No Experience? No Worries!

Employee Advice | PreviewMe | 25 June 2018

It’s the dreaded line in almost all job descriptions. It’s the line that turns your attitude from ‘man I’m perfect for this’ to ‘never mind, they won’t consider me’. We’ve all experienced it. What are we talking about? It’s the classic desired experience level line.

A lot of people tend to get turned off by a job because they lack the desired experience outlined in the job description. However, it’s important to remember that regardless of whether you are applying for your first job or changing industries - experience isn’t always everything.

Finding a way around your lack of experience may not be easy but all it takes is a little bit of preparation and the ability to sell yourself.


Embrace the suck

Unless you were able to land a summer intern role or volunteered during your spare time, chances are you won’t have any real-world work experience. So why beat around the bush during your interviews?

Instead, embrace the suck and use this to your advantage. Generally, your first job out of university will be in an entry-level position. You’ll be happy to know that hiring managers will understand your lack of experience. You just need to prove to them that you will make a great fit and are capable and willing to learn.

Often times, employers tend to see lack of experience as a positive. As you resemble a blank canvas that gives them the freedom to train you in their ways, without having to override previous habits or ideas.

So, instead of trying to conjure up some experience, embrace the lack of experience and use it to your advantage. Demonstrate points in time at university when you were faced with a difficult or challenging situation, and how you learned from it.


Share your story

You might not have work experience but what you do have is life experience and your personality. For a lot of entry-level positions, businesses are looking for someone who will come in, adapt on the fly and fit into the culture of the office. They’ll teach you everything after that.

So use the application and interview process to highlight your personality and experiences you’ve had. For example, maybe you did an overseas exchange, which allowed you to experience a range of different cultures and ways of life. Maybe you were a Residential Assistant at a university college, which helped your ability to communicate with people and work in busy environments.

Don’t overlook your personal experiences or personality when applying for a job. Most employers want to know who they’re hiring, so share your story.


Find a connection  

This one will take a little bit of effort and preparation, and will need to be different for every position you apply for. However, it will do wonders for your chances of landing a job. Do some research on the company and the position. Don’t go to the interview empty-handed.

Chances are you’re applying for the job because you like the company and the role, right? So find a way to link your experiences, personality and the position together.

Whether you take a marketing presentation from university and sub in the company you’re interviewing for or you outline event volunteer work you did for a major sporting event. In most cases, unless you're applying for something way out of left field, chances are you’ll be able to find a relevant and meaningful connection between you and the position/company.

Getting your first job out of university isn’t always easy. Don’t let your lack of experience get you down and discourage you from applying for a position.


A good way to navigate around the experience level issues is to send in a video CV with your application. Video CVs are becoming increasingly relied upon as a recruitment tool for a lot of employers. Not only is it a good way to showcase your skills but it is also extremely useful for giving the employer a good understanding of who you are. Don’t know where to start? is where you need to go!

Because at the end of the day, for most entry-level positions, it’s less about the experience and more about the personality and cultural fit.