Breaking into an industry or switching to a new field requires you to earn an entry-level job where you can improve your qualifications. Getting hired into a brand new field requires confidence and drive; however, most people are unaware of all the skills and qualifications they can transfer to the workplace. Learn how to get a job with no experience.
Part One: Begin Volunteering
- Identify the job or industry that you would like to work in.
- Choose your ideal job in that industry. Then, research the path that most people take to get to that ideal job, using 2 or 3 different positions.
- Apply for internships, paid or unpaid. Look on major job search engines, Craigslist and company websites. Begin an internship as soon as possible.
- Start volunteering. If you are unable to get an internship, you should volunteer with the organization on evenings or weekends. Obtaining a volunteer position can be easier than getting an internship with a stipend or college credit. In some industries, such as the non-profit sector and the health industry, volunteering can be as valuable as an internship. Once you begin to volunteer, ask to take on more responsibility or lead an initiative.
- Work at an internship or volunteer post until you get a job. The longer you work in the industry, the better. Many people begin volunteering after their first year of training, so that they can gain industry knowledge and determine if it is the right field for them.
Part Two: Identify Skills
- Take out a sheet of paper. List all of the skills that are valuable to a worker in general and a worker in your field.
List all of your computer skills. This can include working with Windows and Mac operating systems, typing over 60 words per minute, proficiency with PowerPoint or other Microsoft Office programs, web programming, blogging, content management systems, databases, graphic design and more. If you don't have any computer skills, take free or low-cost courses at your local library and add the training to your skills list.
List communication skills. If you are good at public speaking, writing, training, listening and facilitating teamwork. These are skills you can develop through writing classes and membership in a Toastmasters club.
Identify problem solving and research skills. Students and bloggers have finely honed research skills that can be an asset to a company. People with organizational or office management skills can also boast exceptional problem solving skills.
Add managerial skills. If you have ever led a project at your job, through a charity or amongst friends, then you can add leadership skills. Write down experience where you were asked to communicate with different departments or organize a group project. Many employers are looking for people who can work independently and in a team environment.
- Don't forget to include skills you gained in past jobs, summer jobs, temporary jobs and jobs where you helped family and friends.
- Explain how these skills are transferable to the new job or industry. Be analytical and creative in this process. Once you establish how you can transfer your skills, you can explain it to a potential employer.
Part Three: Identify Accomplishments
- Think about any awards you have won. From employee of the month, to a top retail associate, to a dean's list commendation, awards and honors should be listed to show your dedication and exceptional work ethic.
- Never exclude accomplishments or skills you gained through volunteer work. People develop extensive skills while they volunteer their time. Extensive volunteer accomplishments show your dedication to work and a cause. In your cover letter, you will want to explain your drive to succeed and how it parallels your desire to succeed in the job.
- Develop your expertise. If you are trying to break into fields like writing, film editing or interior design, create sample products to show your potential employers.
Start a blog. As you research and gain knowledge, write about the latest developments in the industry. Include the blog in your resume.
Write sample articles in various styles if you want to be a writer. Post them to a portfolio website or develop PDF samples that you can send.
Volunteer to do a service, such as interior design, for friends and family for free. Document the projects and make a portfolio.
Part Four: Write a Functional Resume
- Rethink how you write a resume. Most people assume resumes must be in chronological order; however, this is not the best form for people who are looking to break into a new area.
- Begin with your personal heading. Always include extensive contact information.
- Add an executive summary at the top. Explain your major skills and what you are driven to accomplish in the field within 2 or 3 sentences. You may want to write this after you have filled out your resume.
- Organize your experience section with skills, rather than chronological jobs.
Make 4 to 6 headings, under which you will list at least 3 skills or accomplishments.
Make sure the qualifications you choose for your resume are things required of the applicant in the job description. Tailor your resume for each job. Refer back to your list of skills and accomplishments to create different resume options.
Always use action verbs when describing your experience. For example, if you are referring to your computer experience, you may use the words "programmed," "trained" or "produced" in reference to programs.
- Place an education and training section underneath your functional experience settings. Make sure you include any educational accomplishments as well as the name of training programs.
- List any titles you hold for charity or school organization. Holding a job as a chairman, secretary, committee chair or treasurer for a community organization can help you network and prove your dedication to hard work.
Part Five: Tailor your Job Search
- Use job aggregate sites like All Jobs In Liberia to begin looking for entry-level job titles.
- Define your search by choosing 0 to 2 years of experience. This will remove jobs that require more experience to apply.
- Network at local community events. Inquire about new jobs at companies. Your personal relationship may not get you a job, but it may get you an interview.
- Begin working part-time. Some companies may be more willing to take on new workers who are seasonal or part-time. Earn your full-time job when you get there.
- Request an interview. You have a better job of convincing a manager to hire you if you can tell them how quick you learn new skills and give examples.