Don’t Have Enough Experience? How to Land the Job Anyway

Posted May 19, 2015 by
Unrecognizable person holding placard with 'Hire Me' message

Unrecognizable person holding placard with ‘Hire Me’ message. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Are you among those people who don’t have enough experience yet? Don’t worry because experience is not as important as you think. It increases your chances of getting a job significantly, but it is only one consideration and one factor when hiring people. If you have little to no experience, then play it down and emphasize the other factors that will get you hired. Which ones?

Think about it, if you were a manager, would you hire somebody that has little experience but always turns up on time, or somebody with 4 years experience that is frequently late or absent? There is more to getting a job than experience! You need to use and leverage your other qualities and features, whilst playing down your lack of experience.

You have plenty to put in your CV

A CV is not a list of your accomplishments, experience or qualifications. It is a sales letter that explains very briefly why an employer should hire you. If you do not have much (or any) experience, then do not leave a big gap in your CV. Fill it with the hundreds of reasons the company should hire you.

Put in your hobbies, interests, and your good personality traits. Tell how you get on well with others, how you were voted most popular in your year, how you have worked in a homeless shelter, how you learned C++ programming in six weeks. Cram it with so many selling points that your lack of experience pales in comparison.

Tailor your CV to match the job you want

This may seem like an obvious tip, yet so few people do it. Before you start, know that if you are applying for minimum-wage jobs such as in the fast food and retail industry, then you do not have to tailor your CV. Just send them the bog-standard CV full of your qualifications, (any) work experience, and the usual fluff. They usually don’t care about a lack of experience because their staff turnover is so high that they need you more than you need them.

If you are going for a job that you want to turn into a career, you MUST tailor your CV to match it. You must mention their company by name within your CV, and you need to aim the content at their company specifically. Any experience you have at all that is relevant needs to be highlighted. The same is true of your relevant qualifications. Play down elements that may make you look undesirable, and highlight the factors that make you look perfect for the job.

Make your cover letter short but powerful

It has to be short because there is only a small chance a decision maker will read it. However, most articles will tell you to keep to the point, but you shouldn’t. Insert a line to start, about why you are sending the CV, mention any names of people that told you to send it, and any other relevant points.

Then, write a short paragraph about why you are perfect for the job. For example, if you are applying for a childcare role, you could say how you have three years of private childcare experience (babysitting for neighbors kids), how you have a clean criminal record, have never touched drugs, don’t smoke, can drive, and so on.

Sign up for job alerts and solicit companies at the same time

Plenty of job-search websites have alert notifications. They send you an email alert whenever an applicable job is posted on the website. If you are lucky, you can snag a job through getting your application in very early. Otherwise, you should solicit companies for jobs.

Take an inventory of the companies in your area, visit their website, and either apply through the website or contact people within the company and ask them how to apply for a job. Even if they say there are no jobs going, you can request to put in a CV or application just in case a job opens up. A lazy HR member or manager may not want to go through the trouble of posting a new advert and may simply contact you whenever a job opens up.


Linda Craig is writing enthusiast and a professional editor at Her passion is modern British Literature and digital education tools.

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