Posted by Paladin on February 23, 2017
“You can’t get the job without experience, and you can’t get the experience without the job.”
The Permission Paradox is one of the biggest Catch-22s in business. Entry-level jobs are slowly being replaced with positions asking for several years of experience, which adds another layer of difficulty to landing a new job. Whether you are just out of college or are trying to become a CEO for the first time, don’t let the Permission Paradox discourage your career goals. Here are 5 tips to help you overcome the experience gap.
Education Is Not Experience
The first thing you must remember is that education does not equal experience. While you may have attended a prestigious university or attained impressive grades, your academic accomplishments shouldn’t take up the majority of space on your resume. Keep your academic accomplishments short and sweet. Instead, opt for a more tangible way to define your skills. That takes us to our next tip.
Start jotting down everything you’ve done, including volunteer work, internships, organizations you’ve belonged to, or military service. What skills did you acquire from these activities? Is there anything that makes you a better person for the job? Be analytical and creative.
We’re definitely not saying to lie on your resume, and we’re not recommending exaggerating either. What you need to do is learn how to creatively demonstrate your abilities on your resume. For example, basketball may have nothing to do with the job you want. However, the leadership skills you attained while being a basketball coach definitely add to your skill set.
Even though you might not have extensive work experience, confidence is an important quality to possess. If you’re not confident in your own abilities, why would your future employer want to hire you? Don’t forget to emphasize your soft skills, as well, such as friendliness, reliability, or professionalism. These skills can often be the deciding factor when hiring a candidate.
Reach deep into your contact book and start connecting with everyone you know. Set up lunch and coffee dates, attend events, and get active on social media. You may be surprised at the opportunities that arise by networking with the people you know.
Another great networking strategy is to volunteer or apply for internships at relevant places. While it may not be a paid position, be sure to treat is as a real job. Take initiative, be responsible, and it could turn into the job you’ve always wanted. If you can’t afford a non-paid position, consider applying for a temporary or contract position in order to gain experience. Contract roles can be seriously beneficial to your career path.
Attitude Can Be Everything
Job seekers often think that work experience is everything. However, employers often value certain qualities over experience. Positivity and willingness to learn might be just as important to some employers. Go into every meeting and interview putting your best self forward and showing a desire to grow, and you’re sure to leave a positive impression.
To find your next opportunity, look here. If you’re wondering what the positions you’re interested in pay in certain markets, 2017 Salary Guide is here to help!