We all know that the job market is tough these days. The first things you must have to separate yourself from other candidates are a good resume and great interviewing skills. One major question that often lingers in the minds of job seekers is, “How do I cover my lack of experience?” This is a question that has so many answers and when asked if I can give advice on overcoming the “experience question” my answer is always, “It depends.” This is because of your own attitude and capabilities. Some people are overzealous in their job search and think that they deserve extremely more than they’re worth – like CEO pay with a middle school education and very little experience. Others don’t realize the value of what they do or have done and therefore sabotage their opportunities for that dream job. If you fall into the latter of these categories, here are a few things that you can do to overcome this obstacle.
This is something that people manage to miss out on when writing their resumes or going to interviews. Prior to interviewing really evaluate your job experience or any other outside experiences that may have given you the know how to excel in the job you’re seeking. For instance, recent college grads may forget to highlight the organization that they founded that grew from 5 to 150 people. Experiences like this are great examples of a person’s leadership, management, and organization skills – skills that may be essential to landing the job you want. Employers love to place their employees in different roles to see how flexible they are and how well they work with different groups. Just because your past job title was that of a “Maintenance Technician” doesn’t mean that you can’t mention that Six Sigma project that you worked on with a group of engineers. Dig deep into the past job responsibilities and projects and you may be able to find the right duties that add to your experience and marketability.
The Art of Misdirection
When someone is listening to your answers during an interview or reading your resume a mastery of the art of misdirection can help you create an illusion of value that works in your favor. Emphasizing education and knowledge in an interview or on a resume directs the potential employer from the lack of experience that you have in the position. Your job is to direct your answers and create a resume that highlights the areas that you would like the employer to see, not the other way around.
Entry level jobs may not always be the optimal position for you; however, they get your foot in the door. The pay is not always as great but you have the chance to show your work ethic and gain recognition which can lead to opportunities for advancement; often within a very short period of time. Small businesses are great for moving individuals up the ladder quickly. Keep in mind that small businesses are also a great way to gain business knowledge because you have a better chance of being able to see the inner-workings. Also, if there are comparable jobs in similar areas, it may be worth looking at those positions as well. You never know when the company may need an extra hand in a role that you are interested in once you get hired.