It’s the decades-old conundrum: you need a job but you don’t have a lot of experience and employers want to hire people with experience!
So what can you do?
Read below for some tips on how to boost your resume when you don’t have a lot of professional experience behind you.
- Volunteer! If you can’t find a job in the industry you want, see if you can volunteer with a company in the non-profit sector. Non-profits are continually looking for help and it’s relatively easy to find a volunteer position doing something similar to what you’d like to be paid to do. For example, marketers can help promote and market the non-profit’s services to the public. Business majors can help with accounting or management issues. In addition, volunteering almost forces you (in a good and easy way) to network. The people with whom you volunteer know others in the business community and as you get to know them and they you, they’ll be happy to introduce you to people who can help you advance in your career.
- Focus on your cover letter. This is where you can explain to a hiring manager or recruiter about how your experience – which may look a bit thin on your resume – actually meets the employer’s needs (as stated in the job description). Not all employers make their hiring decisions based on just years of experience. The cover letter is your chance to explain how your past experience – as little as it may be – is a good fit for the work to come.
- One thing to mention in that cover letter as well as in your resume is how you’ve been taking it upon yourself to continue your education in some form or another. Whether it’s to get certification in some skill that’s looked for in your chosen career field, or it’s self-taught reading and research, be sure you mention either a) that you have these skills and/or b) that you’re currently working toward them.
- If you can’t find work right away in your field of choice, get a job where you can. Working – even if it’s at local large-box retailer – shows potential employers that you have a strong and active work ethic. It shows that you understand that there’s no magic fairy that will come with a wand to just present you with the perfect job. Continue networking, perhaps even volunteering and keep looking for a job in your industry. In addition, after you’ve worked at your “it’s just a job” job and you’ve proven yourself to be a good employee, ask your supervisor if your duties could be expanded to include something related to your sought-after career. Or look for opportunities for advancement within your current employer.
Remember that no one owes us a job, let alone one that we’ve trained for in the business sector that appeals to us. Instead, it’s up to us to do that which needs to be done over time to reach our goals. This may mean some detours along the way. This may mean taking jobs we don’t like. But nothing is permanent and we can handle anything for a few months or even a couple of years.
Keep focused on what you want and look for ways to a) bring value to your employer while you b) get more of the experience your “dream job” requires.
If you’re looking for work in the Anchorage, Seattle, Lake Tacoma, Portland, Lake Oswego, or Chicago area, send your resume to the Opti Staffing Group. We can help you land temporary, temp-to-hire and even direct-hire opportunities at some of these areas’ finest employers. Contact us today.