Young graduates often find it difficult to find work, because many positions, even entry-level positions, require one or two years of work experience. What a lot of people don't realize is that in many cases, they already have the necessary experience and skills. They might have acquired them through a student job, an internship, or even a volunteer experience. To get a job without experience, you will need to build on the experiences you have, showcase your skills and successes, and fine-tune your method of job search.
Method 1 of 3: Develop your professional experience
Step 1. Volunteer in your chosen field
If you are having trouble finding work in your chosen industry because you don't have enough work experience, volunteer in that area. This will help you gain on-the-job experience and you will begin to develop skills that will be important to your future employers.
For example, if you want to become a social worker, you could volunteer at a homeless shelter or sponsor a child from a difficult neighborhood
Step 2. Apply for an internship
Internships, paid or unpaid, are great ways for beginners to gain experience in a certain industry. Look for internships on job boards or on the websites of companies that interest you.
For example, some companies are looking for interns for the summer period, to perform administrative tasks such as filing cases, entering data and answering the phone. This will give you experience of working in an office and allow you to meet people in this industry
Step 3. Develop your expertise
If you're trying to break into an industry such as writing, film editing, or interior design, create samples of your work that you can show to potential employers. For example, if you want to be a writer, you could start a blog. This will prove that you have experience in creating regular written materials.
It will also help you develop your personal portfolio
Step 4. Accept a part-time job
Even if you can't find a job in your industry of choice, still accept a part-time job. Employers will generally value any form of experience, even your first student job. This professional experience can help you demonstrate that you have good communication skills, good interpersonal skills and good problem-solving skills.
For example, apply for part-time jobs as a salesperson, in a fast food restaurant, or even as a waiter. This experience could prove to be very rewarding
Method 2 of 3: Showcase your successes and skills
Step 1. List all of your skills
The reason employers put so much emphasis on work experience is that they want to make sure you have developed the skills necessary for the job. For this, it is very important that you clearly list and highlight your relevant know-how. Think for example of the following points.
- Computer skills: they include knowing how to work with Windows and Mac operating systems, typing more than 60 words per minute, mastering PowerPoint and other programs of the Microsoft Office suite, having basic computer programming, knowing how to blog, managing a database client, manage a database, have bases in graphics, etc.
- Communication skills: this is anything that has to do with public speaking, writing, training and listening, with the aim of facilitating teamwork.
- Problem Solving and Research Skills: Students and bloggers benefit from very sharp research skills, which can be a real asset to a business. People with organizational or administrative management skills are often very good at handling problems.
- Management or leadership skills: if you have already led a project as part of your job, for a charity or among your friends, you have experience as a leader.
Step 2. Link your skills to your experiences
While it is essential to know and understand all of the skills that you have developed over the years, it is even more important that you can relate these skills to your jobs or past volunteering experiences. This will show potential employers that you have put these skills into practice.
It's one thing to say “I have excellent written communication skills” and another, far more impressive thing, to say “I have 2,500 subscribers on my blog, which focuses on creative writing”
Step 3. Explain how your skills are applicable to the job or industry
You've probably developed a lot of skills through your extracurricular activities, and the connection between these activities and your dream job might not be obvious. For example, maybe you play soccer in your spare time. This sport has a priori nothing to do with a position in the IT sector, but if you have coached a football team or organized a tournament, you will be able to prove that you are capable of carrying out a project.
Step 4. Identify the prizes you have won
Prizes and rewards could help you give weight to certain points that are found very often on resumes. For example, you could say that you are very hardworking. You will be able to support this by proving that you have been designated employee of the month as part of your last student job. On your resume, list all the prizes and awards you've won, from employee of the month to top salesperson of the year. This will prove that you can work hard and have an impeccable work ethic.
You will also need to include any prizes and awards that have been given to you as a result of volunteering
Method 3 of 3: Fine-tune your job search method
Step 1. Create an effective CV
To advance your job search, you will need a CV that highlights your skills and links them to the job posting. You will be able to classify your experiences according to the different skills they involve. For example, you could list your communication skills and then present examples of experiences that have enabled you to develop those skills, whether they are jobs, internships or volunteer occupations.
Always adapt your CV and cover letter to the position you are applying for. This will show the recruiter that you took the time to analyze and learn about the job offer
Step 2. Network with people in your industry
Use social media, like LinkedIn, to connect with people in the industry. You can also expand your network at community events or trade fairs. You might meet people who can recommend certain employers, help you develop your skills and answer any questions you may have about the industry in question.
Step 3. Do your research on specialized sites
Check out sites like Monster.fr or Indeed.fr to start looking for entry-level jobs. These sites will allow you to search for specific positions or to carry out a more general research by sector, for example in the field of education or advertising.
Define your research by setting your experience over 0 to 2 years. This will eliminate jobs requiring more experience
Step 4. Apply for jobs
Most specialized search engines will allow you to apply for jobs directly through their site. You will need to apply for as many positions as possible, even if you do not have the required experience. For example, the offer could specify that applicants for the post should preferably have 2-3 years of professional experience. This probably means that the recruiter might consider candidates who don't have quite 2 years of experience.
Step 5. Practice interviewing
To be successful in an interview, you will need to do extensive research on the company. Thus, the recruiter will see that you have a good knowledge of both the position and the objectives of the company. You will also need to practice answering interview questions with a friend or loved one. This will allow you to practice speaking in a loud, intelligible voice and to determine precisely how you will answer certain questions.