13 Jun 2018

How to get a job with no experience

By Sean BreenDirector & Chief Biscuit Dunker

Are you trying to find a job but you've no prior professional experience? The team at JobAlert.ie have put together some quick tips to help you with your job search.

No experience, no problem!

The impossible riddle that haunts jobseekers – “I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience”.

If you are still in school, searching for a part-time job can feel hopeless when you haven’t got any work experience.

Do not fear as we have detailed a blueprint to beef up your CV and guide you to landing a job this summer!

Writing a CV without any work experience

Have you recently found yourself saying “I don’t have anything to put down on my CV”? Well, that is all about to change my friend.

It’s time to put on your thinking cap for a few minutes.

Employers are looking for candidates that possess a particular set of skills to make sure they are competent enough to do the job they are hiring for.

So it’s time to prove to the employer that you are up to the task.

Make a list of any activities you have successfully completed in the past that highlighted your skill set. It’s very important that you list skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for.

Examples include:

• Working on a school project (Teamwork)

• Giving a presentation (Communication)

• Knowledge of computers (IT)

• Babysitting (Responsibility)

• Captain of school football team (Leadership)

• Binge watching Netflix for 12 hours straight (Strong Work Ethic)

All of these activities allow you to build a list of skills for your CV.  Write down 4 – 5 skills with examples for each. To get the ball rolling, download a free CV template here for jobseekers who have no experience.

If you don’t have a CV yet, use the same format of the above CV template and just replace the information with your own. Now you have a CV ready for employers.

Cover letter

The next piece of the puzzle is writing your cover letter. The same principles for writing your CV will apply for your cover letter. Gather relevant skills plus examples from past activities and include them in your cover letter. Download Cover Letter templates here which are specifically designed for jobseekers who have no experience.

No shortcuts

When applying online for summer jobs you must always tailor your CV and cover letter for each individual job. This does not mean lie about who you are and what skills you possess. It just means making your application as relevant as possible to the position you are applying for.

Using similar language and linking your relevant skills with those listed on the job requirements will give you an advantage and grab the attention of the employer more than if you keep your CV generic.

Completing a new cover letter for every job you apply for will also give you an edge and show the employer that you have done your homework. Do some research and learn about the company’s values and history. Then tie in how your own personality traits and skills that you showcased are aligned with the company you are applying for.

Use your network

I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Well, when it comes to finding a job for the summer this old school saying holds some weight.

Make sure you speak with teachers, family members, sports team coaches, parents of friends – literally anyone you can think of and ask them if they know of any companies hiring. The fact is that you could be just one conversation away from a friend or family member helping you land a summer job.

Also – let the world know you want a job! Don’t keep it bottled in. Blast it out across your Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat profiles – even use Facebook stories (It’s about time someone did).  If nobody knows you want a job nothing will ever change. Everyone you come in contact with, just tell them you are looking for a summer job.

Get out of your comfort zone – If you don’t ask you don’t get

In the case of finding a summer job just sending applications online will not be enough.  It’s time to get up close and personal with employers. I do understand that the thought of printing out your CV and visiting a shop owner to ask for a job may seem daunting. However the reward far outweighs the awkwardness of asking an employer if they are hiring. Landing a job for the summer will allow you to start earning your own money while gaining valuable work experience that will act as the building blocks for your career in the future.

Build a tolerance for rejection

Never take rejection personally. Ever.

Everyone you have ever known who is in a job has been rejected at one point or another. It’s part and parcel of the game, so get used to it. The more times you get rejected, the more your confidence will build in the face of it. Rejection will build your character. What won’t build your character is the fear of rejection.

It’s this fear of rejection that cripples most people and paralyses them when it comes to taking meaningful action that would improve their lives.  So get comfortable with the uncomfortable and embrace rejection.

Ideas on where to find summer jobs:

• Local shops and small businesses in your town (Not just for the summer)

• Shopping centres

• Hotels and resorts

• Tourist’s attractions

• Golf and Tennis clubs

• Parks & recreation areas

• Local government summer job programs: Visit your local county council careers website or contact the local enterprise boards in your area

• Summer camps

• Fast food restaurants (Visit their careers website first to see if they are hiring)

• Internship programs: Search online to see if any companies are offering an internship program.

• Visit the jobs section on our website to find companies hiring in your local area.

Final tip: If you are a teenager please become familiar with your employment rights as well as the Minimum Wage rate in Ireland. Review all the details here.

Remember that there are move CVs than there are jobs, so keep applying and stack the odds in your favour. The team at JobAlert.ie wishes you every success in your venture to find a job this summer. When the going gets tough just keep on going! Best of luck.

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