Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You Can Get the Job You Want - Even Without Experience

A diverse group of artists took part in Artsca...
A diverse group of artists took part in Artscape's skills
 development programme (Photo credit: Development Works Photos)

When you want a job that you don’t quite have the experience for, how you present your resume can make a big difference.  Resumes are one of the tools that almost all employers look at to help them decide if you might be a good fit.  Yes, they look at experience and job history.  But if you use your resume to your advantage you might be able to convince them that you are worth a shot.

One of the most difficult resumes to write is the one that presents you in a good light, even though you are fresh out of school or are in the middle of a career change.  You don’t have the experience that employers are seeking for the position you really want.  So what do you do?  You change their focus from job history to a summary.

When you are going through a career change you are likely to come across this problem.  Your past job history doesn’t give you the experience you need to qualify for the job that you want.  But there are likely some transferable skills that you have learned along the way that you can carry across to a new job. 

Some of the transferable skills that employers seek no matter what job you are applying for are management skills (both people and time),  organizational skills, computer skills, and knowledge of programs.  Even if you do not know the specific programs that are needed for the job, you can demonstrate your ability to learn new programs by showing them that you have previously learned to use programs and software that are needed for the job.

Consider starting your resume with a summary or a profile to highlight this critical information.  This is not the norm for most resumes but it can be effect when you are going through a career change.  Focus on the skills that you can bring to the table and how they will be useful in the job that you are applying for.  You can draw attention to volunteer experience or community activities if they relate to the position, as well.

Those who are just out of college can use this technique, too.  When writing your profile focus on the skills that your education has helped you develop.  Draw attention to practical education that has been implemented.  If you received honors or awards, make sure to mention those. 

Just because you don’t have the experience it does not mean that you can’t get the job you want.  Utilize your resume to your best advantage and then follow up with a great interview by being prepared.  Focus on what you can do!



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