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What is the best startegy for Landing a job with zero work experience?

#first-job #job #career #internship #career-development

Thank you comment icon That's a great question! May I ask if you are an HS student or a university student? I'm looking to build an online network, but I'm only in grade 10, so looking for students like me is difficult. I appreciate this question, as I'm looking for an internship, preferably at the end of grade 11. Aun
Thank you comment icon I'm actually a university student in my second year but we are definitely in a similar position with no work experience. Abigail
Thank you comment icon Ah very interesting. May I ask what field you are looking for an internship in? Additionally, do you have a LinkedIn profile? I'm planning on obtaining a co-op credit through the summer, and depending on the field you're in, you might be able to link up with the company I will be working at. Aun
Thank you comment icon That's really thoughtful of you, thank you. I'm studying applied linguistics and discourse studies. I don't have a LinkedIn profile as of yet but you can contact me here if possible. Abigail

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Christopher’s Answer

Employers want to see examples that prove you know your stuff. Whether you're going after an internship of a full-time position, if you have no prior work experience in the field, then you should highlight class (and especially personal) projects.

If you're into software, make a couple applications that you might find useful, and make them public on Github so recruiters and see that you've worked with certain tech before.

If you're into media or design, work on a portfolio so you can showcase your work.

If this isn't as applicable to your field, just do your best to always be learning. In most cases, the hard skills you acquire in school aren't what you'll use on the job. The ability to learn new skills quickly, research and solve problems, and communicate solutions, these are the skills that an employer is looking for in an intern/new grad/entry level employee.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for answering! acquiring practical skills and making a portfolio is a great idea. Abigail
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Simeon’s Answer

In general, to land a job with little to no experience, you'll have to accept a lower wage job or try to network your way into a better paying job. Work on developing skills that could land you a job as well, whether it's lifeguarding, barista work, or software skills. For more technical skills, you might want to take a look at SkillShare and see what skills you can develop there.
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Raegan’s Answer

Hi Abigail,

There are many companies out there who understand that you have to be given the chance to get experience in order to have experience. It is true that you may have to start with lower pay depending on the field. One thing that may help could be a temporary-contract position. That way you can get some experience, but you aren’t tied to a certain pay amount and can advance yourself after the contract is up. This is what I did. I accepted low pay, then after 3 months went to a temp-contract that paid more, and now I’m back at the original place making more than the two places combined.

I recommend being yourself and being honest. Just because you haven’t done something before doesn’t mean you won’t be excellent at it. A lot of employers understand your explanations for not having the experience. People would rather hire someone who is excited and passionate about a job that can work well with others versus someone who has all of the experience in the world, but is hard to work with.

Good luck, you got this!
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Blake’s Answer

Hey Abigail,

I would recommend trying to land an internship. It might not always be a paid internship, but it allows you to experience a job in the field that interests you.

Thanks,
Blake
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Jessica’s Answer

Hi Abigail,

Great question! Just remember that everyone has to start somewhere. I would suggest pulling some experience from school projects. I think a lot of the projects and classwork that is done in school can be applicable to many jobs. Also, make sure to prepare for interviews. Practice, practice, practice! Be prepared to have some examples of how your life/school experiences could help you in the job you are applying for. Letters of recommendations could also be helpful.

Good luck!

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Kruti’s Answer

A company that offers an internship is a great start to show your ability and to land a potential job.
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Kenji’s Answer

Hello

At 16 or 17 you may need to volunteer at first if you have a very specific field in mind. IF you are looking for paid work exposure or income then that could be a little different. The job market is hot for both entry level full time and part time.

Start by:
1. Selecting two or three job boards and defining an entry level search --specific field/position or not.
2. Make a list of all your contacts - 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree. 1st degree are live friends, teachers, family, neighbors, coaches. 2nd Degree being people in your area you have less direct contact. 3rd degree could be people on line in your field of interest.
3. Go back to the select job boards and start learning to fill in applications, this will prompt you to improve your resume and cover letter, fill properly the fields and submit application.
4. Any recruiter name on the job posts could be searched on linkedin and you send a note to introduce formally letting them know you applied. No pressure.
5. Tap all your friends with an email letting them know you are "looking" and would appreciate any leads. The email could be professional sounding and formal.
6. Tap all your 2nd degree in orbit influencers and decision makers with a similar email or letter.
7. Start to add and develop 3rd degree contacts (like you would if you are in direct sales.)
8. Follow up on all leads. Don't expect anyone else to do it for you. Be very professional always.
9. If you have a very specific field of interest and have opening to get into a heavy hitting operation in that field but they have no actual budget keep open the idea of say limited period volunteer or unpaid internship to sweeten the pot and give you time to impress if given a chance to get in the door.
10. Once you are in strive to make yourself useful always until there's perceived reliability in you on the part of your seniors.
11. If it doesn't work out. Try again. Never give up!


Thank you comment icon Thank you kenji. I really appreciate you breaking it down in such an approachable way. I'll be sure to give this a try. Abigail
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Rachael’s Answer

Hi Abigail,

Everyone needs to start somewhere. I would suggest highlighting your experiences. The point of work experience is to showcase your skills in action. I could say I'm good at project management but unless I have an example of how I implemented that skill successfully, how are you to know I actually am? Now if I said I was a wedding coordinator for 200 guests - you'd have a better idea of how my project management skills were used effectively and efficiently. Work experience can also serve and an opportunity for growth. For example if I worked at a drive-thru I could showcase my skills to reflect accounting and finance, conducting accurate financial transactions with customers and maintaining a balanced cash drawer as well as management, collaboratively working with and monitoring team members across all levels to provide exemplary service to customers on demand. These are meant as very simplified examples to show you work experiences can enable people to elaborate on their skill sets with concrete examples. Do you have volunteer experience you could use in place? Are there examples within your education experience you could use to portray some of the skills you want to highlight? Did you/do you hold a work-study position at your school (not sure if you're in college)? Is there an opportunity to obtain an internship (again not sure if you're in college)? If none of these are viable, is it possible for you to obtain an entry level position related or unrelated to your field in order to get some experience under your belt/on your resume? Perhaps try using your network in order to identify opportunities that might fit - family, friends, professors, faculty members.

Best of luck,
Rachael
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the Response Rachel. I do have some volunteering experience but that was from High school. Abigail
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Tyzhanae’s Answer

Internship and letters of recommendations also help.
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