When you are applying for a job that “requires” an advanced degree or many years of experience, just to apply, try thinking of the job from the perspective of an HR recruiter. When jobs are posted online, they will likely receive thousands of resumes, and recruiters put those requirements on the requisitions to thin the herd. If you are a fast learner, you should still apply! The list of those who have hopped over the obstacles of not having the “right” education can go on forever.
Your first mistake is to not apply at all.
The ultimate step in overcoming lack of experience is to get to the more personal stage, where recruiters and hiring managers aren’t basing you off of your resume or LinkedIn profile, but off of your personal attributes and strengths. Some great ways to get to those face-to-face relationships and to network is to get an internship. Regardless of education, an internship can be your next stepping stone to a new position, or even a whole new career.
VirtForce.us and www.SuperInterns.com have great internships and networking opportunities to really add substance to your experience. You can also checkout Internships.com. When you land your internship, be sure to classify it as work experience on your resume. Potential employers will be attracted to your title. Always try to avoid calling yourself an intern or a volunteer. You can learn more about developing the personal connection in our course, MilSpouses: How To Get A Virtual Job In 12 Weeks.
If you are still struggling to get over the experience bump, try our exercise of quantifying your previous experience. Ask yourself questions about your experience that can help you numerically quantify it. If you were a waitress, ask how much revenue did you help the company acquire? You can get this total by averaging out how many meals you processed a week, the total revenue those meals brought the restaurant, and multiply that by the number of weeks you were employed.
Other questions you can use to quantify your experience include how many team members or customers did you support?, or how many processes did you improve or create for your organization?. All of these will showcase numbers in your experience and make it more likely that a hiring manager skimming your resume will stop and get to know you.
Think about it.
Which statement do you think a hiring manager is more likely to read?
- Served as a hostess, greeted guests and helped them select their tables for six months.
- Facilitated successful guest experiences for over 2,600 happy customers.
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