If you’re a recent grad or are switching careers, you might be running into a similar issue– not having enough experience to talk about in the interview. It’s a dilemma that’s becoming more and more common in new job seekers: you’re not experienced enough for entry-level positions but need an entry-level position to gain experience.
While this can seem like a catch-22, there are several ways to address gaps in a resume and manufacture professional experience on your own.
Attend industry conferences
Try to attend any local conferences, talks or events that cover relevant topics in your industry. Not only will this give you incredible insight into current events which you can speak about in interviews, but it also offers a great opportunity to meet and network with other like-minded industry professionals. If you have trouble finding relevant events in your area, consider planning your own conference. Invite local executives to speak and reach out to recruiters, as well as your professional network, to create a robust guest list.
Go to networking events
Like it or not, who you know has become a crucial aspect of career advancement. Therefore, it’s important to constantly expand your network. Attending (and acing) local networking events can connect you with recruiters and managers who make the important hiring decisions, and ease your way into their field of vision. If a hiring manager has a personal investment in your success, they’re much more likely to overlook resume gaps and help you along the hiring process.
Although it sometimes gets a bad reputation, interning is an amazing, modern way to gain experience and get your foot in the door with an organisation. Paid or not, interning typically provides invaluable experience and mentoring that will give a great professional addition to your resume. You can find internships through your school’s career or alumni office, or through online resources that allow you to search for openings in specific industries and locations. Be sure to stay in touch with former internship advisors: you never know when one will be able to offer advice or help your future career.
Spruce up your resume
Often, the phrasing on your resume can make or break your job search success. Even if you don’t have applicable professional experience, you can pick out different activities you’ve done and list the soft skills you gained from them. Perhaps you led a charity event at university and gained leadership experience. Or, maybe you worked in a restaurant and learned how to manage multiple responsibilities at once. These types of experiences will give you transferrable skills that will impress recruiters, whether or not the experiences are directly related to the position.
Those are our tips. Can you think of any other tips on how to land a job without much professional experience? Then let us know in the comments below!