Career Advice

How to Get a Job With No Professional Experience

Get A Career 8 March, 2021

Trying to get a job without previous professional experience is like the chicken and the egg. You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get professional experience without a job. Here’s how to hatch your career goals and capture that first professional job.

Get a Volunteer Gig

Places that use volunteers aren’t picky about your previous experience. Basically, if you show up, you’ve got the “job.” Look for a place to volunteer that will give you the kind of experience that you’ll need for a paid job. For example, if you want an administrative job, volunteer at a place where you can answer phones, make copies and review documents. Add the volunteer experience to your C.V., but leave out the “volunteer” part. Get a letter of recommendation from your supervisor, too. No one needs to know that you weren’t paid for your work.

List Relevant Life Experience

Mentally review your past and think of all the relevant experience you might have that pertain to the job you’re after. Were you the kid who fixed all the neighborhood kids’ bicycles? Were you at your da’s side while he did all his repair work in the car shop? Are you your family’s go-to handyman? All this experience counts because it helps qualify you for a paid job. Just make sure you only list relevant life experience.

Learn New Skills

Education is free when you utilize the library and YouTube videos. There are a ton of other free learning resources online. If you’re lacking in professional skills, learn them on your own time. Then you can list them as proficiencies on your C.V., which will help divert attention from your lack of professional experience.

Everyone knows it’s impossible to get professional experience without a job first. But making these efforts will demonstrate to companies that you’re willing and able to do what it takes to do a job right.