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4 Useful Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Experience

4 Useful Tips to Get the Job You Want Without Experience

If there’s something more frustrating than searching for the right job, it’s waiting on the phone for that job offer.

According to a 2014 job seeker study, looking for employment is now considered a 24/7 gig. 45 percent of folks are still on the hunt for their dream jobs – although they’re already employed. Meanwhile, 38 percent look for open positions during their commute, and 18 percent hunt for work in the bathroom.

Considering you already have plenty of competition BEFORE you could even bag an interview, this makes applying for employment you’re obviously unqualified for highly challenging. Companies would go for the qualified candidates. They would see your lack of experience and deny you the interview.

Or would they?

But how can you showcase this when you were rejected before they can even interview you? How do you fill that gap in your employment history? What if you’re a new graduate without experience?

If there’s a will, there’s a way. Here are four practical tips to snag your dream job – even when you’re somewhat unqualified.

1. List Relevant Skills/Passions

To avoid the common frustration of getting rejected without meeting the hiring manager yet, focus on building up your resume AND cover letter. Whether you’re a new graduate or a career shifter, you will have gained some “experience” during your lifetime that you could somehow tie into the job you want.

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For example: you’re an accountant but you want to shift into social work. Your target organization prefers someone with at least a year of experience in the field. Highlight relevant skills you’ve acquired through your current position that would come in handy for your future job, such as:

  • organization (refer to how you handled client accounts and that time you planned the company seminar)
  • communication (you did phone calls, created reports, and spoke with clients about their finances)
  • critical thinking (don’t forget about the decisions you had to do to help save your clients’ accounts)

When you write your summary, be succinct yet make sure to highlight these aspects first.

“Current accountant for X company looking to fill the position for social work. Great at organization, communication, and critical thinking. Excellent ability to work under pressure and with highly difficult clients without sacrificing quality of relationships.”

This should present a reasonable enough argument as to why you should be considered for the opening.

2. Consider Related Side Jobs/Projects

“Experience” doesn’t necessarily mean paid work. In fact, it could mean different things to hiring managers. Volunteer work, side hustles, projects for friends or family, extra-curricular activities, etc. could all be considered valuable experience.

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    For example: after graduation, you worked for a few years as a restaurant manager. But what you really want to become is a financial adviser. Don’t dwell on the fact that you’re without experience from a related field. Focus on other aspects such as:

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    • Did you graduate with a finance-related degree?
    • Do you have money-related projects on the side (i.e. help friends with their budgets)?
    • Any other activities that you feel might be suited for the job you’re after (i.e. blogging about money-saving tips, accounting for the restaurant, managing payroll, etc.)?

    List these on your resume under the experience section.

    “Budgeting. Helped friends and family members on issues regarding funds, savings, and investment on a monthly basis.”

    Be VERY specific when citing what you did. If you’re vague, the hiring manager may really think twice about asking you for an interview.

    3. Don’t Forget Soft Skills

    Although experts advise job seekers to go for work they most fit into, they definitely don’t dissuade applicants from running after a position they don’t have experience in. Job search expert Jessica Simko explains in a blog post that it’s because hiring managers typically hire for attitude – NOT skills.

    Are you creative? Do people always describe you as an optimistic person? Do you consider yourself friendly, teachable, and with a high sense of honor? Then you might have an edge over those who are more qualified than you in terms of skill. According to Simko, recruiters are looking mostly for three things: passion, enthusiasm, and presence.

    • Passion. Show that you want this job more than others. That despite the obvious lack in skill, you have something that other applicants lack: your excitement at coming to work every day.
    • Enthusiasm. How interested are you in the job? Are you going to stick although the going will be tough? Or are you going to bail once a better opportunity is presented? Your interest in the position should be showcased throughout the application process – from your cover letter, your resume, to the interviews.
    • Presence. Smile. Display confidence. Give a firm handshake. First impressions DO matter. So make a good one the moment you enter the room. Assure them with your stance that even without experience, you will make up for it in attitude.

    Every day, companies and managers lose money from employees who are disengaged and refuse to learn anything new. So if you’re wondering why an under-qualified candidate is sometimes chosen, it’s likely because the person is more amicable and coachable than others.

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      4. Connect the Dots

      Apart from your interview, the cover letter gives you a chance to really sell yourself and your relevant skills. Whether you have a gap in your employment history or you’re about to shift careers, your cover letter allows you to connect the dots and clear the argument for the hiring manager.

      Turn it into a story. Begin with your relevant skills, align them with the job requirements, and end with WHY you’re the best person for the job.

