Lack of experience in the workplace can be a major hurdle. If you’re a fresh graduate or a stay-at-home mom with absolutely no work experience, it can be hard to find any job. And for those who aspire to work online or become virtual assistants, work experience would seem like a necessity if you want to get the right kind of clients.
In fact, I’ve been approached several times by women who want to be work at home moms because of this. They all worry that they don’t have enough work experience because they have never worked online (but have worked before) or they have never worked at all (sat-at-home moms).
But inexperience isn’t as big as a problem as most job seekers believe. That’s because, in fact, no one is completely without experience. Students that engage in extracurricular activities like student government or youth organizations or stay at home parents who participate in community activities do the same kind of tasks that would be valuable in work.
Putting these experiences in your resume is just as valid as putting any previous job or volunteer experience. These experiences have value and can be useful in any workplace; the trick is realizing its value and acknowledging it to be good enough to have some space in your resume.
Making Up for Inexperience
Let’s say even with all that there’s still not enough on work experience or job skills on resume to compete with other applicants. What can you do to increase your chances of getting hired?
The short answer to that is to work really hard and be very brave.
To catch their attention, you’ll need a good portfolio and a complete resume. It has to be complete and comprehensive. A shorter resume may work to your advantage if you’re able to properly showcase your skills.
Write impressive cover letters, jobseeker profiles, or application letters. Openly admit your lack of experience but also show how you can be a better worker over other applicants. Are you passionate about the work involved in that position? Are you willing to learn new things? Are you creative and can you think of novel, out of the box solutions to common problems? Are you willing to work hard to prove yourself?
A lot of employers and HR managers are now realizing that eagerness and the right attitude for he job can be just as valuable as work experience or education. If you can show them that you have the qualities that they are looking for, they might be willing to overlook your lack of experience.
Lastly, work on gaining as much experience and education as you can by applying for as many jobs as you can qualify, taking in small jobs and projects to boost your portfolio. I started with small freelance jobs that didn’t pay much. And my very supportive sister plied me with as many books and resources as I can read to help me become a better VA.
The first few jobs didn’t pay much but it did give me a lot of material for my portfolio which opened the door to better paying jobs. Those small jobs also gave me opportunities to practice what I learned, turning my knowledge into marketable skills. The combination of all these in the end has provided me with a career. I have professional growth, I’m earning enough, and I have the respect of my peers.
Most people choose to wait or prepare for opportunities. But why wait when you can make your own opportunities? Don’t let your lack of experience hinder you from getting that job or starting that business. Use your inexperience as your motivation to strive for something more. The great thing about a clean slate is you have the freedom to shape your life according to your own rules. With courage, hard work, and a little luck, there’s practically no limit to what you can achieve.
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