The following is a guest post by Anurag Gupta. His bio follows.
Thousands of young, ambitious girls graduate every year facing a tricky question- how to get their foot in the door without any work experience? Also there are women, who wish they can break the shackles of a monotonous routine and switch to something that interests them. Again the same question looms large. If you are one of those aspiring beginners or movers, with your sight set on a dream job, thankfully a bit of research, planning, learning, networking and soft skills can help you break the glass ceiling. Here’s a quick wrap up of how to nail it.
Be Ambitious but Realist
You ought to accept a harsh reality that not all jobs can be secured without hands-on experience. For example, you can’t bypass a writer’s position to land at editor’s desk. Focus on entry level positions lest you may end up chasing a wild goose.
Prop up Specific Soft Skills
Presumably, you lack specific knowledge or information for the job but soft skills do add some weight to your resume. Pinpoint relevant soft skills with anecdotal evidence, for example, put specifics like “excellent time management- juggled a six hour college class with a part-time job.”
Make Your Previous Work & Activities Count
See if you can draw a direct or even a faint link between one of your college projects or activities and the requirements of the job you are interested in. Describe how your past activity boosts your potential to grasp new things faster than usual. If you are a fresher applying for a sales position, for example, you can say how you raised $1000 funding for an environment project.
Equip Yourself with Industry Jargons
You cannot look a novice in the interview. Knowing your industry, its jargons and keywords keeps you in a familiar territory with the panel. It’s an indicator of your proactive approach, your zeal to learn and most importantly the hunger to bag the job. It would be great if you could subtly drive the discussion to one of the latest trends related to the role and slip through a brief, sharp commentary.
Get an Internship under Your Belt
Many organizations welcome volunteers and interns with open arms. Enroll for an internship program, be a part of the industry, get a hang of it from inside and acquaint yourself with the tricks of the trade. You will get valuable experience in addition to making some contacts.
Don’t Shy Away From a Side Route
You can enter an organization with a job closest to the position you have been eyeing. For example, if you are good at writing and want to enter digital advertising, try for a writer’s job, get an entry and volunteer (in extra hours if your schedule permits) to work for entire process of ad campaigns. This hands-on experience could give you the confidence and maybe the first break.
A Free Stint shouldn’t be Taboo!
“Hard work for free” sounds disheartening but if you can plant the word “Free” in your resume, it is a fairly appealing attribute for potential employers. Be smart to define the time period, say two or three months, for which you can work without compensation. At least, you will grab the attention for your sheer determination to get the job.
Targeted Networking can be Your Trump Card To Bag The Job
With the power of internet, the ways of networking are redefined. Instead of in-person meetings or gatherings, you can sift through online platforms, for example LinkedIn, and get in touch with company insiders, say HRs or the ones in the same team that you wish to join. This opens up an unofficial contact line that you can leverage as a reference in future. Also, you will have leads to a bulk of vacancies that are not advertized by companies. Bagging the job is a process accompanied with setbacks, lessons and a final victory. Whatever be the pace of this journey, don’t let the hurdles weigh you down. At every roadblock, motivate yourself with a new small step that pushes you further towards the goal. With an open mind, remember that every little stride will bear fruits now or later. At the same time, spare a thought for those who will be hiring you. What exactly do they want from you? The answer to this question must figure in your cover letter, resume and every word you say in your interview. When the employer gets what they want, you get what you want. Your exactitude during application process and personal interview may make you the ablest candidate and play down the lack of experience.
Anurag Gupta handles all the recruitment processes of PlacementIndia.com, which is India’s leading online placement agency. His write-ups on effective candidate sourcing are posted on various portals. To know more about him, you can follow him on his other social media handles http://www.mscareergirl.com/2017/06/09/bag-the-job/