Many young professionals face the hurdle of not having enough experience when applying to jobs. Most job applications online require at least a couple of years experience in a related field for applicants. This brings up the classic paradox of not having a job because of a lack of experience, and having a lack of experience because of not having a job. In any case, it is possible to get a job without any previous experience. The actual workarounds for not having enough experience vary from job to job, but here are some tips that may also work in your field.
For many jobs, building an impressive portfolio can completely replace any work experience. Work experience exists to make the employer believe that you are capable of doing the tasks they have in mind for you. While having previous experience to build credibility is great, a portfolio proving that you have completed similar tasks is even better. It can overcome the "no job experience" issue.
This is most commonly seen with jobs similar to design. Designers keep a portfolio of different things they have designed in the past to show what they are capable of. Oftentimes, this includes several school and freelance projects. If you did not attend higher education, you can always do mock projects in your free time. You can even do some free work for friends and family and add it to your portfolio.
Getting another degree can really help in your job prospects. Whether it be a bachelor’s or a master’s degree, you’ll learn important information while also increasing your hireability. While at an academic institution, you can also utilize their career center resources to connect with companies hiring from the school. Remember that schooling is much more than just grades, and make good connections with professors as well as classmates.
The entire purpose or experience requirements for jobs is to lower the chance of you being unable to perform the tasks at hand. One way to get around this is to find someone to vouch for you. A referral at the company will go a really long way. If you know people at your target company, and they are familiar with your level of work, then you can ask them to refer you for the position or in general in the company. If you have no job experience referrals can be a great way for someone other than yourself to communicate what you are capable of doing.
There are a plethora of online courses and certifications you can complete to strengthen your resume and your overall application. This is especially true for marketing positions. Marketing has drastically shifted towards digital marketing in the last couple of years. Digital and internet marketing is not well taught at many universities, and online resources will often be superior to resources in the classroom. Marketers rely on several online tools and platforms, most of which provide some sort of certification program. For example, Google AdWords and Facebook Ads are the leading online advertising platforms. Both of these provide their own online certification completely for free. Google AdWords provides courses and exams for their AdWords and Analytics platforms. Facebook has a program called blueprint. Hubspot provides a ton of free courses online about their own product as well as marketing in general. Hubspot is suited more for B2B marketers, and they provide many courses about inbound marketing and lead generation. All of these certifications are great to have under your belt, and they can be great talking points in an interview. If you have never ran large Google AdWords campaigns, a certification may be enough to prove your proficiency. No job experience is overcome by new skills that align with the job you are looking to take on.
Shadowing local professionals or interning at companies are also great ways to build experience. Not only to you get a bit of experience to put on your resume, but your network also builds up. This network building is particularly important because they are very specific to your field. If you get an opportunity to intern or shadow, make sure to be very respectful and absorb as much knowledge as you can.
If you keep on seeing jobs that you’re not qualified for on paper, trying applying to them anyways. Many jobs require specific interviews or even technical tests to prove your skill. If you can excel at those, it can replace "no job experience". This is most commonly done in software development positions where the technical tests will tell whether or not a candidate knows their stuff. This is also common in finance/accounting roles, where software like Microsoft Excel plays a big part in the job tasks. Applying despite lacking the experience required can still work out in your favor, it's just less likely.
Most jobs these days require a certain degree of experience. It may feel like an uphill battle trying to get a job at these companies while you don’t have any prior experience. There are many things you can do to increase your qualifications for the job. You can take online courses, internships, certifications, and build a portfolio. All of these things will help show your potential employer that you are indeed capable of completing the tasks that the job requires.
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