When you apply for a job, employers look for experience on your resume. Most employers prefer to hire people with ready skills and experience in a similar position to decrease training time and ramp up employee productivity as quickly as possible. Some employers are willing to train good candidates, but they still expect to find an indication of suitable or transferrable skills on your resume. But what if you’re looking for your first job or trying to start a new career in a field you haven’t worked in before? How do you get the experience employers are looking for? That’s the Catch-22. You need the job to gain experience, but you have to have experience to get the job!
There are several ways to build experience that will look good on your resume and increase your chances of being hired. (Tip: If you are unemployed, you can use these same methods to fill in gaps in your employment history with activities that demonstrate initiative and a strong work ethic.)
- Take an intern position. Most intern positions aren’t paid, but they offer excellent opportunities for skill development and are an effective way to get your foot in the door in a new industry or particular company. Internships also offer valuable networking and mentoring opportunities that frequently lead to job offers.
- Volunteer. Donating your time, energy and talent to nonprofit organizations is an excellent way to demonstrate your skills and learn new ones. Use volunteer work to learn new and transferable skills and demonstrate your leadership or team building abilities. Volunteering carries the additional cachet of community service which has become a vital part of most corporate cultures.
- Take a class. Filling a resume gap with additional education demonstrates your desire to improve your effectiveness as an employee. Choose continuing education courses that will deepen your knowledge and increase your versatility.
- Start a business on Zoondy. Sell your services on Zoondy as a self-employed entrepreneur. Even if you’re looking for a full-time job, freelancing while you’re looking shows initiative and demonstrates management skills.