It’s common knowledge that you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience…. Who came up with this? Genius right? The important first step is to navigate this conundrum to get your foot in the door, if you’re just starting out your career or looking at a change in career path, you may feel your choices are limited. However, it’s important to note that all professionals with experience today started form the same or similar position you are in today.
If you intelligently apply for jobs with the right strategy, you can leverage on your relevant existing skills to show employers that you’re the candidate even without experience, ‘imagine what i’d be with experience’.
In this article, we highlight some steps you can take to help you get your foot in the door.
- Address the Issue
A common mistake jobseekers make is to try to ignore the fact or brush over it hoping that recruiters won’t notice or grill them to much on it, you should avoid that. First things first, address it. The easiest way to do this is through your cover letter, let employers know that you’re fully aware of your situation and address any concerns they might have
2. Highlight your transferable skills
If you read job descriptions, you’ll notice there are skills listed under requirements, luckily you don’t need experience to have skills!. You may not have the required experience but you should be able to demonstrate that you have the skills necessary, highlight these skills, draw attention to them, state how you got them, in what situations you’ve used them, how you can transfer them to the job. The important part is to do your research to find out about the skills needed for the industry or position you’re applying for, common skills include:
- Communication skills
- Leadership Critical Thinking
- Time Management
- Attention to Detail
- Organizational Skills
- Problem-Solving Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
3. Take trainings to get the skills employers are after
A way to brush up your CV is to include training certifications associated with the specific industry you’re applying into. If you’re applying for a digital marketing position, a Google Digital Skills mention would draw the right attention.
4. Volunteer or Find Internships
The quickest way to get experience is to work with people that have experience, find volunteer positions or internships at organisations in your chosen industry. A lot of jobseekers go the route of casting a wide net hoping one hooks, i.e applying for any and all jobs available. The smarter way to find an internship or new entry position is to narrow down your career choices, carefully research industries, then research companies in the industry, find the top companies, find their competitors, find startups in the industry and send in your applications. You don’t have to wait till there’s an opening listed, send out prospect emails to selected companies stating your aim and goal to earn experience in order to get into the industry.
Network is one of the most effective ways to get a new job. Employers are more likely to overlook a gap in your CV if you come through a personal recommendation. Speak to your friends, let them know your career aspirations, find mutual friends in the industry, you never know where an opportunity will come from. Most companies also have internal recruitment systems or processes whereby vacant positions are first advertised to existing employees before they are advertised externally which means employees have firsthand knowledge of vacancies and most likely have direct or indirect relationships with their HRs or managers.
6. Manage your expectations, apply intelligently
It’s also important to manage your expectations, you might have to take a lower paying job or a job far away from your preferred location, don’t expect to land the perfect job on your very first try.
Good luck with your job search, remember you can find the latest job vacancies on our careers page www.studenthubng.com/jobs, read more articles link this on our blog and recommend us to your peers.
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