How do you get experience when you have no experience? You can’t get a job if you have no experience and you can’t get experience if you can’t get a job. Most of us know about that, don’t we? It seems like an endless loop when you’re just getting started.
Struggling to secure an entry-level role? Check out this infographic guide to learn some valuable tips and tricks to help kickstart your career journey.
So, here’s how to get experience
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that your first job search will be the hardest of your career … whether you’re fresh out of university, making a career switch, or returning to work after a break. In fact, the average search for an entry-level job typically takes between 3 – 6 months. In most cases, the biggest obstacle is the issue of experience. You need experience order to get a job, but in order to gain experience, you need a job.
“Entry Level” Roles in 2019
By definition, entry-level jobs should not require a large amount of prior experience. Yet, a 2018 TalentWorks study revealed that 61% of all advertised full-time “entry-level” jobs seek candidates who have at least three years’ experience.
Employers Are Raising The Entry Barriers
So why is it so hard for new entrants to the workforce to find entry-level employment? The harsh reality is that employers are making it increasingly difficult for entry-level candidates to land entry-level positions. Wary organizations who managed to survive the recession are now hunting for “unicorn” candidates who have the skills of seasoned pros, but the low salary expectations of entry-level job seekers. This elevated experience criterion is raising the barrier for entry into the highly competitive employment market.
How Can You Prove Your Worth to Employers in 2019?
The good news is that there are plenty of ways that candidates can build up experience. By taking the initiative to develop your professional skills and experience, you will be sure to impress employers with your ambition and work ethic.
- Internships are a great way to build skills in a workplace setting. These short-term programs also offer a good opportunity to start working on your professional network and on your personal brand.
- If you want to secure work in a trade, then you should consider doing an apprenticeship. This will give you the chance to train under an experienced mentor.
- If an internship isn’t an option for you, then you could consider volunteering at a charitable organization instead. This is a fantastic way to glean helpful professional skills and knowledge.
- Alternatively, you could embrace your entrepreneurial side by starting your own project. The internet makes it easy to launch projects such as an e-commerce store, video series or blog. You could also look into doing freelance work through sites such as Fiverr or Upwork.
Don’t Give Up!
Job hunting is a tough process so it’s important to look after your mental health. Use your free time to stay healthy and do the things you like. Don’t take rejections personally and try your best to avoid comparing yourself to others. The most important thing to remember is that your first job doesn’t have to be “the one”, it’s simply a way to get your career up and running. Striving for perfection will only put pressure on yourself, so take it easy.
Learn More About How to Get Your First Job
“The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary” – Donald Kendall, Former CEO of PepsiCo
If you are struggling to land an entry-level job and need help, then you should certainly check out the below infographic which comes courtesy of the team at Trainwest. This handy guide lays out many helpful pointers on how to build professional experience and also provides some advice on how to address the “experience” question in your job application.
Good luck with your job hunt!