What To Do If You Don’t Have Job Experience

June 8th, 2012

Most, if not all job listings include among their requirements “must have experience in industry.” For recent college grads or others just dipping their toe in the job market, this one phrase seemingly knocks them out of the running before they even start. But not so fast – there are ways around this.

Look for volunteer opportunities

Volunteer work offers great opportunities to build up experience for your resume and broaden your range of skills. With some online research, you may find a start-up or fledgling business that can’t pay but would love your volunteer services. It’s a great opportunity grow in areas where you’d like to excel professionally. Focus on acquiring new skills to include in your resume or expand on the skills you already have.

If you land a volunteer position with a business, be sure to set some boundaries. It’s OK to give all you have during the prescribed timeframe, but since you’re not getting paid, you’re under no obligation to stay late or help out on weekends. (You can, but it’s up to you.) The important thing is that, while you’re gaining experience and skills, you may also be impressing a future employer with your dedication and willingness to help out.

Go back to school

Back in the day, returning to school for an advanced degree might have required significant expense and travel. Getting an online degree is a much more affordable and convenient option. You can easily make working towards an online degree part of your schedule – and you don’t have to leave the house to do it!

While advanced learning isn’t the same as work experience, there are employers out there who will consider this additional knowledge in lieu of experience, when circumstances permit. Plus, you’ll gain experience working on different projects as part of your grad school responsibilities.

Keep networking

Another way to enhance your knowledge of a particular field – while also letting more people know about your job hunt – is to network, network, network.

Are there professional organizations in your area you can join? What about trade shows and conventions? In these places you can meet people face-to-face and attend workshops and seminars to further expand your understanding of the field you’re aiming for.

Fine-tune your resume

If you’re unable to fill out the “work history” part of your resume to your satisfaction, consider focusing on your skills and acquired knowledge. This can be included in a “Professional and Academic Experience” section, where you can freely boast about your academic achievements and the skills you’ve acquired while studying and volunteering. Remember – this all counts as experience, too!

Meador Staffing Services always has exciting staffing and career positions to fill. Find out more today!