Updated: Nov 8
I earned my Bachelor’s and graduated with no real work experience in my early twenties. I enjoyed my college undergraduate years and was involved, volunteered, and worked part-time at a bookstore. But the sad truth was that my options were limited as I looked to get started in my career. Especially when the job posting ended with “3 years experience required”.
So, how do you start your career when you don’t have any work experience?
As a first-gen professional and Career Confidence Coach, I have created five easy tips for you to get started and go after your dream job.
#1 Tailor Your Resume
Your resume speaks for itself! So, what does your resume say about you?
Make sure you research the job description and company background and consider how you would fit into the role. Then, use those keywords to help develop your resume and cover letter tailored to each job you are applying for.
If you have no work experience, you can’t afford to be general in your resume. However, even if you think you don’t have direct experience, you will need to be creative in adding to your experience.
It is important to remember that when you apply for a job online, it will be processed by an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). You can use JobScan to help you see instant analytics of your resume to see if it is optimized for ATS.
Continue reading this article to find out what areas you should highlight.
#2 Highlight academic experience
If you are a recent graduate, your academic experience is considered your work experience. Therefore, this is the time when you can use your “full-time student” as your pass.
But what do you include? Highlight special projects, presentations, and internships you completed during your educational experience. I would avoid simply listing class titles since it is generic and doesn’t provide insight into your learning outcomes.
#3 Take courses and get certifications
Start building your resume by adding more soft skills to your experience. You should research your dream job and find out what areas/keywords are repetitive to determine which soft skills are essential in the field.
#4 Network as much as possible
It is vital to make connections with others who are confident with who they are professionally and people within your field of interest. There are different ways that you can meet people and start networking with others:
Join Social Media Groups, Get Connected with @CareerConfidentMujer
Create a LinkedIn Profile & Add your Network
If you struggle with confidence and speaking up about your career goals, meet with @CareerConfidentMujer for a one-on-one consultation session.
#5 Email companies that you are interested in directly.
Research shows that 70% of all jobs are not published publicly on job sites, and as much as 80% of jobs are filled through personal and professional connections.
So, what does that mean for you?
First, you need to research different dream companies, look at their website, and see if you align with their mission. You should have a cover letter, which is an exciting letter demonstrating that you are aware there aren’t any openings, but with your skill sets (describe them) that you will be able to reach the company mission.
Look at the company directory, email the supervisor of a department you are interested in working in, HR, or the CEO, and think outside the box. Make sure to proofread your email and ensure accuracy with Grammarly.
Always remember that even though you might not meet all the requirements, it doesn’t mean that you will always be in this position. Getting your foot in the door is vital, and you can climb the career ladder from there!
Work with a Confidence Career Coach to help you understand your career development, career confidence, interview tips, and much more!