What Do Employers Look For Besides Qualifications For Jobs With No Experience?
The truth is, employers just want to discern whether or not you have the skills required for the role and whether or not your experiences are an adequate fit for the role. They will already be aware of your academic qualifications and your lack of experience before they approach you for an interview. So, what is the best way to highlight your knowledge and skills to employers?
The best way is through your cover letter and resume. These two documents serve as your fictional first impression with employers. Both documents give you a chance to market yourself and to tell your story. You must use them to impress employers by highlighting your soft skills with specific examples and any other related accomplishments that are outside the sphere of academics. Focus on the key soft skills like communication, leadership, problem solving, conflict resolution and teamwork. Write with conviction so you can convince the employer that you are worth the investment and that you are the best fit for the company even though you are a no experience job seeker.
What Else Can No Experience Job Seekers Do To Get Noticed And Hired?
We have six essential tips below to help you get hired as a no experience job seeker.
Tip #1: Develop a strong resume to impress employers
You shouldn’t think that having no job experience will deter you from getting a job especially when there is a powerful tool at your disposal that can give you the edge that you need: the eye-catching resume.
Follow these key resume tips created for those applying for jobs with no experience:
- Review the role’s requirements so that you can highlight specific examples of how you have utilised the required skills. For example, to showcase your leadership skills, write bullet points about class activities or projects you have led from ideation to execution. You can highlight your problem-solving skills by writing bullet points about how you made quick decisions and resolved conflicts between your team members. Recall all your team projects and think about whether you were one of reasons that your project met its deadlines. If you were, then think about what you did do to help your team meet its deadlines.
- Be result-orientated and honest in your resume. Share specific results or outcomes of activities that you led or supported, like raising over 300% of the fund goal for a charity. Remember not to falsify your experience or exaggerate your skills. Employers can quickly tell if candidates are fabricating the truth by asking just a few, simple technical questions.
- Get creative with the layout to stand out. Employers like creative and informative resumes. You can use your resume to show off your design, coding or technical skills, where applicable. Since every job posting is unique, tweak the presentation, layout and content of your resume to match each job’s skill-set requirement.
- Finally, do not forget that killer cover letter. Your cover letter is your first opportunity to let your personality shine. Make sure to keep it to one page and use it to show why you are the perfect candidate for this job even though you have no job experience. Research well and use this letter to raise solutions that you believe the company could initiate and how you would support them. To fine tune it, get the opinion of friends or relatives who are in that industry, or who are HR professionals, or who are familiar with recruitment.
Tip #2: Apply for entry-level jobs with no experience
You can apply for jobs across various industries that are looking for candidates who they can train for specific, specialised jobs that they offer. For these roles, employers are willing to train you from scratch so no job experience is needed. You can start your search with the industry positions we have mentioned below:
- Fast food restaurant crew member
- Sales reps
- Customer service personnel
- Home-care aids
- Real estate agents
- PR assistants
- Tour guides
There are dozens of jobs that require no experience, but you should be careful not to apply for every entry-level position. Here are a few pointers on how you should evaluate and narrow your search results:
- The key thing to remember is that an entry-level job provides an industry perspective for you to gauge if that industry is truly a match for you. Do not be afraid to try out multiple industries as these positions are vital to providing a strong foundation for your future.
- Besides the various positions above, you can also search for entry level jobs within an industry you are keen on cultivating a career in. For example, if you want a career in human resources, then you should consider applying for a position within HR, like a human resources assistant. This way you can learn the ropes of the industry and see if it is truly a match for you.
- This last pointer is to help you minimise your travel time and save money. Ask yourself, “are there any jobs that require no experience near me?”
Tip #3: Apply for an internship
Internships are key to building experience and should be especially considered when you are unable to get a job with no experience. Employers are more likely to hire someone with internship experience rather than someone with a generic resume that has no job experience. Employers are also more inclined to promote their past or present interns into full-time employees since each one has already undergone training.
These are some tips on how internships can be powerful and how you can leverage on your past internship experience, particularly the ones you may have taken during your studies:
- Remember your aim is to gain actual work experience, and internships are a way to test drive various jobs, potential industries and explore different career options. Keep in mind that while some internships offer compensation, you probably won’t be paid much; however, as a no experience job seeker, you will achieve your aim of gaining actual work experience.
