Struggling to break into your dream career? It can seem impossible when you’re fresh out of college with zero experience, most job descriptions will request at least 3-5 years of experience which will leave you silently screaming “BUT HOW CAN I EVER GET EXPERIENCE IF I CANT GET A JOB WITHOUT EXPERIENCE?!” It seems like an endless, impenetrable circle at times, but don’t panic, be patient and take these job hunting tips on board to land the job of your dreams.
1. Prepare to work for free
Yeah, it sucks, and not everyone is fortunate to be in the position to do able to do this (we gotta pay rent you know?), but the easiest way to gain experience is to take part in some sort of work experience/internship. If you’re able to save some money and move in with family/friends to enable yourself to do this, great. If not, a part-time internship along a part-time job is a great way to keep earning, whilst taking steps to break into your dream career.
2. Search outside the box
Applying for work on the regular job hunting websites can leave you behind the pack if you’re lacking experience. The online filters search your CV and cover letter and if you aren’t a super close match, your CV may not even get seen by a human. There is often a large volume of applicants on these sites too, making your chances of success even less likely. The best method I have found is to contact directly via email, found on the company website. Not only are you more likely to have your application seen but it also shows a bit of initiative and extra effort.
3. Perfect your cover letter
People always stress about perfecting their CV, not too short, not too long, making sure the key information is at the start. Whilst your CV is, of course, important, your cover letter deserves just as much attention. As the body of your message, it’s the first thing that your potential employer will see and it needs to be something that will grab their attention. Don’t fall into the trap of repeating your CV in your cover letter, it’s a waste of a great opportunity to get your message across. Get creative, grab attention and tailor your cover letter around the description of the job you’re after.
4. Don’t be disheartened
Setbacks and rejections are going to happen a lot while you’re job hunting, the key is to not let yourself get disheartened and don’t give up on that job you’re after. A great way to make sure you don’t end up settling for something else it to try temping, that way you have an income but you’re not committed to anything so you can keep applying for the job you really want.
5. Never say no to an opportunity
Informative workshop? Do it. One day of work experience? 100%. Someone wants to meet for coffee to discuss your work? Go.
No matter how small the opportunity, even if it might seem like a waste of time, make sure you take it on. Job hunting is a weird game and doors can open when you least expect it. Meet as many people in your chosen industry as possible, network and make connections. Get any snippet of experience you can, it’ll all add up to something great.