Most people feel that if they don’t have any experience in a position that they’re applying for, they might as well not apply for the job. However, it’s not as black and white as you may think. Depending on the job, a hiring manager may consider someone who doesn’t have all of the required experience. But how do you apply for a job when you have no relevant experience at all? Check it out below.
Jot Down Everything
Start with writing down everything you’ve done. Not literally, but… literally. Begin as far back as you can recall regarding any responsibilities, tasks, projects, volunteer work, education, etc that you’ve had. Include even the small details. (You won’t put all of this into your resume, but it’s a great way to recognize a pattern or pull some skills/experience from them without even knowing they’re there). For example, if you have constantly been someone to handle scheduling, or ensure deadlines are met, you can use terms like “organized” and “able to work in a fast-paced environment” as some skills you’ve acquired. Even if they’re small tasks, jot them down.
What Do People In The Role, Do?
Then look over the job description of the job you’re applying to. What are some of the responsibilities that are required? Is it Data entry? Management? Customer service? What basic skills make up these positions? For example, if you have been a teacher and you want to make a job change to corporate management, you may feel like you are totally underqualified. However, teachers can make great managers. They require very similar skills to perform the job successfully. Such as managing a group, providing direction, delegating, ensuring the students/employees understand the work they’re performing, that their behavior is in check, etc.
Highlight the Relevant
Once you review the job description, go back to your list of duties and figure out what is most relevant in what you have done in the past. Try to pair some of the responsibilities or skills that will help you in the job you’re applying to. By doing this you avoid having too much fluff in your resume and ensure that everything that is provided is concise and relevant. The clearer your resume displays you’re a good fit, the more likely they’ll make the connection. Once you’ve done this, compose your resume.
Ask For a Review
Next, have someone review your newly composed resume, share with them that you have no relevant experience, and prompt them with questions to look for. You can ask them things such as: “If you were doing the hiring would you be able to make a parallel between my skills and the skills required to perform the job successfully?” Are there other things that you can see that I left out that could help portray I would be a good fit for this job?”. Doing this will allow them to review it with the mindset of a hiring manager and provide you with relevant feedback and suggestions before sending it out.
Put Effort into a Cover Letter
Lastly, if applicable, write a cover letter. A cover letter is your opportunity to explain why you’re excited in the position, why you think you’d be a good fit, and why you are looking to try something new. This may be exactly what you need to get the attention of a recruiter/hiring manager to see past your lack of experience and more so on the basic skills required to successfully perform the job.
Go for It
Confidence is key. If you portray that you know you’ll do a great job regardless of having no relevant experience, the hiring manager may care more about having a great worker, than someone with experience but who may be lazy or unmotivated. Be confident in your abilities and if all else fails, you’ve practiced how to think outside of the box and now you have the chance to apply to other similar or completely different opportunities!