In today’s furiously competitive job market lack of experience can feel like a lead weight pulling you down, away from the positions you so desperately want to be considered for. Although there are ways to bulk up your experience to appear more appealing, should you even spend the time applying for that position that seems so far out of reach? Do you stand a chance when there are so many, more qualified, applicants? Is there anything you can do? The simple answer? Yes. There are ways that you can land that dream job in spite of your experience, or lack thereof.
When your experience is lacking your cover letter takes on added importance. This is where you will convince the hiring manager that you are the perfect person for the job, despite the experience offered by other applicants. This is the time to ditch cover letter templates and get a little creative. Although not all situations will suit awesomely creative interactive cover letters or amazingly thought out BuzzFeed cover letters, there are always more subtle ways to stand out.
Research the company whose position you are applying for, this may land you with the name of the hiring manager, addressing them by name in your cover letter is more personal, and a good start. Research will also provide you with the latest company news, referencing a piece in your cover letter that interested you and why shows your engagement and will reflect positively. Mention why you want to work for the company, and what excites you about the prospect, this will display your passion for, and investment in the company, and the role specifically.
You may not have much experience, or even much relative experience, but don’t draw attention to this in your cover letter. Instead, consider the experience and skills you do have, and think of creative ways to explain how these will benefit you in this role. Although it may seem insignificant, and irrelevant, unrelated past experience has provided you with transferable knowledge and skills, you just have to think of how to spin it so they are relevant for the position you are applying for.
Another option would be to identify, through research, a problem that the hiring manager/company are having in regards to the work you’ll be doing, and propose how you could help to alleviate this issue. This is something that could be included briefly in your cover letter, or if you prefer, completely substitute your regular cover letter for a pain letter. Doing this will show initiative and will definitely help your application stand out.
The Simple Things
There’s a lot you can do to overcome your lack of experience, however, when doing so, don’t forget the simple things. Proof read your CV and cover letter for spelling and grammar, even have a friend or family member give it a second look. No matter how impressive your application is, such mistakes can ruin your chances of getting the position. Also, if you are successful in getting an interview, don’t forget to follow up with a thank you after the fact (usually best within a day of the interview). This is something simple, but shows the hiring manager that you value their time, and keeps your name at the forefront of their mind.
With these suggestions you can overcome your lack of experience, and might just be able to land the dream job you’ve always wanted.