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janelle's avatar

How do you get a job with absolutely no experience?

Asked by janelle (465 points ) July 4th, 2012

I don’t really know where I would have the highest chance of getting hired without any experience. I was considering Starbucks or a job in retail, any suggestions?

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9 Answers

thebluewaffle's avatar

This has literally just happened to me…I beat two other applicants at interview who both had experience, compared to my complete lack of.

But the boss told me thanks to my life experiences (none in relation to the job of electrical engineering) and also my keen willingness to learn and adapt, he had no choice but to pick me.

Just show a recruiter that you can easily adapt to the skills needed, and also it’s an area you are keen to work and progress in. You will find something out there, I promise!

Actually enjoyed this job hunting period, allowed me to boast like fuck about myself!

Good luck!

wundayatta's avatar

If you have a pretty face, that helps with jobs in customer service and retail. Also waiting tables or other food service jobs.

The key thing is to let them know how responsible you are. You show up on time. You take pride in doing things right. You don’t leave until the job is done. You like to learn and you learn quickly. Those are the kinds of things that help you get a job when you don’t know what you’re doing.

ragingloli's avatar

Maybe do a free internship while you are still on government assistance. Then sell that as experience.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

If you have a high school diploma and good grades, use that to your advantage. Take copies of your diploma and transcript with you to the interview and explain to the company that you were responsible enough to regularly attend class and do the work necessary to get the grades you did.

If you have some college work completed, use that transcript, too.

If you were involved in any clubs in school, that will be a big help. It shows interests and spirit.

Don’t concentrate on what you haven’t done. Look positively at what you have done.

YARNLADY's avatar

I applied at an employment agency and when they discovered I was very good at math and arithmetic I got a job as an assistant bookkeeper with in one week.

I had worked at various part-time jobs since I was sixteen, including a food stand in a local park, babysitting, selling door to door and stage assistant in my father’s magic act.

Bellatrix's avatar

Make sure you have a good resume (even if it has no paid work experience you can point out your strengths, work you may have done for no pay – babysitting, helping your parents with book work, dog walking). You want to leave them with a document that demonstrates your education, interests and has all your contact info on it. Take it around your closest large shopping centre and hand it out in stores you would like to work in. Dress well including a pleasant smile and polite attitude. Walk in and speak to the manager and ask if they have vacancies. Leave a copy of your resume if they don’t have a position. It works!

augustlan's avatar

Literally everyone is in this position before they get their first job. Retail is a decent place to start, but if you have a career path in mind, try getting an entry level job in that field. If you can type and alphabetize, and have a pleasant demeanor, you can work in an office. Highlight your strengths in a good looking resume.

Haleth's avatar

There might be some experience you haven’t thought of, like volunteering, babysitting, extracurricular activities, etc. You don’t have to have experience to get a job, but other activities show employers a fuller picture of who you are. You can use that to show that you have a good work ethic, work well with others, that you’re responsible, etc. If you write up a resume, you can also use that to highlight other abilities, like computer skills, fluency in another language, awards, etc.

If you put together a resume, take the time to write a cover letter for jobs you really want, explaining why you want the job and why you’d be a great candidate. Enthusiasm and a bit of research can really help here. Learn what makes this company different, and express interest in that in your cover letter.

Look for jobs outside the beaten path, or internships if you can afford to do that. If you’re interested in any extracurricular activities, look for jobs that link up with those interests. For example, if you’re in your school’s drama club, you could be a counselor at a drama camp for kids. Or if you’re good at math, you could be a tutor. Consider starting your own business.

Ask people you know if they’ve heard of any job openings. Ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of an opening that would be a good fit, and to put in a good word for you.

Be enthusiastic. Once you’ve dropped off your application/resume, call back after a reasonable amount of time (maybe a day or a couple days) and let the hiring person know that you’re calling back because you’re very interested in the job. In a lot of beginning retail jobs, many people won’t bother to do that and even this little detail can set you apart. Once when I was a hiring manager, someone kept calling back to “check on their application.” Ugh, don’t do that. That person didn’t add anything to the discussion, or give me any reason why they wanted the job or why I should hire them. Be friendly, polite, and enthusiastic, and remind them that you’re interested in the job and would be a great candidate.

After the interview, call or e-mail to say thank you. Lots of people neglect to do this.

If you need any help putting together a resume, send me a PM. Good luck!

gailcalled's avatar

Your uni or college with have a job center with listings and perhaps someone to advise you.

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