Working For The Employer of Your Dreams When You Don’t Have Experience

Here’s the way that all industries work: in order to get a really great job, you need experience. Your dream job is certainly not some kind of entry position, and when you finally land your dream job, chances are you’ll get your dream employer in the mix. But what to do if you don’t have experience yet? Not everyone has been working in their industry for 10+ years. Some people have just entered into their industry, but no one wants to slosh their way through the worst low level positions before getting to actually work for the employer of their dreams. So what’s a guy or gal to do? Simple. Try harder to get that big position, and try some of our fantastic tips below.

First and foremost, you need to know what sets you apart. Why should so-and-so hire you for this position when others have more work experience? Remember that a job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself to your perspective employer. Think about what you really are better at. Did you graduate top of your class? Do previous employers or teachers rave about your outstanding work ethic? Maybe it’s something as simple as a big imagination and awesomely creative problem solving. Don’t lie though. Make sure that whatever you try to sell yourself off as is something that you can prove.

Have confidence. Don’t get nervous looking at the competition. Be confident and secure in yourself and what you are capable of. Particularly the big name employers are pros at picking out the weak links. A display of nervousness can make a lot of them think you’re a weak link.

You need to be a good fit. Basically, you need to be at least a little realistic about what you can or can not obtain. If you are an  eighteen year old just out of high school who only speaks English, it’s not realistic for you to think you can get an upper level management position in a dominantly Chinese speaking company. If you are bilingual and speak Chinese, you may be able to get into a lower level  position so you can start working your way up. If you have, say, three years experience, you just might be able to get a lower level management position. Keep in mind what you can or can not do. It’s okay to strive a little higher, but don’t stretch yourself out too far in the beginning.

Qualifications. This is a big one. If you have no experience, then obviously you won’t be able to list any prior jobs. Good qualifications include a high school diploma, college degree, and plenty of extra curricular activities from both which are relevant to the position you are trying to obtain. Other good things to list as qualifications include charitable works, internships, secondary languages, and any key skills that you are a self-taught master at. Here is a good example of what I am talking about:

Position: Lead Journalist
Education: High School Diploma (Valedictorian), BA in Journalism
Extra Curricular Activities: High school newspaper, College newspaper, FBLA, Creative Writing Club
Secondary Languages: French, Spanish
Key Skills: type 80+ wpm, self-taught Microsoft Office, knows Word Press, SEO, and can write articles in both secondary languages

This person is a good fit for the lead journalist position. They don’t really have any experience at all, but you can see that they are dedicate to their education and are committed to getting their dream job. They know two languages, which is always handy as a journalist, and they spent plenty of time pursuing writing related objectives while in school. Just for a contrast, here is someone applying for the same position who is not qualified whatsoever.

Position: Lead Journalist
Education: High School Diploma (2.2 GPA)
Extra Curricular Activities: None
Second Languages: None
Key Skills: type 20+ wpm, likeable person, knows a little about search engines and stuff

This person is obviously not qualified. They barely scraped their way through high school, didn’t pursue a higher education, and participated  in no extra curricular activities whatsoever. Why should you think that they will work hard for your company when it appears that they spent their whole high school education slacking off?

Keeping these things in mind, you should easily be able to begin working for the employer of your dreams without having any actual job experience. Just remember that it takes  a lot of time and patience, but you will soon be on the road to living your dream!

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Lisa Fox

Lisa is a writer for the college career blog Degrees That Pay. She enjoys writing, reading, travelling, and playing the piano. She's a college graduate with a Bachelor's in Communication and loves to write about college topics.

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  1. AvatarRory Trotter says

    Good post, Lisa.

    I agree with you that confidence is key to have in an interview if you have no experience. Also key is passion.

    If a candidate is truly passionate/has a lot of energy in a job interview sometimes I will move him/her along to the next round on that alone.

    If my company is really a candidate’s dream company then he/she should show it.

    Thanks for sharing, and keep writing.

    Best,

    Rory

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