A few years ago, if you had lacked any substantial work experience on your resume, it was ten times harder to find a professional job. Though that’s still somewhat the case these days, large corporations and startups alike are beginning to look at more than just past experience. They’re seeking out candidates who have unique skill sets, raw talent and an enthusiasm that can’t be harnessed.
Job seekers today consist of a lot of Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs types, candidates who may not have a solid background in academia or the professional world but who have a distinct appeal that enables them to beat out more experienced competition.
If you’re in the same boat, how do you broadcast your qualifications and skills with no work experience?
Get creative. Your resume may not be getting the attention of hiring recruiters and managers, so you may need to get a little creative. Consider a video resume or a resume infographic, something that will set you apart from other job candidates. For instance, if you’re a web designer, create a webpage showcasing your talents.
A creative resume and or cover letter can make up for your lack of work experience by using it as a tool to communicate your strengths. Sure, you may be searching for your first job out of college, but you’re not like other recent graduates. Show your skills and raw talent with a more creative approach to your job search.
Conquer the interview. If your resume passes the first rounds of the hiring process despite no work experience, you have to step it up at the job interview. Be the first to acknowledge that you lack real professional experience, but discuss how that plays to your advantage.
Come to the interview prepared with ideas on how you can contribute specifically to this business or product. Discuss how you’re not limited by a “way of doing things.” Rather, this is your first foray into the professional world, and you have a host of ideas and visions to contribute to the bottom line. Not to mention, you may have cutting edge influencers that this business has never even heard of. Your exposure to these unique resources can help to bring that business to the forefront of their market.
Be open minded. Yes, you may be young and open to new ideas, but that doesn’t mean that everyone else will be that you come across in the job search process. Don’t let it get to you, and don’t develop a superior attitude either. While there is a lot that “more experienced” professionals could learn from you, there is a lot you could learn from them too.
Don’t think of yourself as some prodigy that could turn things around for the better if you had the reins. You’re just as susceptible to failure and hardships as older, more experienced professionals. Humble yourself before the job interview. Exude confidence in yourself and your skill set and not arrogance.
While age and no work experience was once a hindrance to the job search; it is now an asset. Use it correctly to your advantage, and land your first professional job.
How else can youth or no work experience be used to your advantage? Discuss in the comments now!