So you're looking for a job but don’t have any real world work experience? You’re not alone. Many graduates each year become caught in the same catch-22: no-one will hire you because you have no experience, but you can’t get experience because no-one will hire you. Well, luckily for you there is a way out of this trap. We’ve pulled together a few tips and tricks to help you bridge the experience gap and improve your job prospects.
Emphasise your Skills
When employers say they want experience, what they really mean is they want to know you have “skills”. In particular, the skills required to performed in the job. If you don’t have any relevant work experience you should focus on emphasising your soft and hard skills. This could be skills such as a programming languages you’ve learnt (hard skills) or soft skills such as leadership and communication skills. Your goal here is to highlight your greatest strengths and demonstrate why they’re relevant.
Participating in sports, clubs and volunteer opportunities not only help build communication, teamwork and organisation skills, but also show an employer you’re committed (and that’s important!). So, think about all the times you've captained a sports team or been treasurer for your university club. You've probably learned a little something about leadership or managing finances. Highlight these skills to employers as they’re equally as valuable as work experience.
Get your own experience
Experience doesn't always have to be work experience. You can gain relevant experience by writing a blog, getting involved in online communities or even running a start-up. Employers are impressed with candidates who take the initiative and time out to get at least some kind of experience. This is particularly important in creative roles. If you want to work in Social Media, show that you can do so by building your own brand on Twitter or Instagram. The key is to work out what types of experiences you need to best prepare you for the role or industry.