How To Get Your First Job Without Relevant Work Experience
Ever came across that job you badly wanted but could not meet the relevant work experience that was stipulated? You are not alone. Statistics indicate that most Kenyan jobseekers are either fresh university graduates or people who have spent most of their work years doing jobs that are completely unrelated to their career paths.
Most job listings include the requirement of prior experience in the particular job for the candidate to be shortlisted for the interview. Ambitious jobseekers however go ahead to apply for advertised positions with less experience than that stipulated by the advertiser while others, with no related experience at all, bank on their other strengths while applying for the positions hoping to make it to the interview short list for a chance to explain their case.
According to Mr. Kelvin Mutuma, Virtual HR Consultant, possessing relevant work experience for the vacant position within an organization gives one a better chance of getting the job than other applicants.
“Nowadays, companies look to hire people based on their skills and expertise. Relevant work experience is that plus thing that puts a particular candidate ahead of the others while looking for the same job,” he said.
When it gets to the interview scenario, most interviewers dwell on whether or not the jobseeker possesses the expertise necessary to carry out the tasks entailed in the role to be filled. This is defined by the jobseeker’s experience in the field they are applying for.
Mr. Mutuma says that there is no reason for you to worry you too much. There are people whose other points of strength for a particular job have outweighed the mere requirement that they possess many years of related work experience to fill the particular position at the organization. He provides tips that can make you land that that job you have always wanted with the lack of relevant experience as the only stumbling block.
How To Get Your First Job Without Experience
Have an outstanding career objective
In our previous article, we discussed how a great career objective makes you stand out from the rest. Catch the employer’s attention by what you are capable to offer the organization in the long run. Make them know you are trainable and a fast learner.
Above all, make him aware that you fully understand what is required of you in executing your duties. Career advisers recommend that you offer to work on probation to first prove your skills. It is a good thing that on most well written CVs, the employer first reads your career objective before they land on where you have been before.
Make your career objective the catch!
You must have started somewhere…
You probably haven’t been waiting all this while just for your dream career. You have to start somewhere, Mutuma advises. Somewhere means any decent job you can lay your hands on to make yourself a busy jobseeker. This also helps you to get a source of income to boost your confidence in your career path. When you are invited for an interview, you will definitely need to dress or put on nicely to boost your presentation. It requires money to purchase a presentable suit. So, start somewhere.
When you start somewhere, rather than staying idle, it becomes easier for you to establish career networks that will be beneficial to you in future. Who knows, someone at the workplace may discover the commitment in you and recommend you to that job you have always wanted. In this way, you land a job with lack of prior related experience.
Make the employer know that you have gathered invaluable professional skills that will definitely work in your role.
Be confident and humble at the interview
Voice up your soft skills to the interviewer and let them know that with your training and willingness to learn, you are best suited for the role. At the same time, be portraying the right amount of humility so that the employer banks on your ability to be trainable.
Do not apply for a job that requires you to have a 10-years relevant work experience when you are looking for an entry level job. Be realistic. At such a level, you can bargain with an employer who has stipulated 2 years.
Even as employers seek for experienced individuals to take advertised positions, they are aware that there are promising individuals in the job market who lack relevant experience. Therefore, there is no reason to shy away from making an attempt.
People looking for their first jobs at entry level always switch off when they come to the stipulation requiring them to possess at least two years of relevant work experience. It is disappointing when the recruiter stipulates such an uphill requirement yet you only graduated the other day and lack the relevant experience. In other occasions, you might have searched for a long time but only ended up getting opportunities completely not related to your field.
Looking down upon oneself is never an option. Rather, start somewhere and make a move. Even after you find work that isn’t related to your career, open your eyes and make a move to find a career that you have always wanted. It is wrong to imagine that some jobs are ‘less attainable’ than others.