10 Tips for Landing A Job When You Have No Experience

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One of the things that most people look for when you apply for a job is your past experience. So when you can’t show that you have any experience, it tends not to appear so favorable. What is a job applicant to do without actual experience in a position or field? Well, you can cross our fingers, put your hands together, pray and hope. Or you can work really hard to ensure that you get the job despite the fact that you don’t have the experience necessary, and you can take our advice. So many college graduates assume that they’ll get the job of their dreams as soon as that diploma hits their hands, but they don’t, and it’s because that’s just not how things work. But we have some good news for you, and that news is that you can get a job without any experience if you just follow a few simple rules and understand that there is an art to doing this. We can help you; it all starts right here with what we have to say to you.

Wow with a Cover Letter

You’re never going to land an interview without an amazing cover letter. You have to wow with this one. If you can’t write something that stands out, something amazing, hire someone to do it for you. It’s not that difficult, and it can make all the difference getting you in the door without the experience those in charge of hiring typically look for in a job applicant.

Dress the Part

The first step to being hired for any job is to dress the part. So many people forget this, and it doesn’t matter how much experience you do or do not have if you are dressed unprofessionally at a job interview. Wear the right clothes. A business suit, dress and appropriate shoes; and make sure your bits and pieces are all covered. Do not show up wrinkly, skip the red lipstick in the interview and just think simply. If you have to, take a look at the things that Jackie O. used to wear and channel her every move.

Be Exceptionally Confident

You have to be confident if you want a job you have no experience with. You have to come in and know you are good at what you want to do and you have to confident in your skills and your ability to learn. One sign of meek behavior, of uncertainty or of a lack of confidence and no one is going to want to risk anything on you when you already have no experience of which to speak.

Do not be Arrogant

But just remember when you are showing off your exceptional confidence that there is a VERY fine line between confident and arrogant, and DO NOT cross that line. You can be sure of yourself without looking like you are in love with yourself. If you’re not sure if you can do this, ask someone to tell you what you might do to improve this in your manners, actions and words.

Know You’d be Good at the Job and Why

If you want to land a job with no prior experience, you must know why you would be good at it. And you have to be able to explain this to the person with whom you are speaking. You have to be able to say, “I’m confident. I’m good, and they is why,” and then leave them feeling that you are the best candidate for the job.

Forget Being Perfect

You cannot be everything all the time. You are not perfect, and that means you have to own that when you go into an interview. You have own the fact that you have flaws, and you have own up to them. A potential employer is going to feel very confident with someone who is happy to say, “No, I don’t know how to do that, or no, I’m not great with that,” than someone who pretends to be perfect at everything and shows no flaws. Honesty is always the best policy, even in a job interview.

Show the Right Skills

Sure, being computer savvy and good with X, Y, and Z is always good in a job interview and in the office. But that’s not what people are looking for right now. They’re looking for people who are friendly, engaging and even witty. They want someone with whom they can speak candidly, that they feel is listening and that they can build a rapport. They want you to have the whole package; everyone is computer savvy these days. That’s not impressive. But being a people-person who doesn’t come across as fake or disingenuous is actually a great skill.

Be Honest

If you can’t do this, be honest. If you are really good at something, be honest. Don’t pretend you can do what you can’t. Don’t play down your ability to do what you can. Be honest and to the point without being a jerk or a know-it-all. If you can do this, you are surely going to impress someone in your interview.

Do Not Try to Suck Up

The worst thing you can do to a person is attempt to suck up. I’m not your boss, and I probably never will be, but I can tell you what the least welcome and least attractive quality in any person is – being a suck up. I don’t want or need you to like everything I do. I don’t want or need you to tell me repeatedly I’m fabulous or amazing. I don’t need you to kiss my behind, and I don’t appreciate that behavior in my life. It’s fake and it’s annoying, and it really makes me dislike people. And the truth is that most people feel this way (except those with no confidence and no self-esteem; they love it and it will go a long way with them, but you don’t want to work for someone like that).

Be Direct and To the Point

Silly stories, off-topic conversation and all that jazz is just a waste of time. Be direct. Tell the person interviewing you what makes you awesome, what you can do and why you’re good for this job. Be direct about your lack of experience and make up for it elsewhere. It goes a long way.

Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images

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