candidates without experience

Ways to stand out with limited experience

Have you found a role you want to apply for but worried you don’t have the necessary experience? You might cringe when you read the words “what experience or qualifications do you have for this role?”

Don’t despair you can still stand out and sell yourself and your ability, even with limited experience. Here are some tips to help you.

Embrace your inexperience – Don’t make out you have qualifications or experience that you both know you don’t. Instead embrace your inexperience and leverage that as motivation to learn. Share an experience you had where you didn’t have the qualifications to do something, but you did anyway, and show that it had a positive outcome.

Do your research on the company – Employers want people who have made some effort to get to know their company and what it is about. There is a plethora of information available online so there are no excuses to not do some Google searches to find out about the company and its leaders.

Show how keen & motivated you are – Enthusiasm is underestimated. I have interviewed people simply because they showed they were super keen, highly motivated to succeed and had a great attitude.

Tell them you are willing to get the experience or upskill as needed – Willingness to learn shows you are fine to move out of your comfort zone and grow as a person.

Share any volunteer work you do – If you do any volunteering work then share it. This says a lot about a person’s character and willingness to be part of a community.

Emphasise your soft skills – You might not have any formal qualifications, but you have personal skills that are relevant. Things like time management, listening, creative thinking, networking, team player, organisation skills are all valuable skills so share them.

Share stories and circumstances where you achieved something similar – You might not have direct experience for the role, but you will have life experience that you can apply. Think of a couple of circumstances where you have been challenged, how you solved them and what the outcomes are. This shows you are able to think and assess situations which is a valuable skill.

Connect with recruiters or employers on LinkedIn with a personalised message – make a good impression – Do not send the default connection message. Craft a short message sharing why you want to connect that is positive and gives them a reason to want to connect with you

Find a way to connect your passions and life experiences with the company – It might not be directly related but if you can find a link or something that will translate it can impress the hiring manager.

Keep it professional, and keep it honest, focus on the positive skills you have, fill your resume with real, valuable experience, have integrity and you might be surprised how much you stand out.