      “When I saw the opening for the position of X, it was mentioned that you were looking for someone with customer service experience. My years spent helping out at our local café has helped me earn the skills necessary for meeting and handling different individuals. As the café we own is quite small, I had the honor of becoming familiar with most of our customers: calling them by name, knowing their favorite drink, and occasionally joining them for a quick chat. Connecting with people really gives me a high. I look forward to working in a similar environment that will give me the opportunity to work with people every day.”

      A T-formation cover letter will allow you to highlight your passions while hiding the lack in experience. In general, the employer’s requirements would be listed on the left-hand side, while your skills would be posted on the right-hand side. This should help the hiring manager overlook your weaknesses, but at the same time, give you an advantage.

      2-column-cover-letter

        BONUS: Have a Plan B

        Let’s be realistic: even if you are qualified for the job, there are other reasons why you may not be hired. That’s why every job seeker needs a backup plan.

        Creative director and author Katharine Hansen Ph.D. suggests using the “bait and switch” technique. Typically used in the advertising industry, this trick involves enticing the recruiter so you can get an interview (which is great to showcase your skills and charm) even if you obviously lack the credentials.

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        For example: say you’ve worked for years as a caregiver but you want to enter the healthcare sector as a medical secretary. With no money and without experience, how can you break into the healthcare industry? “Lure” the recruiter by emphasizing related skills (warm, welcoming demeanor, ability to handle various individuals, skilled in basic computer skills, etc.) but indicate a willingness to work for a lower position that would eventually lead to your ideal job. In this case, you may consider a job as a medical receptionist while you hone your talents and save money.

        This is NOT going to be easy, but it should help you be invited for an interview. Once you’ve secured that, it’s time to charm them with your attitude (refer to tip #4).

        Remember to avoid using generic buzzwords. Be genuine: pick words that you would use in daily conversation. Hiring managers can read between the lines and get a “feel” for words. If you’re confident with the skills you presented, odds are, recruiters will feel that, too.

        With a little bit of resourcefulness, a sprinkle of wit, and a dash of passion, it’s possible to get the job you really want.

        Featured photo credit: Alex Jones via stocksnap.io

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        Cris Antonio

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        Last Updated on October 16, 2018

        How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

        How to Quit Your Job That You Hate and Start Doing What You Love

        Everyone of us has a plan in our head that was taken over by family responsibilities, social pressure or sheep mentality. This made us a slave to instant gratification and started killing our plan and dreams.

        There is a way to revive your plans and dreams and live a happier life. No amount of salary can exceed your desire to do something that you are really passionate about.

        If you hate your job and have thought about leaving your job, here’s how to quit your job and start doing what you love:

        1. Identify if you really want to quit to follow your passion

        There could be many possible reasons to figure out why you are discouraged to go to work and start thinking about how to quitting your job. Figure out the reasons or signs that make you feel that you should really quit your job.

        If these reasons are not related to your office environment or your ultimate goal is to pay your bills from your job, you should consider getting a new job in the same field. It’s better to be an experienced receptionist than to live a dream that is not yours.

        2. Start with the side hustle and keep it going

        Work after you get back home and build up your product or service enough to gain confidence to quit your job.

        Build the website, write down the business plan, design your product, make marketing collaterals or do whatever it takes for you to start working full time on your new venture before quitting your current job.

        You could also consider part-time working opportunities if your current job sucks a lot of your energy. This way you could save your energy and dedicate more time to your side hustle.

        Ensure that you don’t quit until your new venture really demands your full time dedication. You might lose interest in your new venture if you fall short of survival money.

        3. Save enough to pay your bills

        If you need to pursue your passion, you need your monthly bills to be taken care of, without any worries. You must cut down on unnecessary expenses and squeeze in those extra bucks on your savings while you are at your current job. You should forget those weekend parties and social outings unless they’re meant for networking.

        It makes no sense to quit your job without having any savings. Your new venture will not start paying you immediately. Starting a recurring deposit account is a good idea to start off with. Put aside a considerable amount every month as soon as you get your paycheque and forget about that money until you quit your job.

        4. Write down your goals

        It is important to have visual proof and a daily reminder of why you quit your job and started a new hustle.

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        Write down your goals and read them at least once a week. If you are a forgetful person, create cell phone or desktop wallpapers of your goals and set them until you achieve them. Visual proof keeps you on track.

        These goals are the bigger picture of what you wish to achieve in your pursuit to doing what you love.

        For example, if you are wish to design the best dresses in the whole state, write it down. If you wish to fly to Mars, write it down. If you really wish to give up your career for something, it better be worth remembering everyday. Show it to yourself daily.

        5. Make a plan

        Write down a plan of action for the next 12 months. It’s like writing down an elaborate execution plan in your calendar. This could be a daily, weekly or monthly to-do list of your tasks to achieve your goals.

        Learn how to make a plan if that’s not your area of expertise. Ensure that you know what you’re going to do next and not run like a headless chicken after two months of working for yourself.

