Is there a job you want, but you have limited experience in the subject area? Whether you’re straight out of high school or college and trying to dive headlong into your dream job or even if you’re trying to build a basic resume, there are several strategies you can use to get your foot in the door with limited experience.
DEMONSTRATE YOUR WILLINGNESS TO LEARN
While some employers may view your limited experience as a negative, others may view it as a positive. Why? Because it means you are an open slate and haven’t developed bad habits that need to be corrected. In some cases, your lack of professional knowledge, training, or experience can make you an excellent candidate for employers who take an active role in the growth and development of their workforce. The tough part is convincing the company to take a chance on you.
If possible, try to translate experience from your everyday life into the workforce. Highlighting a lifelong passion for working on cars, for example, translates well when applying to many different jobs in the automotive manufacturing field. Drawing relevant comparisons between the job at hand and the experience you do have – regardless of its origin – is the key here.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR POST-ACADEMIC DEVELOPMENT
It’s great to highlight a recent degree or certification on your resume – but what if it doesn’t relate to your current career? In that case, try to highlight any post-academic development you might have, including anything that is separate from your primary degree. Not only does this show initiative on your part, but it’s also a great way to break the ice during your initial interview if you have limited experience.
HIGHLIGHT YOUR SOFT SKILLS
Many employers don’t just look for workers who have prior experience in the field. In fact, many put tremendous value into soft skills like dedication and dependability. Highlighting these traits on your application or resume – and providing specific examples – is bound to win you some bonus points during that initial interview, even if you have limited experience in the field.
Again, demonstrate how your soft skills are relevant to the job at hand. If the job involves working closely with other coworkers from different departments, discuss any committees or team projects you were involved in at previous jobs. If the company is smaller and in a growth mode, demonstrate your versatility and willingness to learn new skills.
The current job market is changing rapidly, and good people are needed in a variety of capacities. By taking using these tips, you will have a better chance of landing the job you want with limited experience.