Searching for your first job is exciting! Picture yourself hanging up the latest fashions in a retail store or serving delicious meals in a restaurant. The possibilities of your first position are endless!
But as you probably know, finding your first job isn’t always ponies and rainbows. There’s nothing worse than getting giddy over a job then realizing that position requires previous work experience. How frustrating!
You know what? Apply anyways. While you may not have paid job experience, you have skills and traits that the employer could love! You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take, so let’s make your shot count.
You know you’re great, but the employer doesn’t… yet! So let them know by building a strong case for yourself in your application. To show the hiring manager you’re the person they’re looking for, take key skills straight from the job posting and draw comparisons to your past experience! It’s obvious, but essential for building your case for candidacy.
Where to begin?
Looking at your blank application can be overwhelming. Where do you start? An easy way to fix your brain block is to think about your past experiences and interests. Were you a member of a club? A sports team? Were you ever a volunteer? Great! That’s exactly what you should add to your application to bring it to life.
Be concise and to-the-point.
Employers don’t spend a lot of time reading applications. They’re busy people! So the faster you can get them to understand you’re the one for the job, the more likely you are to get a call back. Besides, you don’t want to spend time writing a novel for your application either, right?
Lights, Camera, Action!
You don’t need glitter glue to make your application shine. If you sparkle in person, you’ll be sure to make the employer like you! Unfortunately, you don’t often have a chance to get in front of an employer until the interview.
So here’s the solution: Record a 30 second Video Cover Letter of yourself on HigherMe and attach it to your application! You’ll make that face-to-face impression before even meeting the employer. How’s that for making your application pop?
I know what you might be thinking. “A video? What would I even say?”. Just talk about why you’re the perfect candidate for the job! And don’t forget to show your great personality in the Video Cover Letter too. Employers will eat that up!
What they don’t know won’t hurt them.
It’s your job to promote yourself as a great candidate, so don’t mention your lack of experience. While you might be tempted to be forthcoming with your pack of paid experience, it’s not your job to draw that conclusion for the employer – they can make that decision on their own based on your qualifications. Besides, there won’t be any room to mention your flaws because of how many perks you included! #PositiveVibesOnly
Go the extra mile.
Phew! The hard part is over – your application is complete and submitted. Waiting to hear back from the employer is a nail-biter, so why not reach out to them first? Send a quick follow-up email to the employer if appropriate
A follow-up email will show the employer your great character and initiative. Just one more trick to make the employer like you before you even meet! Click for tips on writing a follow-up letter.
So ask yourself: Do your skills and personality make up for your lack of paid work experience? Would you feel confident in the job? If so, go for it. Don’t let the postings intimidate you – after all, this could be your first step towards an amazing career!