How To Get A Job With No Experience (3 Tricks)

Don’t have any work experience? Trying to find a job? It’s going to be more difficult than those who have considerable amounts of experience but here’s some ways that you can take advantage of what edge you might have and get a job.

If you are a recent graduate, you might be entering the job market without any experience. So how are you expected to get a job? There are a few things that you should look at. But first, let's talk about why experience matters so much.

Experience Matters Most

In today’s job atmosphere, experience matters. It matters more than education, awards, skills, and references. What role you played at a company and having a long history of playing that role is the most critical part of getting hired. In fact, 60% of those who are hired for specific job functions have 8+ years or more of experience working within that job function at another employer. This is because it reduces the risk for the employer. It is hard to tell whether not someone is simply good at interviewing or if they are good at their job. And with large amounts of work experience in a single job function, it answers the latter question.

Qualities That You Have

If you are thinking about what advantage you might have, the first thing you need to stop and look at is what skill sets you have that you are particularly good at. In general, most people will have one skill that they excel at. It could be typing, it could be creativity, it could be math. There is usually something. Harness that skill set you have as you begin conversations. It will pay dividends.

How Can I Get A Job Without Any Experience

If you don’t have any experience, here’s the options that you have:

  • Get experience through an internship or externship.
  • Get a professional colleague to vouch for you.
  • Use your network to find a job opportunity.
  • Start at a lower job function and work your way up.
  • Do the job yourself, prove you have the talent and use that to your advantage.

Pro fact: A study that was led by Lou Adler suggests that 85% of critical jobs are filled via networking.

Most of you will be asking about that last point. And it’s the strongest. When you don’t have a lot of experience, you are going to have to garnish it. In some job functions, let's say as a software engineer, you should be able to execute the job function on your own.

Meaning, you have the opportunity to develop an incredible piece of software on your own and then use that as experience. It is a valid one. Employers will take any freelance projects or projects that you have built while unemployed as experience. As long as you are able to show that you can do the job function well, they will consider it.

If you aren’t able to do that, let's say you are a veterinarian. Then you’ll have to get experience in other ways. Most of the time you can get experience by asking to work for free. For example, if you were a veterinarian, you could ask to work for free in a veterinarians office for a limited time. And then use that as your work experience.

Networking Can Have Strong Effects

For the most part, reputation plays a major role in your ability to get hired. If you have a good reputation, employers will take a risk on you. If you have a poor reputation, they won’t. You can use that to your advantage. If you ask friends who is hiring and they happen to know someone, ask for an introduction.

This introduction will act as an exchange of a good reputation. And by doing that, it increases your chances of being hired even with a poor resume. In fact, in some circumstances, you might even need a resume before they begin the interview process.

If You Don’t Have A Strong Network

If you don’t have a strong network to use, then your next step will be to apply for jobs. Before you start applying, take the advice provided earlier. Recognize what your one true talent is and apply that the reasoning for working at the company. The reasoning should be inside your cover letter.

Make sure that you clearly state this is something that makes you particularly talented for the job. And that you are aware your lack of experience may hinder your opportunity to get hired. But if you can, argue the risk of no experience with the fact that you have this particular talent.

Here’s an example of how you might do that:

“I can understand that when you look at my resume, it shows no experience. But my whole life friends, family and mentors have been telling me how great I am at math. And I’d like to be able to apply my particularly good math skills with your company. I feel confident my skill set will help me learn the job function and excel tremendously. I realize you would take a risk on me and I will not fail.”

When you use something like the above in your cover letter, it shows you understand the risk the company is taking on you.

Tactically Applying To Jobs

In order to increase your odds of interviews, you’ll want to apply to as many jobs as possible. Apply to the job function that you want but be sure that you are using volume to your advantage.

Here’s what you’ll want to do:

  • Apply to as many open positions as possible.
  • Be sure you are customizing your cover letter.
  • Fill your resume with as many accolades as you can.
  • Customize the email you send if you are sending one, make yourself stand out somehow (Idea: Use a fun fact about yourself).
  • Be sure you are following up by calling or emailing the HR department about your job application.

When you follow the steps above, you’ll increase your odds of being offered to interview for a company. After you’ve received the opportunity to interview, prepare yourself by using our guides.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur,, SparkHire, and many more.


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