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How to get a job when you have no relevant experience

Posted on: 30 Sep 2019, admin

Job-hunting can be a daunting task for many reasons. It takes up a lot of time, and can be challenging juggling with home life and a full-time job. 

It requires a lot of patience and persistence, and these days, it’s not as simple as updating your CV and filling out the application form – we also have our professional networks to update, such as LinkedIn, to ensure any relevant experience and key competencies are presented. 

But what about those of us who don’t have the relevant experience? If you’re considering a career change, chances are there are a few skill gaps that need to be addressed. Here are our 5 top tips for job seekers considering a career change. 

1: Temporary work

Temporary employment is when you work for a company for an agreed amount of time, sometimes from six-weeks to six months (although sometimes more or sometimes less). Regardless of how long the placement lasts, it’s a great way to add experience to your CV and to try out a company or an industry without having to give too much commitment. This work is normally paid, and occasionally, it can lead to a permanent role. 

2: Internships 

This is another great way to add experience to your CV. Internships demonstrate your work ethic to an employer, which increases your employability. There are thousands of roles available within the third sector, but you can also contact companies you’re interested in and enquire about their internship programmes. This allows you to gain industry-specific insight which is really beneficial in the long run. Not all internships are paid, however. Be realistic and don’t commit to one if you can’t cover travel expenses and living costs during the agreed period.  

3: Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships combine work and study by mixing on-the-job training with classroom learning. Employers who are looking for apprentices understand that you will not have experience in the field and are usually happy to train you. By the end of an apprenticeship, you’ll have received invaluable experience and a certificate! Side note: if you’re over the age of 25 and you’re worried about finding apprenticeships don’t worry, adult apprenticeships do exist. 

4: Focus on what you DO have

Experience is very important, but so is your personality and overall attitude to work. Can you draw on life experience, to demonstrate the skills a company is looking for? You could show an employer that you’re motivated and proactive through any hobbies you have, such as athletics or learning a language, for example. These demonstrate commitment, too. If you add examples such as these to your CV – an employer will see your drive and may give you a chance. 

5: Find experience you didn’t know you had

We want to stress here that everything you say in your CV or cover letter must be correct. That being said, have a think about your previous jobs and find links between the experience you have and the experience they require. For example, if you’ve helped organise meetings and/or answered phone calls at some point, this is administration experience and if you’re going for an admin role, use this! 

We hope this has helped, remember at Ascendant Recruitment we’re always available to help you in your search. Contact either our Milton Keynes or Northampton office if you need any help with getting back into the job market.