Are you a recruiter?
Most employers understand that everyone has got to start somewhere, but it can feel extremely disheartening when applying for jobs and seemingly every one asks for experience. Where do you start? If you have ambitions to land your dream job without any experience, it is a bit of a long shot, but it is possible. So, here are a few suggestions to help you on the road to recruitment.
Think about the skills you have to offer and the traits that make you ideally suited to the role you have in mind. When you really think about it, you might even find you have experience in a specific field that you didn’t even know you had. Babysitting, for example, is valid experience when it comes to applying for that first childcare job. Once you have a clear idea of why you are the type of person the recruiter needs to employ, you will then have the confidence to make first contact.
Speaking of making contact with a potential employer for the first time, there are many ways you can go about this. Networking is key to ensuring recruiters know that you are hungry for a new opportunity, whether attending local networking events, jobs fairs or charity functions. It is true that, in many cases, it is all about who you know, so if have an active social life, you might be more inclined to rub shoulders with potential employers or at least someone who could put in a good word for you. Employers are more likely to overlook a gap in your experience if you come with recommendation from someone they can trust. Don’t be discreet if you harbour dreams of working at a certain company and you happen to attend the same gym or play golf with the HR manager! The more experience you get in promoting yourself, the easier it will be to secure the job you crave.
If you have time on your hands, you could even consider volunteering, taking on an apprenticeship or interning. This will help to boost your CV when it comes to the application process. If you would like to work at a certain company, you could even offer your services free of charge. This shows real commitment on your part. Follow up any contact you make with the company. If you send a Tweet, follow up with a letter. If you send a letter, follow up with a phone call. Keeping the conversation going not only demonstrates your intent, but it also shows you are switched-on, the type of candidate any recruiter should wish to employ.
Social media is a very effective tool when reaching out to prospective employers online. Being present on sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn, connecting with individuals and companies in your chosen field, can get results in today’s modern workplace. Make sure your social media profiles are squeaky-clean, as this will be the first port of call for any recruiter whose eye you have successfully caught.
There is no harm in sending in speculative applications. What have you got to lose? As is the case with any formal job application, be sure to include an up- to-date CV and cover letter, tailored to meet the requirements of the company and the type of position you wish to fill. If there are no current openings, use the opportunity to ask if you could shadow a manager or undertake a work experience placement. This could really help give you the foot in the door you need, as well as a head start in the recruitment process of a future vacancy. Last but not least, there is nothing wrong with aiming high, but if you have no previous experience, you are making your job search all the more problematic. In today’s competitive job market, you want to be able to stand out from the crowd, so rather than applying for jobs that might not be quite within your reach, you might be better served fine-tuning your skills. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. It will be worth it in the long run!