From a Dream to Reality: Getting a Job in Australia with No Experience

Tired of reading job adverts that list skills you don’t have? Maybe you’re sick of being rejected for not having the right experience? Or perhaps you’re looking to build up a network of trusted people who can help you bag that dream role?

It mightn’t feel like it right now, but getting a job with no experience is 100% possible. You just need to be doing the right things. And by the right things, we mean everything listed in this blog.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Hands down the easiest way to get a job with no experience is by networking.

LinkedIn has 700 million+ active members, and three people are hired every minute, so it’s a pretty good place to start. Set up a profile and connect with as many heads in your industry as possible, as well as people who hire people like you.

The making friends (networking) bit comes next. Most people on LinkedIn consume content, rather than post it. Don’t be like these. Forget dishing out likes as if they’re cents in an arcade, you need to be doing your fair share of posting and commenting to build a proper network.

So long as you’re adding value, you should get a helping hand in finding a role.

Embrace your inexperience

Don’t think of your inexperience as a bad thing. Instead, flip it, reverse it (yes, that’s a nod to Missy Elliot) and use it to your advantage. If expressed in the right way, your inexperience can show you’re hungry and eager to learn.

It’s a common misconception that employers want the most experienced employees, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes they want fresh talent that can bring something different, lift the mood creatively — know what we mean?

Work for free if you have to (but only at the very beginning)

Remember when you were 15 and looking for a job, and your gran would bang on about how volunteering at the local shop would set you up perfectly for when the time came to leave school — and she wasn’t wrong.

Sure, stacking shelves sucked while your friends were at the beach, but we bet you can see with hindsight how those few hours a week spent ‘missing out’ were worth it.

Now you probably have your sights set higher than the local corner shop, and I don’t blame you. Luckily, there are tons of internships (paid and unpaid) that help you get your foot through the door. And even if you have to work for free for a short time (sucks, we know) and they don’t keep you on in the end, it’s an experience to put on your resume. And it will pay off.

Identify transferable skills

It’s not a nice feeling when you’re reading through a job ad, and no matter how deep you dig, you struggle to tick off any of the required experiences. It’s an instant confidence crusher. But this shouldn’t stop you from applying for jobs, because there are loads of transferable skills you can talk about that’ll show you’ll be an asset.

Start by listing all the skills you have, without filtering them. Even if you’ve only had one job in a corner shop, there’s always something you can add. What about computer skills? Dealing with difficult customers? Or how about that time you helped train up the Saturday person?

Once you’ve made a list, think about how your skills match what’s required from the role, and highlight these in your resume. And don’t underestimate professionalism and friendliness, which can go a long way to showing you’ll be a darn good fit.

What have you achieved?

When looking for a job, shout about your experience loud and proud. Even if it’s not directly related to the job you’re applying for, pick out things that demonstrate your work ethic and dedication. Take a megaphone to your interview if you must.

Mention any volunteer work you’ve done here, too. Even if it wasn’t the job for you any more than swimming is for a cat, it demonstrates your willingness to learn. Oh, and don’t forget to mention any awards you’ve won, things like an employee of the month (just don’t tell them if you were the only employee) or any academic awards.

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