Created by: Dave Harland | 3 June 2019

How to find a new job if you haven’t got much experience

One of the most common questions asked by first-time job seekers is ‘how do I apply for a job when I haven’t got experience of working?’ The good news is that there are lots of ways to gain experience as well as getting your first job.

There’ll be some jobs only suited for those with lots of experience though, so it’s worth looking for entry-level roles and those requiring little experience.

Work experience

Gaining work experience is one of the best things you can do to secure a job. Not only will you be able to show what skills you have but you’ll also get to experience the team culture and working environment.

Try to find organisations that you’d like to work for and offer your services as work experience or a trial. While work experience is usually unpaid, you could discuss future opportunities while you’re there, and might persuade them to keep you on if you perform well.

Internships and apprenticeships

Some businesses offer internships, where a number of new people will be taught specific skills and knowledge that relate to the company.

Apprenticeships are usually longer and you’ll be trained under the guidance of the company. To put it simply, you’re being trained while you’re doing paid work.

Job-hunting tips

  • Whatever role or company you’re interested in, you need to find the right person to write to.
  • Once you know who you’re writing to, write a cover letter to explain what you’re looking for and why you think you’re a good fit.
  • You’ll also need to send an up to date version of your CV. If you’re a first-time job seeker, employers aren’t going to expect lots of work experience.
  • If you haven’t got much experience in a particular industry, think about your previous experience and education and how you can apply it to other areas.
  • Whether you have the skills needed or not, employers will probably be attracted to you if you show a willingness and ability to learn.
  • Keep it professional and keep it honest.

What should I put in my CV?

Just because you don’t have much experience, it doesn’t mean your CV can’t be impressive. Consider adding any previous work experience, fundraising activities, community work and awards.

Talk about what you do in your spare time too – employers are looking for people with personality who will fit into their company and teams well.

Having little or no experience can be daunting but if you apply for entry-level roles, employers know that you’re just starting out. Simply fill your CV with appropriate skills and valuable experience and remember there’s a job out there for everyone. 

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