5 tips for getting a job (without prior experience!)

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University Partnerships Lead, Christine Murphy

As part of this week’s #ComeBackStronger campaign to help graduates kickstart careers post-Covid 19, we asked some of our senior team members to share helpful advice and insights for those seeking training and employment at this time.

 

Hey there. My name is Christine, Senior Talent Lead at Sparta Global. I often hear that young professionals are struggling to find work due to lack of industry experience. So how do you get experience when you don’t have experience? There are a number of ways you can showcase a desire to learn and make your own opportunities to gain practical experience in a field that will only add to your employability. Below are my top five tips to help boost your experience and CV:

Tip One: Freelance.

Reach out to your friends, family, and neighbors to see if they need your expertise on a project. The options for freelancing are endless – creating a website, managing a social media platform, creating marketing content, running data analysis, etc. No matter how big or small the project is, it’s valuable, practical experience for future employment.

Freelance work can help build your independence, time management skills, and business acumen – even if it’s not in the field you would like to work in in the future. You might even earn some money!

Tip Two: Online learning.

The pandemic taught us that life and work is unpredictable. Over the past year we have all had to adapt to new experiences and pick up new skills to get by. With long periods spent at home, people have also taken advantage of the extra time to learn new skills or refresh old ones. The internet is a glorious tool, and there are hundreds of e-learning websites, (many of which are free!) that you can use to boost your skills.

To stay motivated, try to set goals on what you’d like to achieve and by when. It will help you to schedule a few hours each week to dedicate to educational activities, be it reading, completing online courses, or working on a personal project. Invest in yourself.

Tip Three: Get involved.

Employers love to hire candidates who have been involved with extracurricular activities. Whether it’s joining a society with your University, being a member of a sports team, or even working on a side project with your friends - these are all great ways to build your soft skills, and sometimes even your technical skills.

Extracurricular activities strengthen leadership skills, communication, and time management skills – all behaviours that are highly sought after by employers. Make sure you list these activities on your CV!  When push comes to shove, it is what makes you YOU (your hobbies, your passions and your personality) that will help you to stand out.

Tip Four: Volunteer.

Another fantastic way to gain experience is through volunteering. Through volunteering, you will be able to strengthen your interpersonal skills, meet other people, learn new skills, and maybe most importantly, make a difference! Volunteer opportunities are typically easier to get then a paid job, so if you lack work experience, this is a great place to start.

Tip Five: Network.

Gaining experience isn’t just about getting a job, it’s also about understanding how the application and interview process works for full-time corporate roles. To gain interview experience, connect with your university careers team to see what employer talks and skills workshops are available. These offer a great chance to access valuable insights about certain organisations and what they look for in an ideal candidate. Take advantage of the opportunities to network with others and get your name out there!

If you lack interview experience, these workshops will empower you and build your confidence in interviewing. When you apply to your dream company, you will have the confidence and applicable knowledge you need to succeed.

Spending the time to gain experience – be it practical work experience or something more self-driven – will benefit your career opportunities in the future, but remember – not all employers require this to consider you for a role. At Sparta Global no experience = no problem. You do not need to come from a STEM background, or have studied a STEM degree, we are an equal opportunities employer that considers every application for our Academy on an independent basis.

Want to find out more about how you can kickstart a career in technology with Sparta Global?

Contact me today at cmurphy@spartaglobal.com.