Job searching can be very frustrating for those who lack experience. Postings often seem like catch-22s: entry-level positions require experience, but you can’t get experience without a job. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a career jumper, there are plenty of ways to make sure you still land a great job. In this article, we’ll list some suggestions for getting the job you’re passionate about, despite having limited experience.
Be confident, but humble in the interview
Confidence is crucial in the interviewing process. You need to be sure of your abilities and experiences in order to market yourself as an asset to the organization. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that there’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Find a balance between the two and be self-assured but also realistic. Use real examples of your success to portray your skills instead of just talking yourself up.
It’s also important to be curious and ask questions. The interview isn’t simply a test of your abilities, it should be a conversation between you and the interviewer. Show your genuine interest by asking questions throughout the meeting, not just the end.
If you’re going a few months without work experience, it may be time to consider volunteering. Not only does this allow you to show your interests outside of the office, but it also gives you real-world, transferrable skills. Time spent in various volunteer projects will show that you excel at teamwork, time management and personal accountability, three skills that are useful in any field and can even compensate for a lack of professional experience. There are countless volunteer opportunities in every city; just find the one that best suits your abilities and get to work!
Attend networking events
For better or worse, a lot of the hiring process is based on who you know. Try to attend as many industry events as possible and begin to form relationships with those in the field. You don’t need a loaded resume to meet people and sip some drinks. Plus, this will not only help you expand your network and future job prospects, but it can also provide invaluable insider understanding of the industry.
Be sure to always wear professional clothing to these events and carry a few copies of your resume just in case. By nature, networking events can be a bit awkward, but the more you attend, the easier it will become.
The job search can be extremely stressful for everyone involved. As hard as it may sound, however, it’s important to remain calm throughout the entire process. Anxiety and worry can quickly lead to making avoidable mistakes in interviews, or, even worse, settling into a job that isn’t the right fit. It can also take a serious toll on your mental health.
Make sure you’re taking time to look after your wellbeing at the end of every long day of submitting applications, job searching or interviewing. Along with a little socializing or healthy eating, a solid night’s sleep can melt away stress and help you feel energized in the morning. Try to use updated sheets, pillows and mattress to maintain a productive sleeping environment, especially the night before an interview. This way, you should wake up every day feeling refreshed and mentally prepared for the day.
The bottom line: be positive, but realistic. Consider the things you have to offer and where they can fit into an organization, then prove it. While you may be lacking in professional experience, you can still highlight your soft skills and education, or the ways that personal experience has prepared you for the job. No one is expected to know everything, especially in entry-level positions. Just stay confident in your abilities and keep pushing. You’ll find the right fit soon enough!