For almost every job opportunity out there today, you require some years of experience before you will be hired. But the question many candidates ask is “How can I get experience if no one is hiring me?”
I totally understand this pain so well.
It is painful to watch an opportunity for a dream job slide out of your hand because you do not possess the years of experience required for the job.
The case is even worse for your graduates.
You are just graduating from school and the first job you are applying is requiring 3 years of experience.
Sounds familiar right?
There are some companies that require college graduates to have years of experience to be considered for an entry-level role.
This makes getting your dream job a lot more challenging and your career will be delayed.
In fact, there is an analysis by Talent Works, that reports that 61% of entry-level job postings required three years or more of experience.
Also, a National Association of Colleges and Employers survey showed that today’s employers are looking for both hard and soft skills in their entry-level workers.
It is true that you have gone through college for 4 years but the reality is that school alone does not give you the prerequisite skills that you require for the job.
You need to possess some experience that you make you stand out among your peers.
So, how then can you get experience for a dream job that requires prior experience?
Let’s find out.
5 Ways To Gain Experience For A Job That Requires Experience
Here, we will go straight to the point to see some of the tips that will help you to get job experience.
After this session, you will see reasons why following each of these steps is good for you.
So, let’s begin with the first tip that will help you to get job experience for your dream job.
1. Take some internships:
Internships are a good way to gather enough experience that will help you to land your dream job.
You get to learn so much as an intern while associating with professionals in the company.
If you are still an undergraduate, then you must spend all your long holidays taking one internship program or another.
In today’s world where everything is going digital, you can even find a remote internship opportunity.
The aim is to get as much experience as possible before you leave college.
But what if you are already a graduate?
Well, it is not too late to start taking internship opportunities.
At least internships don’t require as much job experience as a full-time job.
So, you can apply to get an internship with a company and add that to your resume as experience.
I know that you need to feed, transport yourself and pay your bill as an intern.
Well, that should not bother you as well because there are some companies that pay you while you intern with them.
So, make sure you discuss payments with the company to be sure that you get some stipends while your work.
2. Participate in volunteering activities:
Just like internships, volunteering is also another good way of getting the experience you require for your dream job.
You learn interpersonal skills, leadership skills, communication skills and teamwork when you volunteer in a group.
These are very important skills that every employer look out for when hiring a new employee.
So, by participating in volunteering activities, you will be able to get all of these experience.
But a question you may want to ask is “How can I get volunteering opportunities?”
The good news is that there are many non-profit organizations that have volunteer positions where you can gain work experience.
So, reach out to any of the organizations that interest you.
Also, when you are done with the volunteering activity, don’t forget to add the experience to your resume!
3. Do some freelancing jobs:
What better way is there to get experience for a dream job than to work part-time as a freelancer.
The truth is that companies hire employees who have previous job experience because they don’t want to spend on providing training.
Also, the vacancy may be such that needs to be filled urgently, which is why you must possess sufficient knowledge for the position.
By doing freelancing jobs related to your dream job, you will be getting opportunities to work on projects that will give you the experience that you require.
There are tons of websites where you can find freelancing opportunities.
Some examples of websites to get freelancing jobs are Fiverr, Upwork and FlexJobs.
When you sign up as a freelancer on these platforms, you will get a lot of jobs that will help you to perfect your craft.
Also, you will be able to make money off these projects while you set your eyes on your dream job.
4. Start working in your neighbourhood:
Did you know you can develop valuable work skills when you do small jobs for friends, family, or neighbours?
Surely, you can try yard work, babysitting, taking care of pets, or helping an elderly person with chores.
Obviously, you may not consider these jobs as something you can add to your resume.
But I’m telling you today that they make for a good facelift to your resume.
It is not the job that you did that actually matter, it is the experience from the job that will be of benefit to the employer.
Everything boils down to packaging how you use the right words to communicate your experience to the employer.
5. Job shadow an expert:
If you are interested in a particular career and you know a professional in that field, then you can job shadow him.
You can gain valuable insight and work experience by simply working alongside an individual who possesses the experience, skills and expertise that you desire.
The exciting thing about job shadowing is that it gives you the experience of following a person in their job for a few hours, a day, or a few days.
But the experience that you will get within this short period can span throughout your lifetime.
To get a professional who you can job shadow, ask someone you or your family knows if you can observe them and add this experience to your resume.
6. Don’t underestimate your value:
The fact that you don’t possess the requisite knowledge does not mean that you cannot get a job.
You don’t have to be the type of person that gives up without a fight.
Even though you don’t have the experience for a job, there is still the possibility that you will be hired.
In a Robert Half survey, 62% of employees reported being hired for positions when they were underqualified
So, you see, you should not let inexperience deter you from giving it a shot.
You lose 100% of the shot that you do not take.
When you make such a move and possess the right attitude fit for the job, you can still be hired.
According to the same Robert Half research, 84% of employers were willing to train the right candidates even if they didn’t yet have the required skills.
So, if you’re holding back because you don’t meet all the requirements for a job opening, it’s time to be brave.
You could be losing out on opportunities by underestimating your worth to employers.
Why is getting experience for a job important?
Now that you know the different ways of getting the required experience for your dream job, let’s look at the importance of this act.
1. It helps you to secure a graduate job early:
Getting the right experience for a job prior to your graduation makes it easy for you to get a job immediately after school.
It will help you to excel your job interview flawlessly.
There are jobs that require you to be a fresh graduate with some years of experience.
This is clearly impossible since you have not taken any jobs in the past.
But by following the tips for gaining work experience which I have shared above, you will be able to get the job.
2. Getting work experience helps you to make a career choice:
Most times, we end up doing the things we know how to do best.
And the same thing happens when you have experience in a particular field or career.
With your experience, you can easily decide to settle for careers that are related to what you already know.
3. It is an opportunity to put theory to practice:
Getting internships, volunteering, job shadowing and all other tips mentioned above are good ways for you to put theory to practice.
As a student, you have been taught a lot of theories in class with very few practicals.
Therefore, attempting to get experience for your dream job will push you to apply the knowledge which you have acquired in class.
4. Gain extra knowledge that can apply to your career:
Every work experience has a way of making you a better person in your career.
For instance, if you volunteer with an NGO, you will learn leadership skills by leading a group.
Also, you will learn how to communicate with people and how to work in a team.
These are valuable skills required in the workplace.
By learning these skills prior to getting a job, it will make you stand out among your equals.
5. Opportunity to network with people:
Networking is a very important activity that everyone ought to engage in at all times.
You must be the type of person that likes to meet new people and make valuable connections.
These people who are in your network may turn around to be of help to you towards achieving your career goals.
By attempting to gain knowledge and experience for your dream job, you may find professional friends who are in the same career as you.
Also, you will be able to find mentors who will guide you to success.
Experience is a very vital commodity for many job seekers today.
Not only that, but employers also require you to bring something to the table.
Your first-class certificate alone may not be sufficient enough to land you a job.
You need to come with skills, experience and a desire to contribute to the organization.
With these tips shared in this article, you will be able to get all the experience and skills you require for a job.
This will make you stand out among other job applicants and you will be offered the job.
Now that you have learned these tips, it will be nice for your to share this knowledge with others.
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