About to start on your job search or are you already looking for a job, but getting nowhere? Work experience is key and if you are lacking that, people have told you that’s the end of your job search? Well, it doesn’t have to be. I will tell you how to job search like a pro – with no work experience.
Firstly, work experience is important. If you have a chance to do work experience – i.e., if you are at university or planning to take a year out, do so. If you have graduated or are a young job seeker, then let’s move on from the fact that you do not have work experience.
So, how do you job search without work experience? Here are 5 steps to help you prepare well and polish up your personal brand to offer a high value to employers.
1. Re-write Your Resume – You Are Still A Professional
Not having work experience does not mean you are less of a professional. It’s not like you will turn up for an interview in shorts if you do not have work experience, right? Then why treat your resume like that? I often hear jobseekers complain their resume is not good as they don’t have experience. Experience is one part of the resume, but you are looking for a job and a lot of the information on your resume could help the recruiter make a decision.
Get your resume out, or start writing one with our free resume template. Put your academic achievements on top. If you have been part of a society or group, then show that and write a line or two about what you added to it or gained from that experience. Treat your resume as seriously as possible in your job search. If you write your resume well and make sure you do not make these basic mistakes, you will have started off well.
2. Create a LinkedIn Profile – Job Search Like A Pro
If you’re still thinking that LinkedIn is only for those that already have jobs, think again. LinkedIn (1)LinkedIn is a professional network with recruiters constantly looking for job seekers on it. In the end, it is a searchable database and not being on it means you’re seriously missing out. By being on LinkedIn you are showing an online resume and character for yourself.
You can get started on LinkedIn with these 7 steps. It is really very easy and you instantly put yourself into a marketplace for professionals. And no, the entry isn’t only for those that have work experience. LinkedIn even caters to students in high school, so it’s not about work experience – it’s about looking professional and thinking about your career.
3. Understand Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS)
Huh, what is this?
This is what your chances of getting a job really depend on in a lot of the cases. Some employers get up to 100 applications for each vacancy. Now, if there are 10 vacancies, we are talking about 1000 applications. When you apply online the system (a.k.a. recruiting robots) sifts through all applications and ranks them against each other (before it reaches the human recruiter). If you use the right keywords and description, the system will care less about your experience and rank you well.
It’s not that easy, but you can find more detailed information on applicant tracking systems on Career Geek Blog. But not knowing that such systems exist makes your job search difficult. You could’ve worked for Goldman Sachs – it doesn’t matter if you don’t use the right words. At the same time – if you know the job description well and apply the keywords in the job description attentively, knowing about such systems could help you fare well.
4. 70-30 Rule On Job Sites-Social Media
You will read and hear a lot about how to job search on social media. That is all correct and true, but let’s be realistic. Unless your Twitter bio reads “Director of Communication… or Founder of…”, it is highly unlikely that you will be scooped up by a company. So spend 70% of your job search time on job sites and 30% on social media. Social media job hunting is good for those that have a job and are just looking for something more. If you don’t have a job yet and getting into the job search with no work experience, your first stop should be traditional job sites.
And in almost 99% of the cases you pay nothing to be on a job site – upload your CV and start applying for jobs, simple as that.
5. If You Like Doing Something, Do It More
No, I am not being philosophical. If there is something you like doing, then do it more in your job search (of course, as long as it’s legal and sensible). I hear job seekers stop a lot of things in their personal life purely because they are worried about their job search and prospects. If you like cooking, knitting, writing, travelling, creating apps, doing Excel tricks, etc., keep doing it. If possible, document it on a blog. This way you are building a portfolio and showing that given a chance you can manage well and keep things organised.
Doing things you love keeps you engaged in doing something and takes your mind away from job search stress. I won’t say it’s not there, but you need not have to lose your life over it.
That’s it really. These 5 steps show how to job search like a pro without work experience. And as I learnt from a recent LinkedIn article, Content Matters (on a resume) But Character Matters More. Be nice and be confident. Good luck!