It’s time. You know you have to get a job, but you’re worried that you really don’t have sufficient work experience. Perhaps you’re right out of school and new to the work world; maybe you’ve been absent from the workforce for personal reasons. Where do you even begin?

You begin by thinking outside the box. Many of the skills and strengths you take for granted are more valuable than you might think. You might not be in a defined role right now, but more than likely, a number of your skills are transferable. Here are 7 tips to help you think outside the box for your job search.

  1. It’s not how many lattes you made, but if you were a reliable employee. Employers look for candidates who are motivated and reliable. Having a track record for showing up regularly and on time is a great start.
  1. Another skill that shines is your willingness to learn new skills. Consider coming into an entry-level position at a company and learning as you go. Many companies are thrilled to train people for more complicated skills.
  1. Good communication is a strong asset. If you’re articulate, can express what your goals are, and ask legitimate questions, you will stand out as someone who can work with others, and could be a great addition to the team.
  1. Think of different ways to get your foot in the door. Perhaps you can offer to help a company with its social media posts, organizing a database, or calling customers. Offering to do these for minimal pay just might lead to a full time, salaried job once they see your skills.
  1. What types of activities did you do while in school? Did you successfully balance work and studies and social life? Were you involved in any fundraising, charity work, or volunteering? These count and can be very appealing to a manager.
  1. Stress your other skills. Are you a pro at organizing? Can you multi-task like no one else? Perhaps you speak a foreign language. You might not have an exact match to the job you want, but your natural skills can let employers know that your learning curve might not be as great as someone else’s.
  1. Network, network, network. Is it true when people say, “It’s who you know?” Very often people come into their jobs by knowing someone. Let friends and acquaintances know that you’re looking for a job. They just might know someone who knows someone. Managers will see that you’re liked enough to be recommended. Once you get an interview, then it’s up to you to put forth your very best.

Once you start thinking outside the box about your skills and assets, you’ll be surprised at how many things come to mind. Realizing that there are things you can do even though you don’t have work experience is a great first step. You’ve got this.

Need help sorting out your skills or identifying skills you excel at? Contact us. MassHire Cape & Islands Career Center 508-771-JOBS (5627)

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