No Experience?

May 24th, 2010 | By | Category: abundance, Career advice, career challenges, challenges, interview, mentor, office problems, personality, success

It is the time of year when Colleges and Universities are in the midst of graduating the new crop of job seekers with degrees in almost every conceivable major. Unfortunately most are joining the ranks of the unemployed with the added disadvantage of no work experience. Work experience sometimes appears as insurmountable obstacle or catch 22 – How can one gain job experience if experience is required to get a job?

The experience requirement for job postings may server several purposes. The obvious one is to filter applicants to produce those with the ability to step into the position with little or no training. Another is to filter applicants who have a demonstrated ability to function in the workforce. Experience may be problematic to recent graduates or those switching career fields, but does not have to be a brick wall.

One approach is to do in-depth research on prospective employers to learn their core business and operating procedures. Then tailor your resume and cover letter to match their operations. Although you may not have work experience, if it is something related to your major you should have written a paper or completed a project related to the company’s function. This may be cast as research, and if you have any professors who are well know or have published papers in your career field be sure to mention their names and your close affiliation with them. Also learn and use industry buzzwords, acronyms and other jargon associated with the career field. The Internet has good research resources on most career fields. In many professions knowing the buzzwords and acronyms and being able to explain what they mean is 80% of the core job knowledge. Be sure to use all buzzword and acronyms correctly in all correspondence and interviews.

Also do some research on the people in key positions in the company. Often there are copies of speeches, papers, and articles available on the company website. Become familiar with their names and accomplishments. You may list some names and accomplishments in your cover letter. Also you may write them an e-mail referencing their work and how it fits in with your training and professional views. You may even start a discussion or ask for more information or insight. The goal is to establish rapport.

Although these tactics are not a substitute for experience, they may gain you an interview. Then you have to be ready to state your case of why the company should hire you. The research will already be complete so all you have to is to polish your presentation. Good Luck – The PracticaL Mentor

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