        Review the plan time and again to track your progress. This will give you a clear picture of your performance and your shortcomings.

        Also, have a backup plan. Even great planners and strategists fail before achieving success. Ensure that you have a second plan if your first one does not work out as you predicted.

        6. Get professional advice

        Talk to experienced people in the field you want to venture out. Go to networking events and connect with people in your industry. Most people will help you out with good advice and good contacts.

        Get professional courses in part time colleges. It could be great to network and the teachers can be of great help to understand more about the industry. They will help you analyse your plan and connect you to influential people.

        7. Prepare yourself to put a resignation

        Prepare yourself mentally to quit your job after you’ve realized the potential and prepared yourself to take a deep dive into your new profession.

        Leave on a friendly note. Don’t make enemies with your bosses. These connections could help you further in your profession.

        Don’t burn the bridges. It’s better to have a face-to-face conversation with your boss or reporting manager than sending a surprise mail.

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        Tell them sincerely about your new venture and why it is important for you. Serve the notice period completely and work till the last day. Complete all your tasks as you would on a regular day. This will maintain your respect and keep your relationships intact.

        8. Be prepared to get your hands dirty

        As an entrepreneur, you have to do everything that’s needed to keep your work going.

        You have to perform all the tasks needed to keep your new venture going. You have to be a janitor, an administrator, an accountant, a designer or a salesperson all at once.

        There would be a point of time where you will have to perform tasks that aren’t your favourite. Be ready to perform such tasks without cringing.

        9. Have no baggage

        Don’t have a debt! Clear all your loans, debts and pending commitments before starting off. You want to fully concentrate on your new activity and not be bent down by loading your shoulders with any burden.

        You would want to enjoy your freedom to work incessantly. No distractions whatsoever are allowed to come close to you when you are fully involved in the rhythm of development. Shun away materialism!

        10. Don’t be in two minds

        It’s good to analyze the best and the worst possibilities in your head, but it’s not at all good to doubt yourself.

        Move ahead with confidence. It’s your life, your plan and your rules. Nothing and nobody can stop you from doing what you wish to do.

        The more you start getting noticed, the more people will point fingers at you. Don’t let them affect you and create doubts in your head. As William Shakespeare said,

        “Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

        11. Learn to handle failure

        You are going to be a loser and it’s a good thing! If you fail and lose, you will learn to not repeat your mistakes and make yourself stronger with every punch you throw out.

        It takes time till you start losing. The key is to not be demotivated by failure. The more the failure, the more closer you are to success.

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        12. Try your hands at investing in stock market or cryptocurrency

        It’s a good way to keep your side income rolling in. While you are busy building your dream project, you could invest your money in the stock market or cryptocurrency and let it grow while you sleep.

        As Warren Buffet famously quoted,

        “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”

        Find a good stock broker who has enough experience to not lose your money. Stop immediately if you are losing a lot of money. Don’t burn away your money.

        13. Keep a healthy routine

        It’s easy to forget about your health when you are working on something that you’re really passionate about. Set reminders about your health routine.

        Exercise! Most successful people start their day early and take time out to exercise at least thrice a week. It helps you give more energy and time to your work.

        Always remember that you started your new venture to be happier. Bad health will not let you enjoy your success.

        Join yoga classes or learn meditation from youtube. Avoid sitting too long at one place for more than 15 minutes at a stretch, take breaks. take a walk, especially up-down the staircase as much as you can to skip age related joint pains and muscle atrophies.[1]

        14. Enjoy your days off

        Taking a break helps your creativity and clears your mind from clutter. You need your days off to come back afresh and take on your tasks. You can’t be working 24/7.

        Remember that being able to take your days off is one of the beneficial quirks of an entrepreneurial journey. You can have a routine designed by yourself, for yourself.

        Take your days off when you are too stressed and can’t think straight. Self-discipline might sound simple but practice takes ages. Schedule down time for yourself.

        15. Take these steps to quit your job without burning bridges

        Resume.io has this infographic about the steps you should take after you’ve decided to quit your job:[2]

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          16. Remember why you quit your job

          Lastly, remember why you quit your job and started doing what you love. There would be bad days that will make you regret your decision, but don’t let them dominate the reason why you took the plunge.

          Your soul wasn’t happy with what you were doing. Your new venture is what you always wanted to do.

          Never forget that.

          If nothing works out, you could still go back to any job you want, but at least, you’d be spared from regrets and constantly arriving “What if?” question in your head.

          So, start now and live without any regrets.

          Execution matters more than thought. Turn your dream into a reality starting today. Start small and grow big.

          Besides, it’s never too late to do what you want to do. Here’s the proof:

          How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

          Reference

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