Throughout your career, searching for a job seems to be dominated by what experience and qualifications you have. Young candidates in the UK are often in a catch-22 situation. They can’t get a job without experience, and they can’t get experience without a job! This can make life really difficult for job seekers. Specific experience and qualifications are seen as crucial in order to break into certain sectors. Although the market is more open than it used to be, it remains difficult for unqualified candidates to find the job that they want.
So, what's the best way to find a suitable profession without qualifications, or to find a job quickly without experience?
Thankfully, the jobs market is bigger than you think. Temporary recruitment agencies often recruit people of all ages without asking for specific experience or qualifications. Regardless of your profile, here are a few handy tips that you can use to increase your chances of getting a job quickly without qualifications or experience.
Developing your knowledge and skills is not all about work experience or a university degree. Self-led training is a great alternative which could help you to find a job without experience. Self-training is available in both general and specialist topics. Think about the most suitable training for any future assignments or jobs.
Nowadays, it’s really easy to find self-led training for a range of professions, using a multitude of resources including video tutorials, online training, MOOC courses, websites, social media and books. You may wish to gain expertise before you submit your application, learn technical terms your sector and find out more about the main companies in the industry that you're interested in. Looking for a job is an ideal time to do self-led training. Although it may not fully qualify you to take on a certain job, self-led training shows that you are independent and able to learn new things. It also gives you a goal to work towards. Your training will be likely to appeal to recruiters, and will give you some credibility during your interview.
In order to find a job without experience or qualifications, you may need to set the bar a little lower. This doesn't mean you can't be ambitious. Set out your red lines, while remaining open to different types of job offers. Be realistic about the pay. If you have little or no experience, you won’t be able to find a job with an end-of-career salary. You might not necessarily find a role which ticks all the boxes. Even small amount of experience can be a springboard towards better roles that meet more of your conditions. You’ll be able to develop your career as you gain in experience, and gradually move towards your goals.
Re-assessing your criteria does not mean burying your ambitions and accepting the first job offer that comes along. Don’t compromise your profile by going along with conditions that you feel obliged to accept. Whether you've just finished your A-levels, or you're going for a career change after 20 years in the same role, each professional experience is a building block in your career and should add value. Try to be patient, and to find a good balance between your goals and your degree of flexibility.
Looking for a job shouldn’t be about blindly applying for every single vacancy. Try to focus your search on potential roles that are right for you. Find out which sectors recruit people without qualifications, and how to access these jobs. If you're applying for a vacancy which specifies someone with experience when you've never worked for a company before, you're almost certainly setting yourself up for disappointment. Constant rejections will leave you demotivated and lacking in confidence. This is why targeting your job search can be really useful.
If you're young and unqualified, try to find companies recruiting for junior roles. If you have some professional experience, look for companies which value know-how above theoretical knowledge. If you have no qualifications or experience, you may wish to look for roles without too much responsibility where you can train on the job and gain new skills. Remember that there is a job out there for everyone!
The jobs market can be highly competitive. With no experience or qualifications, you might be at a disadvantage compared with other applicants. What you can do however is to make the most of the parts of the process that are under your control, in other words your application, CV, covering letter and interview.
Your CV does not have to include just qualifications and experience. Think of your CV as an opportunity to showcase your personality, skills and know-how, future plans and even your interests and hobbies. Make sure that you include anything that you think might be relevant for the role you are applying for.
Think about your activities outside work. For example, your CV could be improved by adding a voluntary role, a training course, a short-term internship or a service that you have provided. You may have more strings to your bow than you think, even if they are not solely professional.
If you have no qualifications or experience, you have little room for mistakes on your CV or covering letter. They have a considerable impact on how recruiters view you and your application. Spend as much time as is needed to perfect them and adapt them to each role that you apply for. Don’t forget to customise, check formatting, delete any errors and ask friends and family to proofread. Remember that your CV and may be your best chance of progressing to the next stage and landing an interview.
See how to write a good covering letter.
When you finally reach the interview stage, you need to know how to sell yourself. Turn your lack of experience or qualifications into a positive. Tell the recruiter why you want the job. Prepare a convincing pitch which allows you to tell your story, speak clearly about the sector or job that you are applying for, and tell the interviewer why you are unique. This groundwork may prove invaluable. If you've made it to the interview stage, the interviewer will already know that you have little or no experience, training or qualifications. You can therefore move the conversation on to a different topic by talking about your strengths. Ask friends and family to help you to identify your main plus points, so that you can promote them.
Temporary work offers a range of opportunities to job seekers without experience or qualifications. You can choose whether you want to opt for long-term assignments to gain greater experience in a specific sector, or whether you’d like to work on multiple short-term contracts for a wider experience of different roles. In the UK there are a wide range of jobs available in the transport, construction, industry and services sectors. You’ll most likely have lots of offers!
As well as having access to a large range of job vacancies, you will be assigned your own dedicated consultant. Your consultant is there to support you as soon as you register with the agency, and will be available to help with the recruitment process and while you are on an assignment. They will give you tips on improving your profile. They are also your link to recruiters, so make sure that you come across as keen and motivated!
In addition to the traditional high-street temping agencies, there are now a number of online-only agencies. This means that everything is done online or using a mobile app. Online agencies are a practical, quick and user-friendly option for a new tech-savvy generation that don’t necessarily have their own transport.
Don't worry. It is possible to find a job without experience or qualifications! People often find jobs without experience, qualifications or even A-levels. There are many such candidates out there looking for seasonal work, a first permanent contract, a temporary contract or a route back into the workplace after taking some time off. Although you can’t change your career path to date, you can control may aspects of your application which will affect your credibility when applying for jobs. Just producing the best possible application or improving your research methods may well be enough to achieve your goals. Give it a try!
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