The ‘Entry Level’ Conundrum- How to Land a Job without Experience
Aug 28, 2018
There are a few questions that will baffle mankind until the end of time. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Is there a synonym for synonym? Why is abbreviated such a long word? But perhaps the most mind boggling of all is how to land a grad job without experience.
You need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience. It’s enough to drive you crazy.
In fact, more and more ‘entry level’ jobs now ask for years of prior experience, putting some job seekers off certain industries all together. But what can you do? And are these rules really set in stone? Here are a few things to bear in mind if your entry level job doesn’t sound so entry level.
Inspect the Spec
Skimming through a job specification can be daunting with candidates easily put off by masses of information and requirements. But try thinking of it as more of a wish list than a collection of concrete demands.
Remember, they are an absolute ideal set of qualifications. Entry levels jobs are more flexible than senior positions and, as such, if you match roughly 75% of the criteria then it’s definitely worth applying. Take some time to pick apart the job spec. You may be surprised at how good a match you really are.
Customise Your Cover Letter
While your CV may not be the perfect fit, a well-crafted cover letter gives you the perfect chance to showcase what other skills you possess. And as far as entry level jobs are concerned, all experience can be useful.
Everything from student jobs to volunteer schemes can demonstrate something important. So use your cover letter to highlight your transferable skills and how they would suit the role.
Talk Up Your Degree
A university degree is so much more than a fancy piece of paper. It demonstrates commitment, hard work and motivation. The chances are you’ve also picked up a host of skills along the way.
Critical thinking, analysis and time management are all immensely useful in the workplace not to mention interpersonal skills like networking and communication. Think about how your degree honed these skills and list a few specific examples.
With thousands of applicants vying for one position, it’s easy to get lost in the paperwork. But grabbing a grab job with no prior experience can be made easier by networking.
Try connecting with hiring managers via email or through platforms like LinkedIn. While you’re not guaranteed a response, many recruiters respond well to self-starters who take things into their own hands. Even if you are rejected, by building relationships with potential employers, you’re boosting your future chances.
Cookie cutter cover letters are enough to send recruiters running for the hills. Nothing puts them off more than generic statements and worn out clichés. So use your cover letter to demonstrate your personality.
Though of course you need to show a certain level of expertise, an honest and passionate application can set you apart from the crowd.
So don’t be put off by a lack of experience. Recruiters are looking for bright, bold candidates who are willing to learn. Emphasise your motivation and desire and focus on the skills you do possess, rather than the ones you don’t. Happy hunting!
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