Getting a job with little to no experience

For the average recent grad or entry-level professional, the job search can feel like a lot of closed doors and very few opportunities. The biggest hurdle? Getting past the experience threshold – the minimum level of experience required for a job candidate.

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If it seems like every position you come across requires years of experience, we’ve all been there! But you aren’t the first entry-level employee looking for work, so we’ve compiled some tricks and tips to help you land that first job.

Limit your search

If most of the positions you see on online job boards, through your career services office, or via recruiters require way too much experience, it’s time to narrow that search.

When searching online postings, narrow your parameters to 0-1 years of experience. Don’t be tempted to browse the listings that pay amazing salaries or have the coolest job titles. Look only at the positions that target your demographic. No entry-level work on that site? Move along, there are other options out there.

Make sure you sign up for daily updates on all of the major job boards. If your updates primarily feature positions for senior-level candidates, check your settings. If that doesn’t help, unsubscribe.

Polish your resume

Your resume is a piece of paper (yes, one page) that highlights your skills, education, and experience, and does so in a way that makes employers and HR administrators take notice. That means you should put some serious time into making it shine.

  • Make sure you’re changing up your resume for each position, highlighting skills and keywords featured in the job posting. If, for instance, you’re applying for a job as an Accounting Assistant, your resume should highlight accounting and computing coursework as well as relevant interests, professional memberships, and internships. If you apply for a job tomorrow as an Office Manager, that same resume should look different! Now, it should feature your organizational skills, computer literacy, and friendly demeanor.
  • Get some professional eyes on your resume. Your school’s Career Services office will offer some type of resume review, so take advantage. Don’t worry. They’ve seen it all.
  • Highlight relevant coursework, especially if your professional experience is limited. Show off a good GPA, honor societies, awards, internships, and extra curricular activities. Feature your education section first and then your relevant work experience!

Intern, volunteer, network

We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it – there is simply no better way to find work. Show up for volunteer opportunities all over town. Shake hands, kiss babies. If you have time to do unpaid internships, do them. Do lots of them, and talk to your internship supervisor about what exactly you need to do to land a job when you’ve finished. Ask relatives, friends, former employers, and classmates for help finding work. Humble yourself and put in the time.

Landing that first job is a struggle, and it can feel impossible for an inexperienced recent grad. But the job search is tough – that is the nature of things! In the end, your first day of work will make it all worthwhile.

Want to take the internship route to landing a full-time opportunity. Find opportunities all across Rhode Island at bridge.jobs.

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