When you have limited work experience you are less likely to understand the process for how to get a job. It can be frustrating not knowing where to start and feeling like it’s pointless when there are so many people out there with more experience than you. However, there are ways you can improve your chances of getting a job by focusing on what you do have to offer and what would make you an excellent candidate for the position you are applying for.
You may not have realised, but you will likely have picked up valuable skills for a resume in other parts of your life that would help you in the workplace. By focusing on the positives, you can make your application stand out and have a better chance of getting to the next stage of the recruitment process.
What experience do you have?
Even if you do not have the exact experience they are asking for in the job advert that does not mean you are automatically disqualified. If they are asking for 5 years experience, and you only have 6 months worth, then it might be better to keep looking.
However, if you have a couple of years experience and you can really demonstrate that the skills and knowledge you have gained from that time are sufficient, then it might be worth applying after all. Just make sure that your experience comes through in your application.
Focus on soft skills for a resume
Soft skills for a resume include things like communication, team working, problem solving, organisational and negotiation skills. Employers will always be looking for the right candidate to have the necessary soft skills that would enable them to excel in the role.
Focus on those skills that are relevant to the role and really talk them up in your CV and covering letter. For example, when working in customer service it’s important that you have good communication and problem solving skills. Including relevant skills can help demonstrate what other important attributes you could bring to the role.
Take a look at the following job advert for a customer service based call centre position:
While the first few lines may sound a little intimidating if you have little to no previous experience, it’s important to take a look at the full job advertisement. Note how they are looking for someone to brighten up the customer’s day and help them get to where they want to be. This is something most of us do naturally when dealing with customers, it’s all about understanding their needs a finding a way to help them.
At the end of the advert it mentions the skills they are looking for. Notice how they don’t mention previous experience? As long as you are confident and friendly over the phone, enjoy helping customers and are happy to work in a team and call centre environment, then you are good to go! Plus, you get all the training and support you need to get you started. These types of jobs are the perfect starting point if you have limited experience and are happy to go into a customer service based role.
Write an excellent covering letter
It’s times like these when covering letters can make a big difference to your chances of getting invited for an interview. Have a thorough read through the job advert and description to get a good idea of exactly what it is they are looking for from their ideal candidate.
Make sure that you mention relevant skills and experience and really get across your enthusiasm for working, not only in this role, but also for the company. Do a bit of research on the company and tell them why you are excited by the opportunity. You want to get across what you can bring to the role, so focus on your positives.
Discuss extracurricular activities
There is a lot you can gain from hobbies and other extracurricular activities that would be of benefit to you in a job. This is particularly relevant when it comes to gaining soft skills. You may have learnt team working skills from playing for a community sports team, or developed organisational skills from organising events at school. If you have only just finished school and do not have any work experience, then be sure to expand on these in a way that is relevant to the job you are applying for.
Try to gain more skills and experience
If you are finding that you are having a lot of trouble getting a job and have very little to put on your CV then it’s worth trying to gain some additional experience in other areas. Try and do some low or unpaid work experience or do some volunteering. It can only be on a part time basis so you can still look for work in the meantime, or even just on a short term basis. You never know, it could even lead to a permanent position in the long term or get you a recommendation for something else.
The other option is to earn money online by doing freelance work. There are various online jobs related to a multitude of industries, so it’s worth taking a look at different freelancing websites to see if there is anything that you might find interesting. If you have a skill or service to sell, you can make money online using Fiverr and use the work you submit to build up your portfolio. There are plenty of creative ways you can gain additional skills and experience that will help set you aside from the competition.
The main thing for how to get a job is not to give up on your job search and keep motivating yourself to develop your experience and skills for a resume. The more you learn, the better your chances of landing a job.