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How to stand out with lack of experience for my prospective field?

It’s the medical field and emphasizes a lot of hands-on experience but I’m unable to get any because of COVID.

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6 answers

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hello! I think many individuals are facing this situation; personally I was volunteering in the ER before COVID and has also had to take a break. It definitely is difficult to step away from patient time especially when applying for the medical field, however it doesn't mean that one cannot pursue other opportunities to help individuals and stand out. Right now not being able to get hands-on experience is very understandable but one can still showcase their efforts to help individuals in other ways. Some ways to still showcase your efforts to help others can be:
1).Check up with your neighbors especially the elderly ones who may have a difficult time shopping or getting errands completed
2).See if you can tutor students or help provide skills in their education; many students are facing difficult times in school because of remote learning so helping out a student with his or her grades would be a tremendous effort for their success!
3).See if you can volunteer at your local food drive (if you can safely) or donate food to a food drive and be in touch with your community.

There are also remote volunteering opportunities online so I would definitely check them out too; I will attach 2 website links below that lists some opportunities.

Remember these are difficult times and it is important to also practice self care and stay safe!
Best of luck!

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi! Since it's medical I'm assuming medical school, that being said experience can come from many different places. Having a part time job, being a tutor, or other things can provide much for medicine. However, it is also important to be able to know why you want to do medicine. For medical school the admissions committee is looking for a show don't tell approach in your application therefore having meaningful experiences and volunteering and interacting hands on with patients will make the difference when it comes to applying. Due to COVID it is difficult to get patient interaction as well as shadowing-which is also important for medical school- however I would first analyze the situation you may be in. Now let's say you have over 100 hours of clinical, 50 hours of shadowing, and you were a coach for a minor league for 2 years, just a broad nonspecific example, COVID may have affected your application this year as to limit your abilities in getting more experience but if you feel prepared and have significant experiences as well as a strong GPA (3.6+), strong MCAT (508+) then applying would be favorable. It's important to distinguish if COVID has just affected this year and you already had strong and meaningful experiences or if you didn't to begin with and it made it harder. Now going with the second option, if you feel that you don't have enough experiences I would wait; medical school is very competitive and you would rather strengthen and feel confident in your application when applying. Give yourself a year or two to get more clinical experience, nonclinical as well, shadowing, research, basically immersing yourself into medicine and proving that this is definitely the field you want to do. I hope this was helpful- if it is for another field and I misinterpreted as medicine I would recommend the same with getting experiences that demonstrate your passion for the field you are interested in!

I wish you the best!
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Alicia’s Answer

I love this question. Ok seriously, all you have to do is look up open job postings in your desired field. Look at each of their requirements and reword them to reflect your experience. So quick example- Job post: "must be able to manage multiple projects" your write: "Confidence manage multiple projects effectively"....why can you say this? easy! you can think about what you're going to do for the day while getting ready right? Or all students have had multiple different classes with different teachers all asking different things on different subjects.

Have confidence in yourself and KNOW that they will have to give you on the job training about the multiple projects that you work on. p.s. no matter where you go training will be the first step of your new job.

Another thing, bring a binder to help remind you and visually show them that you know what you're talking about. So I would bring an example of project work you did in class or an example when you solved a difficult problem. Please LOVE visuals during interviews.

Lastly, again, BE CONFIDENT! I have landed multiple jobs when the hiring manager says "other people were more qualified than you but you knocked our socks off with your positive attitude" ;)
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Lila’s Answer

It's okay not to have direct experience in your field, especially when starting out. My tip is that you can spin any experience to relate to your field. It's all how you spin it, and show how your skills can transfer from previous jobs to the field you are interested in.

For example: If you are looking into being a nurse but have only had baby sitting experience. You can highlight how you care for others, and pay attention to their every needs. You can show that you are creative when problem solving and have the ability to motivate others. You can show that you work well under pressure and this relates to nursing because this too will require high attention when the environment is chaotic.

Another example: Your only experience is a barista at a coffee shop, but you are looking at being in finance. You can show that you have organizational skills, can multi-task, build up team morale and go above and beyond with pet projects.

If your experience is not direct to the field, you can spin anything to be relevant.
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Deepthi’s Answer


Lack of experience is a problem most of the people has to deal with at the beginning of the professional career. Based on my experience employers look for far more qualities than just the experience itself to hire a candidate.

Below are the traits I believe are equally important to showcase in interviews to land in a job
Cultural fit, Right attitude, Integrity, Openness, Eagerness to learn etc.

Demonstrating all of the above-mentioned qualities is key in every step of the interview of the process

You can gain practical knowledge by singing up for volunteering opportunities in NGO’s in related fields.
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Bill’s Answer

The obvious 1st step is to select a position you're qualified for (even if those qualifications don't come with years of experience) or, at a minimum, you feel you can be successful at. The next piece is to cater your answer to your own life experience. Give examples of how your own experiences, however limited, qualify you for the position. For me, the key is to be specific with those examples.