Job searching is not for the faint of heart. Especially in today’s job market where there are more candidates looking for jobs, allowing companies to hire individuals with more experience. A job search can be extremely demoralizing if every job posting requires that you have several years of experience, but you know that you possess the skills for the position.

Oftentimes this is a situation that job candidates face if they have recently changed careers or have recently graduated. So how can you land a job if every job posting requires X years of experience? If you know that you are a good match for the position, you need to make your resume (and you) standout. While you may not have the magic number for experience, there are several ways you can become more attractive to employers.

Gain Experience “Outside the Box”

While you may not be able to get experience in the traditional aspect, there are alternative ways to build your experience—and desirability, as a job candidate. Consider an apprenticeship or volunteering with a charitable organization.

If you work with a charitable organization, you can not only give back to the organization, but you may be able to gain skills you otherwise wouldn’t have. If you work with a community-based organization, you can often make connections and potentially use these connections to be recommended for a job down the road.

An alternate way to gain experience that is outside the realm of a traditional job would be to work as an apprentice. Apprenticeships are a great way for job candidates to not only gain on-the-job training, but also directly learn from individuals who have years of experience in the position. The Department of Labor website has information on not only the legalese of being an apprentice; they also have webinars and apprenticeship listings as well.

Become More Knowledgeable

If you find that you may fall short in the years of experience you possess, consider learning more. There are many programs (online and in the classroom) where you can gain certifications in your area of expertise or interest. Certifications are also a great way to become better rounded and be valuable to an employer in multiple areas. Oftentimes, earning a certification online can give you greater flexibility with your schedule. Many companies today will accept an additional certification over experience.

Use Your Personal Connections

Depending upon your career path or area of interest, there are many professional organizations available. If there isn’t a local chapter in your area, consider seeking out organizations (and like minded professionals) online. Joining online groups, forums and conversations relating to your field can help you connect with new individuals, and increase your knowledge.

For many industries, there are not many established organizations. For this scenario, do not be afraid to let your family and friends know that you are looking for a job. Be sure to highlight the fact you know you have skills that companies are looking for, that way if they hear of a position available, they may be able to provide insight about you to a hiring manager. The connections you may have made with an apprenticeship or time with a charitable organization may also be able to help you find a position. Do not be afraid to draw upon your personal connections to find a new position.

Keep Your Resume Up To Date

If you are volunteering with an organization, or working as an apprentice, be sure to update your resume in a timely fashion. Companies will look at your resume before they will schedule an interview, so if your resume is outdated and doesn’t highlight your skills, chances are you will not be called in for an interview. Highlight special projects and events that you may have participated in, as well as skills you may have gained in the process.

There are ways to get experience and land a job, even without prior work experience. One of the easiest, though, is to work with a reputable staffing firm like The Wood Companies. Contact us today to see how we can help you get on the road to professional success!  From CNC machinist jobs in Benton Harbor to office support positions in South Bend, we can help!

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