Posted February 18, 2015 by

4 Résumé Tips for Job-Seekers with Limited Work Experience

Writing resume, young handsome business man working in office

Writing resume, young business man working in office. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Whether you’re entering the job market for the first time or looking to shift gears in your career, it’s easy to feel intimidated by solicitations for employment. But don’t let the education, work experience, and laundry list of other qualifications deter you.

Here are some ways to fill the voids in your résumé, position yourself as the perfect candidate, and land the interview.

1. Pay It Forward

Use your skills to serve others, either directly or indirectly. For example, if you recently graduated with an accounting degree and are having trouble finding a position due to a lack of work experience, intern in the accounting department at the American Red Cross or some other local non-profit agency. Are you a recently licensed real estate agent hoping to land an entry-level position in an established firm? Shadow a seasoned agent and volunteer to lend a helping hand with key functions to gain the skills the job requires.

If you are unsure of how to get your foot in the door, reach out to inquire about volunteer or internship opportunities. Even if the roles they are looking to fill aren’t quite what you had in mind, entertain the opportunity and explain to the coordinator what you are hoping to gain from the experience. More than likely, they’ll be able to put you in contact with the right individuals.

2. Continuing Education

Heading back to the classroom also demonstrates to prospective employers that you’re committed to strengthening your skillset. Aspiring to break into the world of freelance writing, but lack a journalism degree? An editor may give you a chance if you complete courses on the foundations of journalism and compile a comprehensive portfolio.

In some positions, stringent qualification criteria are used to weed out the candidates who clearly aren’t a good fit for the position. But having the tools you need to get the job done will increase your chances of getting in front of the hiring manager.

If you complete virtual training courses or attend any conferences in your industry of interest, mention those on your résumé, as long as they are offered by a reputable organization.

3. Hobbies

While some hobbies may not have a direct correlation with the position you’re seeking, they can demonstrate you have the traits that a potential employer is looking for. If you’re an avid boater, there’s a strong chance you have the ability to quickly assess a difficult situation and take immediate action. If you fit the bill, it’s imperative that you acquire the necessary qualifications. Visit an online resource that makes it easier than ever to do so.

4. ‘Special’ Assignments

If you worked as a research assistant on a grant that resulted in the manufacturing of a state-of-the art prosthetic limb, don’t you think a prospective employer would like to know? In fact, that project alone could be enough to propel you to the top of the candidate list because of an upcoming project that is similar in scope. Include any special projects or qualifications you have acquired during school.

A Few More Suggestions

  • Think outside the box. It may be tempting to mirror the verbiage from the job description, but doing so could turn your résumé into an unappealing document, ripe for the nearest trash bin.
  • Cut the fluff. Overdoing it is a major turnoff to hiring managers who have minimal time to examine the pile of résumés sitting on their desks.
  • Be specific. Avoid vague descriptions when discussing accomplishments. Instead, present the challenges and quantify the outcomes so the reader can gain a better idea of the significance.
  • Tell the truth. Doing otherwise could tarnish your reputation and disqualify you from applying for other positions within the organization.

Bottom line: Every successful employee started somewhere, so don’t let a lack of experience hinder you. Take the proper steps to make yourself stand out from the crowd and go for that dream position. Many may say ‘no,’ as the application process is a numbers game, but someone will say ‘yes!’

Source: SocialMonsters

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