No experience? No problem. Except, if you been in the job market you know that it is actually a problem. To get a job, whether you’ve been working for years or just entered the market after graduation, you have to have experience. And in order to get experience? Well, someone has to hire you.
It’s quite the paradox and incredibly frustrating. So what do you do when you lack the experience, but need and want the job? Here’s where to start.
Recruiters put job requirements up to weed out weak candidates. It doesn’t mean that the list is absolute. It’s all about how you market yourself. And the first step to marketing yourself in all the right ways is in writing a winning resume and cover letter.
To do so, you’ll need to show your value. Tailor your resume to what they are looking for. If they want 5 years of experience and you only have 3, make the most of that 3 years. Chances are, they aren’t counting the dates on your resume. Instead, they’re using it to learn about what you’re bringing to the table. You don’t want to sound unreal and you certainly don’t want to lie, but be clear on your goals and your achievements.
Focus on your introduction. Sure, you may have experience in something that is unrelated to the job at hand, but it’s all about presentation. Don’t spend your introduction going on and on about real estate when the job at hand is marketing research. Mention why you’re changing careers, link the two, and explain your connection to both and how your past career gives you unique perspective and separates you from other applicants.
Typically, all those requirements are simply an HR wish list. It’s the best case scenario. Realistically, few will meet all requirements (and not be overqualified). So don’t get intimidated by the details. Many times, your resume is simply skimmed. So make those sticking points count. If you’re missing some key job requirements, be sure to structure your resume in a way that highlights the bits and pieces that do make you a prime candidate.
Remember that degree you have? All that studying. All that hopeful optimism that it would help you land that great job. You may not be looking for employment in the area of your degree, but hey, you have one. Be proud of it. You are driven and that degree proves it. Plus, you never know if that person reviewing your application might relate. Maybe they went to your school. Maybe they were in your fraternity or sorority. Maybe they were in that honor society. That diploma. That school. All may be the luck you need to get you in for an interview.
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