- Get in touch with your former employer if you have undergone a short internship stint during your course of study. You could request for another internship but this time one that may turn into a permanent job instead of receiving class credit. If their internship spots are unavailable, you can ask for a recommendation letter so you can quote them as a reference on your resume.
- Ask your dean or professors if they can recommend any internships or jobs that require no experience near you. You may be pleasantly surprised when you turn to your alma mater for help.
Tip #4: Volunteer your time with NGOs
You should volunteer your time through various projects with non-profit organisations. Volunteering is a positive way to gain experience and hone your interpersonal skills as a no experience job seeker.
Below are a few reasons as to why volunteering is beneficial:
- You will learn essential on-the-job skills that you weren’t able to master during your studies, like financing a project, conceptualising, planning, and implementing a project, and understanding its real-world impact. You will be able to strengthen your communication and relationship skills all while contributing to your local community. You can always check out your local YMCA or YWCA to see how you can work for them as a volunteer.
- You will be able to gain hands-on experience about how a company operates in terms of administration, marketing, partnerships and finance. You can ask to switch between different departments so you are able to learn the nuances of each.
- Your volunteer experience can differentiate you from other candidates as it adds a different depth to your resume even though you may have no job experience because it shows your commitment to your community.
Tip #5: Highlight your soft skills during interviews
Employers pay serious attention to soft skills, so listing it on your resume is not enough. As a no experience job seeker, you will need to express and show that you do, in fact, possess these skills.
As you prepare for the interview, remember our tips on how you can highlight your soft skills during the interview:
- To avoid feeling intimidated because you are a no experience job seeker, prepare in advance and be selective when discussing your soft skills. You can also research what soft skills are important for the position you are after and once you do identify them, practice articulating stories that show how you used them. If you don’t know which ones to highlight, focus on teamwork, it is one of the most important soft skills anyone can possess.
- If you feel that you won’t stand out enough in the interview, then do some research on the company particularly around the position you want. For example, if you want to join their marketing department, then look at their social media. Identify problems and create a set of solutions or ideas on how they can improve. This will show the employer that even though you are a no experience job seeker, you do have what it takes to work there. It will also show your strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.
Now, it’s time for the actual interview. To calm your nerves, we have created a list of important tips for you, as a no experience job seeker, on how to be professional and confident.
- Prepare ahead of time for the interview. Make Google your best friend and learn everything you need to know about the company you’re interviewing at.
- During the interview, be enthusiastic and passionate. It’s fine to tell the interviewer that you’re excited for this opportunity to work with their company and learn from them since you are applying for a job with no experience. Talk about what you can do for the company – share the ideas that you came up with on how the company can improve.
- Back up that enthusiasm with examples of why you believe you’re the perfect fit for the job although you have no job experience. Remember the stories that you prepared so that you can share past achievements and discuss the details of your acquired skills.
- Pay attention to the interviewer and be a good listener. Answer questions assertively. If you are unsure on how to answer a question, ask more questions to clarify what it is that he or she wants to hear before answering with absolute certainty.
- Be careful not to oversell yourself. Be humble in your achievements and in what you say about the company.
Tip #6: Grow your network
Since you have no job experience, you should join networking events to meet with people within the industry you want to enter. Networking events are a good way to gain valuable contacts and information that may come in handy for your future job searches. When you spend time nurturing genuine relationships with people, you can win them over with your honesty, enthusiasm and personal ethics. That person you met at a networking event could someday be the one to recommend you for your dream job.
Be proactive, think out-of-the-box and focus on finding solutions to overcome your lack of job experience. Mix and match our suggestions and strategies to find a career path that resonates with your abilities and passions. Be patient and be willing to learn through any opportunity – unpaid or paid- so that you gain the experience you need not just for your resume but for your career.
Just ask yourself, are you capable enough to handle the job? Can you prove it even if you have no job experience?
Further reading:Job interview etiquette in Asia: Your quick guide to dos & don’ts
7 ways to get over job interview nerves
This article is either written or edited by jobsDB HK. If you would like to publish it on other website or publication, please contact us by email: [email protected]. jobsDB reserves the right to take legal action against any person that infringes the copyright.