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How to Get a Job without Real-World Experience

It’s one of life’s greatest dilemmas: You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to gain experience. What’s a job seeker to do?

Although it might seem like an uphill battle, you can stand out from other job applicants and land a job even if you don’t have any real-world experience. Here’s how to get a job without real-world experience:


Get Hands-On Experience

Even if you haven’t yet worked in the field you want to enter, you can still gain experience through an externship. Externships will allow you to shadow professionals to learn about what a typical day on the job is like. The experience also lets you apply knowledge you learned in a classroom in a real-world setting. Be sure to highlight this experience on your resume. It shows employers that you understand the role and have received relevant training. And if you make a good impression during your externship, the company could even hire you when an entry-level job becomes available.


Get Certified

A professional certification shows employers that you are serious about your career and proves that you have the skills necessary to succeed in your chosen profession. A certification will set you apart from other applicants, and even more so if it’s coupled with externship experience. For example, if you want to get into the medical field, you can get a Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification from the American Heart Association, which shows you are able to perform CPR and use an automated defibrillator. If you’re interested in an office setting, a Microsoft credential such as the Microsoft Office Specialist certification will show employers that you’re proficient in the software you will likely use every day on the job.



One way to get a job is through connections that you can build through social networking and in-person interactions. LinkedIn is a helpful tool. It lets you connect with professionals in your area and can even alert you when job openings that match your search criteria become available. Whether virtually or in-person, don’t be afraid to connect with people to introduce yourself and let them know you are looking for a job. You can also join an industry organization that hosts regular networking events for people in your field. At these events you can meet other professionals who can give you valuable advice and pass your along resume if you make a good impression. Make sure you follow up with these contacts, because even if they don’t know of any current openings, they might be able to connect you with opportunities in the future. A personal connection will help you stand out among other job applicants, so it’s important to build as many professional contacts as possible. Always be appreciative of the people who help you, and once you’re settled in your career, consider paying it forward by helping people who are beginning their job search.


Polish Your Resume

Your resume is your chance to sell yourself to your prospective employer. Even if your “Relevant Experience” section doesn’t include a job in the field, you can highlight your education and externship experience, as well as the skills that make you a good fit for the position. These could include soft skills such as attention-to-detail, communication, and leadership skills, as well as hard skills like software you learned through your education. Your school’s Career Services department can help you polish your resume so it captures the Hiring Manager’s attention and help you make sure it’s well-formatted, error-free, and best represents your skills.


The Right Education

The right educational program gives you the right training to set you on the path to success. If you want to be noticed by hiring managers, Charter College has programs that offer certificates, Associate and Bachelor’s degrees to prepare you for entry-level careers. And when you’re ready to enter the workforce, Charter College’s career services can give you the support you need. Contact Charter today to learn more.