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Catch 22 - no experience

Posted on: 17 Jun 14


Getting a job that needs experience you don’t have

Getting a job that needs experience you don’t have

It’s a common problem. You want to get a job in a given field, but you have no direct experience, and all the job adverts say "experience needed", so how do you get experience without getting a job - Here are a few tips that might help:

Qualifications - before we start - make sure your qualifications are up to scratch - clearly if you don't have the relevant qualifications OR experience, you're going to be fighting a hard battle!

Entry Level Roles - Firstly many companies or agencies advertise "entry level" roles. These roles generally need little experience, but usually still need suitable qualifications. Take a look here:

Look at your "transferable" skills. Soft skills such as people management or project management are easily transferable, so make sure you highlight these in your CV.

Look outside your work - Maybe you already do something or can do something outside of work that demonstrates your passion for the subject and your enthusiasm. Not only does this demonstrate that you're keen, but that you're a do-er. It will also build up your skills.

Research - if you are desperate to become a Clinical Researcher for example, read up all you can about the subject. If you get a chance for an interview (or even bump into someone at a party), you'll need to talk knowledgably about the job and demonstrate your enthusiasm.

Courses - There are loads of online courses available now, and many are free. If you have the time, do them. They will build up your knowledge and also look good on your CV.

Network - Online or offline, networking is a great way to get your foot in the door, or start to mingle with people in your target field. Attend a conference or two if you can afford it. Join appropriate LinkedIn groups.

Webinars - there are loads of online webinars now. many are free.

Experience by osmosis - If you're looking for a medical sales role for example - find someone who's already doing it and ask them (nicely) if they mind you shadowing them for a day. You'll gain a great insight, and have something solid on your CV.

Volunteer - depending on the role, you may be able to volunteer or offer your services somewhere that’s relevant. Do thorough research to see who's in your area, as you may be able to offer your services for a week or so at a suitable local company. Again, great for experience and networking.

Start your own website or business - Clearly this depends on your target role, but if you don't have experience, you can always hire yourself! Consider what is connected to your target role, and see if there's a gap in the market. Even just the research will help to add to your skills and knowledge.

Blog or Write - Blogging can be a great way to demonstrate that you know something about your chosen field. Writing an article and contributing it to an online or offline publications can be a great way to get exposure and also looks great on your CV.

Go out and get it - if you've identified the perfect job at the perfect company watch them like a hawk, and contact the relevant individuals regularly (but don't become a nuisance!) - you need to show them that you're keen!

If you follow some of these suggestions you should increase your chances of landing that job! and don't forget to keep checking :

Mike Wood - Editor

Last updated on: 17/06/2014 11:50:29

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