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.

What impression does your LinkedIn profile make on potential employers?

Your LinkedIn profile is your first impression on potential employers, clients, partners, and recruiters. Think of it as a mini-website for your personal brand. It is usually the first place a recruiter will go when they are deciding to add you to a shortlist.

As much as you might not like to believe it, you are being judged by what your LinkedIn profile says about you. Your digital reputation matters and it is now more important than a CV.

Is your profile Google & future boss friendly? What impression does it make?

Be subjective and honest with yourself here. If you find it hard to review your own profile then ask a co-worker or friend to look at it and provide feedback.

If you are applying for a role, then the employer or recruiter probably has a tonne of applications to go through. So, making their job easier for them is certainly going to help you move up the list. This includes making your LinkedIn profile user-friendly.

How do you make it more attractive for recruiters and employers? Here are some tips to fast track your profile.

  • Make your headline descriptive- it should not be your job title but how you solve a problem/help clients or benefit the people you work for.
  • Include a summary – you have 2000 characters and your summary should be about your overall career experience. This provides a snapshot of your experience and the outcomes you have achieved in your career.
  • Match your career chronology to your resume – Your LinkedIn profile should match your CV. You don’t want gaps that will be questioned.
  • Describe your work – don’t just list a bunch of tasks you do. Describe how your work impacts positively on the company and its clients. Share the type of projects you excel at or really enjoy.
  • Maximise your profile – Your LinkedIn profile allows you to put a lot of information including projects you have worked on, articles you have published, volunteer work, memberships, skills, recommendations and more. Use it to your advantage.
  • Personalize your LinkedIn URL – you can customise your URL with your name so take time to personalise it and make it easy for people to find you.
  • Include your contact information – seems basic I know but something that often gets forgotten. Include your current email (not an old Gmail address you never access) and mobile number at a minimum.

Also, remember that your digital brand assets should reflect your personality. It is OK to have some fun in business. Show people who you are on your digital channels. People want to see an insight into who you are as a person, not just an employee.

Now you have no excuses for making a negative first impression.

Now get clicking!!