Applying for jobs is hard work, especially if the jobs you want don’t match your experience. Even if they are entry-level jobs.
Fortunately, job postings don’t tell the full story when it comes to finding a job that you know you can do. The career path may not be entirely clear, but you still want to jump on it.
There are many ways to successfully apply for your dream job even if your resume doesn’t exactly correspond to a job advertisement. And even if you apply for a job with no experience, no one will hire you for it, even though you have to do everything to get the job. Or at least build up your confidence and sharpen your communication skills.
6 tips to get the job
We spoke to several career professionals to share their top tips for job seekers who are struggling to find work with little to no experience and no college degree. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Change the way you view posts
The first piece of advice we kept hearing was that job seekers, regardless of their work experience, should change the way they look at job postings. Does this mean you have to use different websites or job research methods to get your foot in the door or even get that assistantship position?
Not exactly. According to career coach Kyle Elliott, it’s more of a change in mindset and attitude.
“You know the job posting is a wish list,” says Elliot. “You don’t have to have all of the qualifications listed in the job advertisement. Instead, focus on the experience, knowledge and skills you have that match the job posting. “
As well as highlighting the skills you have on your cover letter and résumé, Elliot suggests avoiding the old mistake he often sees as a career coach. You can get a job with no experience, but you don’t have to constantly point out your lack of experience. After all, you are trying to get a job with no experience.
“Instead, think about how you can strategically market your non-professional experience on your résumé. When you started a Second job, founded a business, or pursued relevant extracurricular activities, you may want to include them in your career marketing materials, ”says Elliott.
2. Speak your language
While keeping things positive is important for application success, you should also get into the habit of reflecting a company’s language in your application.
Are you looking for a team player with a good value proposition? Discuss the Employee of the Month award or not having had any sick days last year.
“Speak the language of your target company,” says Elliott. “Use the job posting as a recipe card to write your résumé, LinkedIn profile and other career documents. “
For example, if you aspire to a customer success role and have previously worked in restaurant service, focus on how you successfully served customers. Explain how you regularly persuaded customers to order a starter and A dessert to make more money for both you and the restaurant.
Work out Translate the history of your previous work experience into something reliable that your future employer can appreciate. This is even more impressive if you are aiming for an entry-level job.
“Although an experience or achievement may appear disconnected on the surface, almost any story can be translated,” says Elliott of the effort to get a job.
3. Work backwards to show how you fit
To broaden this last point, “working backwards” is a great strategy for writing a resume or application for a specific position, especially if you feel underqualified for a position. It is important that you show how you can make up for this, whether through work ethic, education, or attitude.
“Your role as a job seeker is to connect the dots between your experience and the target role,” says Elliott. “This makes the hiring manager’s job easier when they review your job history.”
Make sure you benefit from experiences that match what your employer is looking for, but also remember to leave out anything that is not important. That weakens your application and torpedoes your chances of getting interviews.
For example, if you’ve spent a summer picking berries and it doesn’t have a strong relationship with the job posting, this could be one of the things that you delete. However, when you can show how you acquired soft skills – communicating with colleagues and possibly customers – your experience will become more relevant.
The same goes for volunteering, which does not make money but has a lot of on-the-job training, including problem-solving skills, plus time management and team building experiences.
By bringing specific experience into your job search, you not only showcase your skills as a qualified employee, but also convey your understanding of your role. Companies want to know that they are hiring someone who understands what they need. You can prove this by using your job advertisement as a blueprint for your application.
4. Emphasize motivation in the cover letter
Another great way to get an employer excited about your application is to highlight your motivation.
If you love a company’s job or its mission aligns with your values and goals, this should be included in your application.
“Provide a deeper understanding of the company and in particular the industry or branch in which it operates in order to show your personal motivation to switch to the branch,” recommends networking expert and author J. Kelly Hoey.
That’s more than just saying something general about your interest, says Hoey.
“Tell me why you decided to enter the industry, because your” why “shows that you are more than just another applicant reaching for a job advertisement.”
5. Remember: quality over quantity
The internet makes it easy for you to apply for as many positions as possible. You can copy and paste a slightly streamlined cover letter and resume dozens of times for dozens of posts within an hour.
But at some point in the rush you may find that the quality of your applications is deteriorating or you may even accidentally apply for jobs that you really don’t want. This also hinders success in second place. How can you tailor your application if you are in a hurry?
Here it helps to keep a simple mantra “quality over quantity” in mind. “When applying for positions, focus on quality rather than quantity,” says Elliott. “Instead of applying for all of the open positions in a company, select a few key roles that you are well qualified for.”
Selective selection not only helps you show up as a more serious candidate with employers, it also ensures that you can bring your A-game to the table with every application.
6. Expand your network
The time you spend looking for your next job can feel long and unproductive. But keep this in mind when looking for a job and waiting for job offers: when you apply for jobs and get interviews, you are building a professional network. Recruiters, hiring managers, and prospects you talk to about the jobs are now part of your network.
“Be patient and make it part of your application routine to keep in touch with anyone who helps you along the way,” says Hoey. “That way, you have mentors to turn to when you get the job, and you’ll be remembered with those closest to the job market you want to enter.”
You never know when new opportunities will arise. Go the extra mile to have positive interactions with everyone you meet in your job search.
Larissa Runkle specializes in finance, real estate and lifestyle topics. She writes regularly for The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com