Fresh graduates or those who want to transition from one job to another often face a roadblock. When they finally find their dream job, they usually have to question whether they are right for it or not. After all, some jobs require years of experience before the hiring manager can even take a second look at your resume. So how are you going to impress a hiring manager and, eventually, a prospective employer who will interview you for a dream job even though you have no experience whatsoever?
Don’t fret. Plenty of people end up doing (and loving) their jobs that they didn’t even study for. They become successful in industries that they didn’t start with in the first place. Have you ever heard of a friend who transitioned into banking and finance despite being terrible at math in college? These are not exceptions. When you know what the employers are looking for and you are ready to answer their call, they’ll easily see your potential and decide to invest in you.
Get Accredited and Certified
How do you join a construction business, for example, if you have no prior educational background and experience? With enough credits, you can take a CSCS test that will give you the accreditation to join different industry groups. You will learn a lot from the experts in the community. You can mention this in your resume so that the hiring manager will take a second look at it. Once that job interview happens, it is up to you to wow a prospective employer not only by brandishing your test results but by actually knowing about the job and tasks on hand.
Build Your Skills
When you are looking for a job, find out what qualifications the companies are looking for. Even if you don’t plan to apply for all those jobs, knowing the common skills that employers want will give you an idea of how to build your own lacking skills. For example, the company you want to apply for is looking for someone with search engine optimization (SEO) skills. Though you already know about traditional marketing approaches, you can take a look at online lessons about SEO and social media marketing.
Once you are up for the job interview, make sure to mention to the employer the steps you took to arm yourself with the skills they need. Be ready to demonstrate the skills and knowledge you learned about the industry. Remember that prospective employers won’t be happy simply hearing about your efforts to gain the skills; they want to know that you can apply them, too.
Maximize Your College Experience
It is stressful to see entry-level positions requiring three to five years of experience. Don’t let this get you down, however. Think about all the activities you joined in college. Don’t those count for something? They do. List down all that you did—from volunteering and internships to summer jobs. If you joined senior-level classes or big research projects, you could maximize that experience, too.
What have you learned from joining these organizations, for example? Put these in your resume. Position yourself so that your experience will reflect your skills and knowledge about the post that you are applying for. List down your strongest skills and biggest accomplishments to date. No matter how “small” you think they are, a smart employer will see the benefits of hiring you because of them.
Find Someone to Back You Up
You will be surprised that a friend of a cousin or someone even closer to you is working for the same company. Why don’t you ask for help? Relationships and advocacies will also work to your advantage in the hiring process. Research shows that you are 10 times more likely to land a job if someone has thrown in a good word for you with the boss.
Aside from that, you can also seek advice from friends and family who are working in the same industry. These are their personal insights about the industry that you want to join. You may even show them your application so that they can give ideas on how to bump it up.
Although experience is important to land a job, this shouldn’t be the only determinant to qualify for your dream job. The skills you gained from your internships and summer jobs will count, too. As long as you know how to maximize what little experience you have in gaining the skills you need, any employer will be lucky to have you in the workforce.