Finding A Job With Absolutely No Experience
So, you know what your dream job is. You’ve polished your CV and updated your LinkedIn profile. You’ve set up alerts on all the job sites and you’re primed and ready to go the moment an opportunity arises.
There’s just one small problem: you don’t have any industry experience in the area you’re applying to. Time to give up? No. Here’s how you can still make the case for landing the perfect role.
The first question that you need to have a great answer for is: why do you want to change track? What is it about the industry you’re moving to that really excites you? Why do you feel that you’re suited to it? Make some notes as you think about it.
If you don’t already know the answer, you’ll have to dig deep and come up with a solid response (and something better than, ‘you can earn more in this industry’). Coming up with a great answer will be key to getting your CV in front of the decision makers.
Even if you are undergoing a radical change of direction, you should have come up with some skills that you already have that will be useful in the new role. For example, most roles use computer skills these days. What software packages are your familiar with? Have you been trained to deliver presentations?
And don’t neglect your soft skills. Employers are increasingly asking questions about attributes like personal organisation, communication skills, critical thinking and problem solving.
Mind the gap
The next question to ask yourself is, are there ways to pick up any of the skills that you need? Volunteering can be a great way to gain industry experience and learn new skills. So it’s worth checking out any opportunities that might be available with local organisations.
And what about training? There are many online courses these days which, while the quality of them can vary considerably, can give you a grounding in a new area. At the very least, it shows that you are willing to invest some of your free time in improving your employability in your chosen field.
An important part of any job application, taking some time to get to know the company you want to work for will pay dividends. Look at things like the company culture, or how your goals mirror theirs. Try to find links between you and your experience and the organisation.
Tell your story
Now that you’ve assembled all your information, you need to go back and take a critical look at your CV and cover letter. Make sure that it reflects all the positive aspects that you can bring to the role.
A great way to do this and to help employers connect with your CV, is to step away from the bullet point format and start telling stories. Give examples from your career or studies that demonstrate those transferrable and soft skills. Think about the research that you did on the industry and the company too. Are there any phrases you can borrow from their website that will align yourself with them?
Extracts taken from CV Library