Ahh the Age-Old Conundrum: How Do You Get an Entry-Level Job with No Experience?
So you’re looking for a job but you have no experience… good luck!
Have you ever gone for an entry-level, basic junior role and been told that they went with ‘someone that had more experience?’ It’s so frustrating! If a job was truly entry-level, surely the person with the right amount of experience would get it?
Unfortunately, every employer would rather take on the more experienced candidate.
So where does that leave you? In a world where you need experience to get most jobs, where do you start?
1 – Pick a Direction
The first step to finding a job with no experience is to pick a direction. None of the tips after this will work if you’re not getting specific. Maybe you want your first marketing job? Or maybe sales is your thing? Whatever it is, stay true to it.
When you figure out a clear goal, you can really focus your efforts.
If you have absolutely no idea what job you’re looking for, I recommend having a browse. Look at some job ads, watch some YouTube videos and do your research. Then pick something that takes your fancy!
2 -Assess Yourself
I don’t mean to get basic with this but look into your own experience first. You never know what you might find to pop on your CV!
I was talking with a friend who thought he had no experience at all… but he had just forgotten it!
And forgetting is easy to do, but no matter if it was a summer job 5 years ago or a side hustle you do now, it’s worth mentioning on your CV. When you have no solid experience you can’t afford to be picky!
Now that we’ve delved into the corners of your memory, let’s look into your education. If you’ve only got A-Levels, you’ve got skills from that. If you’ve got a degree, you’ve got double the skills. Seriously.
Don’t forget to mention:
- Soft skills like self-motivation, independence, work ethic, research and public speaking.
- Any projects you’ve worked on! Mentioning projects and giving real links is a great way to give employers something concrete.
- Technology you can use. Have you used Photoshop? What about Excel?
- If you’ve been in any leadership positions. I’m talking about university society committees, open day ambassadors and mentorship roles.
3 – Train Up!
Ok – now that we know exactly where we are and the skills we have, let’s improve!
The internet is full of good free training courses that are going to make your job applications look amazing. I recommend taking a DigitalGrads course but there are loads of options out there!
Top tip: while you take the course see if you can also start a free trial of some kind of industry software. This is where your research from before comes in. In the job ads you looked at, lots of them probably mentioned some kind of software or programme that you needed to know. If you see lots of overlap across job ads, it’s really worth getting familiar with the software!
Doing this while taking a free course on the subject area will help you become a much stronger candidate. Hopefully the course will inspire you to create a project, run a test or simulate a work situation in the software. This is invaluable stuff for your applications!
4 – Can’t Get Employed? Volunteer
Now this one can be tricky and I’m not saying you should do unpaid work. What I am saying is that maybe you have a family friend with a business or maybe a local charity that could use some help.
Volunteer a few hours of your time every week to helping them out!
This is a great way to instantly go from no experience to most qualified candidate.
I’d recommend reaching out over the phone or through email and just volunteering your time. Maybe you specifically want to help them with their admin, website or socials. Or maybe you just want to help them out wherever they need it.
Explain that, your skills and availability and watch them jump on your offer!
5 – Keep Applying
And remember, the key to getting a job is to keep going. Don’t give up!
Some people have to send out 50 job applications and some only have to send 10. It’s all about luck, but a little dedication and time will get you there. I promise.
If you’re looking for more entry-level job opportunities, have you tried DigitalGrads? Our internships and full-time jobs span UK tech and media companies and would be perfect for you.