The Experience Problem: Applying for Jobs Without Experience

In a modern-day economy, it is hard trying to find jobs. It is even harder if you do not have any work experience on your resume. This usually applies to people ages sixteen to eighteen trying to find a way into the work force, but may apply to people in their twenties. Since our workforce has become a very competitive environment, most employers are looking for applicants that have experience or a specialization in a particular area. Most of these experiences may be management experience, sales experience, or being able to speak a second language. If you are new to the workforce, the possibility of having any of these qualifications is not even there. There are a few things you should remember, however, that may help you succeed in obtaining the job that you want or need.

First of all, most employers list job requirements as more of a wishlist as opposed to a demands list. Sometimes, you may have past experiences that may not be exactly what they are asking for, but could show that you know how to perform the tasks that they want you to do. A good example of this is working charity events. You may have helped manage an event at a local charity organization, which is not necessarily a work experience but does qualify as a leadership experience. Even if you do not meet a set years of experience, any experience you may have may qualify you depending on the quality of work you gave while performing the job.

If the employer lists certain skills as a requirement, such as “three years experience with so and so program,” you may still also qualify by having experience with a similar program. This mostly applies to computer based skills, but can also apply to machinery. Maybe you helped your uncle on his farm for a summer, and you can drive a tractor. This can be translated as being able to properly use machinery.

When it comes to the interview, you will want to be ready for any question that is thrown at you. More than likely, they will ask you about why you want the particular job and how you would rate your work ethic. Most typical answers such as “I need the job” will only have you back in line applying for other jobs. You will need to show the employer that you are special, and that you will be bringing something specific and vital to his or her workforce. This can be done by showing you have excellent work ethic, speaking clear English, and even dressing appropriately for the interview. Most importantly, make sure the interviewer knows who you are. A strong presence is a vital part of every modern work environment.

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