to use recruiters is that they have access to jobs you won’t hear about and probably never thought about. There are so many unique opportunities out there that are not posted on most websites.
I have seen many people get jobs through recruiters that they have made an entirely new career at. Some of my friends met their future spouse’s at these jobs and married them. It works ladies!
4. What you should bring with yourself
You should always have a pen. I have seen managers turn people down for not bringing a pen. Secondly, bring a resume. You have to act like you really want the job. Make sure you take the extra few minutes to format your resume properly and make sure there are no typos.
Be prepared with your references. That means that you should give the full name, phone number, address, email, company and position. Make sure you contact these references ahead of time to give them a heads up that someone may be contacting them about a job you’re applying for.
Choose people that actually like and remember you. Professors can make good references or former coworkers. Of course, managers are the best reference but sometimes businesses close or people change jobs and contact information.
Bring your A game. That means that you have looked up the company online. You know what they do, and you know some facts about their company. This is important because many employers will ask you what you know about them to see how invested you are.
Write down answers to typical interview questions ahead of time. Common questions include; why are you the best person for this job? What is your greatest weakness? What relevant experience do you have? How have you dealt with an unhappy customer? Why do you want to work here? Where do you see yourself in five years?
Have questions prepared for the company. This is also you interviewing them. You need to think about what you want to be sure you don’t sign up for something without realizing it right? Ask about benefits and what they pay. Ask about the possibility of advancing and anything else that is important to you.
I like to ask what the culture of the company is like to get a feel for it, and I like to ask what a typical day is at work. I also like to know how long other people have been with the company.
5. Be persistent
Let people see you’re motivated. Email/fax/mail your resume and follow up. I once followed up with a place I wanted to work for for nine months until I got the job, but hey, it worked! Just because a company doesn’t have a job posted, doesn’t mean they are not going to hire you. Many times you wouldn’t see the job posted because many jobs do not use the typical job posting websites anyway.
6. Network and mingle
Get out there and meet people. This is so unbelievably important. Sending your resume online has been called sending your resume into a black hole. It can take months to even hear one response. However, if you commit to being sociable, you can show people how nice you are, how enthusiastic you are and really make an impression.
I have had more success, actually most of my success through people, not posted jobs. I have emailed companies directly too though. I think networking and sometimes volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door.
The key to any successful job is relationships and when people start to trust you, you will open opportunities for yourself.
7. Dress the part
This is also a key part to getting a job. If someone walks in with twice your experience but is sloppy, the hiring manager is most likely going to go with the person who looks put together. It shows you make an effort and take pride in what you do. A picture can paint a thousand words, right?
Think about what is appropriate for the job you’re interviewing for. It’s also appropriate to ask if the attire of the office is either corporate or business casual. Just look your best so you can be sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Check your teeth before you go in too, it can’t hurt.
It’s best to wear something you feel comfortable in. Don’t wear something that is out of character for you because you want to feel like you are in your own skin. The tone of voice is something that can’t be faked. When you are very real and genuine in a job interview, people will feel more comfortable with you.
Make sure you iron your clothes and they are professional. It’s good to wear a business jacket and professional heels if it’s that type of job. Please do not wear platform heels or clubbing heels. Often dressy to scantily clad will land you the wrong type of job. If you want to be treated like a human and not a piece of meat, don’t go to a job interview showing off your goods. Catch my drift?
Don’t hide your figure but don’t wear clothes that are so tight they might rip if you breathe too deeply. Also, don’t douse yourself in perfume because some people might be put off by it. Deodorant is sufficient. Remember, preparation is everything. If you think about the type of impression you want to make, you are more likely to make it.
The mistake many people make is they rush to their job interview last minute and haven’t looked up the directions ahead of time. Leave extra time in case you get lost because it’s hard to take someone seriously if they show up late for an interview.
8. Ask people you know for help
There’s no shame in this. Look on LinkedIn and see who you know that is working in your desired field. Talk to them. We don’t have to act like we are isolated on an island in our job hunt, because we are not. Let your close friends and family members know you are looking for a certain type of job. Think about all the people they know that you don’t, many of them probably know people working in your desired field.
Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools to get you a job without experience.
Please share your own valuable experience and thoughts below…the YouQueen community values your ideas.