by Liberty Stembridge, Money Columnist
Published in Money on 11th April, 2019
What's holding you back from the job of your dreams? For most people, it's that they feel like they don't have the experience necessary to get that job, but I'm here to tell you that doesn't have to be the case.
Sure, for most jobs you will need at least some experience but you don't need to have 3 degrees and 10 years of relevant work experience to get your foot on the ladder.
For many new graduates, finding a job in the field they want to work in can be tricky, and it's not always for lack of work available.
Having a good resume to sell yourself with can help you to stand out from the crowd and catch the attention of employers, even if you don't have as much experience as other candidates. But how do you create that perfect resume?
Without the experience to prove that you are fully capable of the job, your key selling point that you want to focus on when writing your resume is you potential. Oftentimes, employers will know that graduates won't have as much experience, and so will be looking for somebody who can grow into the role, learn quickly and become an asset to the company.
Emphasise the ways in which you can be beneficial to the company and try to demonstrate that you are capable of doing the job well by focusing on transferable skills and previous experience, even if it's not directly relevant.
Writing a good resume is difficult, and it's easy to find yourself focusing on what you haven't done rather than what you have, or comparing yourself to others. This won't do you any good however, so try your best to highlight all the important things that you have done.
Even if you don't have a lot of experience in the field you want to work in, you can still show off the skills you do have - and you probably have more than you think. Transferable skills such as managing a team, IT, marketing, bookkeeping and so on are all desirable selling points that you can use to make yourself more employable.
Think back to any internships, volunteering or activities you were involved in. What skills did you learn and how could they benefit an employer? Have you taken any extra courses, or started your own side projects to further your knowledge of the field you want to work in?
Although all of these things may seem small, they add up and show a potential employer that you are genuinely interested in doing well in a role.
Being honest about your lack of experience can actually benefit you if you do it correctly. Most employers know that for entry level roles, many candidates might not have lots of experience.
By acknowledging this, you can create a more upfront and honest conversation with your potential new employer about where you have succeeded and where you can improve.
It also communicates to them that you are not afraid to acknowledge your shortcomings, but that you are willing to work hard to gain the skills you want.
Be careful not to focus too much on what you lack, and show that despite this, you're still worth hiring for a plethora of other reasons.
When you lack experience in a role, often your qualifications will be your main selling point. If you have no experience working in marketing, but you have a marketing degree - that's your main selling point, so you need to communicate it well.
Many new graduates fail to communicate their qualifications properly and this makes their resume seem lacking.
Rather than simply listing out your qualifications for someone to read over, show how each qualification gave you relevant skills and practice that would be useful in the job role you're applying for.
For many people, and in particular women, the idea of showing off or "bigging yourself up" in your resume seems unappealing, often because we are scared that we're actually not good enough and we'll be "caught out' on this".
Nine times out of ten however, this is not the case. Even if you don't fit the exact requirements of a job listing, that doesn't mean you should apply for it - after all, the worst that can happen is that you get rejected, while the best is that you get an awesome new job.
It is important to note that "showing off" does not mean lying on your resume. If you lie, chances are you'll get caught out one way or another.
What you should be doing however, is presenting yourself in the best possible way, and the key to this is using the right language.
For example, rather than saying "worked as a sales assistant for a local retail store" you can say "handled customer transactions, anticipated needs of customer and increased sales for a popular retail outlet".
All of the aforementioned elements of your resume are important, but matter much less if your resume is difficult to read or unappealing. You want to make your resume as easy to read as possible, which means paying attention to design and formatting.
Write your resume in an easy to read font, and try to avoid large paragraphs, opt instead for bullet point lists or quick, two sentence descriptions that catch the eye of the reader without firing them out.
Remember that whoever is reading your resume has probably already read a lot of them already, so they won't be interested in combing over paragraphs of information.
If you want, you can find lots of designs for different resumes online, which can be especially useful for creative jobs where you want to show a bit of personality, however this isn't necessary.