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What is the best way to find work if you don't have any experience?

Jobs that I have applied to don't want to consider me because I've never worked before. #human-resources

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Leslie’s Answer

Hi Julie!


You're right job experience is SO important to get a job, which may feel like a never ending loop of frustration. However, don't worry you can build the experiences you need to (eventually) get the job you want.


First of all, don't be afraid to take an entry level job that might be another industry or field just to build you work experience. The available jobs (and there are jobs out there) might not be want what you want to do forever (like maybe dishwashing or cleaning), but starting where you can will help you demonstrate to future employers that you are responsible and hard working enough to get and hold a job. You may even find that if you work hard at an entry level job, you'll have opportunities to move up and even further build your resume. If you're having a hard time finding ANY job at all, then consider doing volunteer work (local animal shelters are almost always looking for volunteers). You can then build out your resume with volunteer jobs that show you have some experience with working.


This leads me to the second part of my response. Getting a job is essentially a sales job in itself! You need to sell yourself (and your skills and experiences) to potential employers. Think about the life experiences you have had, maybe you were a team captain for a sport in high school or led a school club--both those could be listed on a resume to demonstrate your leadership experience. Have you had to organization group projects? Great, you can demonstrate organizational skills! Try to think outside the box in thinking about your skills and qualifications. Remember that the purpose of putting together a resume is to sell the prospective employer on what you can deliver to their company.


Finally, get help. Reach out to people to help you practice selling yourself in an interview and to help you with writing your resume in a way that highlights your skills without stretching anything (it's very important to be honest) or going overboard. Everything gets better with practice and trying to get a job is no different. When you have unsuccessful interviews (or maybe don't even get an interview), check in with others for their feedback on why that happened (did you go for a job that you weren't qualified for? were you too nervous in an interview?). Try to stay open-minded when they do provide you with their feedback; it can sometimes be hard to hear, but if you do listen with an open mind, it will likely help you. You might be wondering who you could reach out to for this type of help. Teachers are one option if you're in school and your school may even have a career resource center that specializes in this type of advice. You could also ask someone who is simply older and in their career, whose advice you respect. Don't be afraid to ask for help; people are usually happy to help someone who really wants to learn.


Best of luck!
Leslie

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Lucila’s Answer

Hi Julie,
It is really frustrating, for sure. I changed fields in my career and it was hard to get a job first when I didn't have experience doing that before.

I agree with what a lot of people said here: try for an internship/part time job maybe or even volunteering to gain that experience to add to your CV.

But my biggest advise would be: sell yourself! Sometimes, it's not about the experience really, but what you know. Focus on personal projects you have that highlight your expertise, add those to your cv. Think of skills you'd need to do the job you want and include those as well.

I've been on the hiring side as well, and I can promise you, it's all about character and the desire to do the job.

Best of luck!
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Dennis’s Answer

Hi Julie!
This can be a frustrating moment for many people, but also a very empowering situation as well. The most important question to answer is what kind of work, field, specialty are you looking for right now or hoping to eventually work in? As Leslie stated taking an entry level position can actually be a great starting place because you need to gain that "work" experience, while also trying to build a skill set that directly or indirectly compliments were you would like to end up professionally. Entry level roles can also open up doors or expose you to fields you may not have previously considered.


I would also recommend internships!
Google https://www.google.com/about/careers/students/


Facebook, Amazon, eBay, among many other companies offer amazing opportunities through internship programs. At Google we offer amazing opportunities to work in everything from sales, marketing, engineering, recruiting, and legal. I would encourage you to explore these different companies and all the great chances they offer.


In addition, do you have a LinkedIn account? Do not underestimate how much that network can help you! All of my jobs since leaving the Army have come from a recruiter finding me on LinkedIn. Connect with people on LinkedIn that are recruiters and especially other students that are in a similar position as you.


Please remember just about everyone starts from your position, I know I did! When I look back on where I started I would have never imagined my path that started 15 years ago would have led me to Silicon Valley. I learned many things over all of these years and the good and bad have helped me land where I am today! I wish you the best of luck and find me on LinkedIn!!

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Natasha’s Answer

Hi Julie,


Great question! It's frustrating (I know) to get that experience employers ask for but the best thing you can do is to have strong internship experience. It's something that many, if not all employers look at when trying to fill entry-level roles.


Apart from that, I also encourage college students to try to get a part-time job. It doesn't have to be your dream job... but something that reflects you are an ambious person. It shows you have the ability to juggle your classwork but also have the time management skills to squeeze in a few hours of part-time work. One of the easiest ways to do this (from my experience) is to seek opportunities on your college campus- the options are often endless and extremely convenient since you are already on campus. You could even request to be a Teacher's Assistsnt or help out at your campus computer lab.


Lastly, research assistantship is also another good way to get some 'experience'- it again shows you are ambitious and passionate about learning and getting involved in ways beyond the classroom.


Best of luck!


Natasha

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Faez’s Answer

If you are in university or college, take on a part-time job if you can. You can gain valuable skills and tie it back to any role you are applying for.

Internships are another way to get your foot in the door. I'd recommend looking for volunteer opportunities in the field you are interested in.

If you are interested in sales or customer support, you don't need much experience if any to get an entry-level role.

All the best!
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Nancy’s Answer

It's a good idea to try for things that other first time job seekers do - like work at a grocery store, a donut shop, or ice cream shop. You can get good customer service experience that will be useful going forward. Or if you are interested in swimming get certified as a Red Cross Life Guard and then you can work at a local pool or beach.
You can also find volunteer opportunities through your guidance office and gain experience that way, so when you apply for a position you will have some experience to all back on!
Good luck!!

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