“To get this job you’ll need 2 years of relevant experience in a similar job.”
We’ve all heard it before. But how are you supposed to get a job which will get you the relevant experience you need without already having the relevant experience?
Entering the world of work can be a stressful time when you can’t see how you’re ever going to get the job you want. While navigating this can be tricky, it’s not impossible so here are 6 top tips to help you in your job search:
Try, fail, try, fail, and try again.
Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the first hurdle to overcome when applying for jobs. The more applications you make, the more rejections are going to come your way. Getting over this places you in a much better position to keep those applications flowing without letting yourself get too bothered by the fear of rejection.
Volunteer – then volunteer some more.
Volunteering can provide you with invaluable experience whether that’s at a homeless shelter, charity shop, or any other cause you are interested in.
Once you’ve started volunteering for an organisation or charity don’t stop there, see if there’s anything else you can help with in addition to your usual duties. Many charities have a social media page which could do with some more likes and comments, or maybe you could run a fundraiser.
By taking on your own projects you are giving yourself some really useful experience. Of course no one can work for free forever when there are bills to pay but the good thing about volunteering is it can often be very flexible and fit around whatever else you’re doing.
Look out for events in your area or those specialising in industries you are interested in. After all as the saying goes, it’s not what you know, it’s who you meet at a networking event. Going to an event like this can be scary, but learning how to network is a skill in itself. Even if you don’t make any useful connections out of it, it’s still a worthwhile experience.
Be aware of your transferable skills
Don’t underestimate the skills you have already gained elsewhere. Working in a café or behind a bar will provide you with strong communication, organisation, and time management skills – all things that most employers are looking for. Any after school clubs or uni societies will also count for something, so get yourself on that committee and arrange an event for your curling society, or maybe ice hockey, or debate club.
If you have access to a careers service through your school, university, or college then use it! There is a skill to writing applications and even if you just go in with your CV they will be able to give great advice on tailoring your applications to certain employers. Any chance for application feedback is worthwhile as it takes you one step closer to securing the interview for your dream job.
Social presence is important, even in the business world. LinkedIn is a great place to apply for jobs and connect with potential employers – just make sure not to post your selfies from last Friday. Find out more on how to build up your profile here.
When you’re starting out in your career it can sometimes feel like you’re never going to get anywhere but the more places you look and the more applications you put in, the greater your chances. Hopefully these tips will help make the process that tiny bit more straightforward, so good luck!