No Experience On The Job Means I Never Get The Job I Want

One of the most frustrating things for any newly qualified person to hear is that even though they have the right qualifications, they don’t have enough or no experience on the job.

You may have studied hard at university and gained a degree or higher, yet your lack of experience is held against you.  There is nothing worse than being told that you don’t have enough experience.  It simply brings up the age-old  “How am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me because I don’t have experience?” situation.

Why is this becoming a growing concern and how can you best address it?  Firstly understand the market and the competition!

experience on the job

In 1950, just 3.4 per cent of young people went to university in England!  The percentage of leavers from schools in England going to university rose from 3.84% in 1960/1  to 8.54% for 1972/3.  By 2014, the number of 17 – 30 year olds in higher education reached 48%.

What these statistics indicate is open for debate.  However, it does illustrate that a degree is now held by a much higher percentage of the workforce.  That in itself means employers have more qualified candidates to choose from.

In 2013, a survey by the Institute of Education showed that the number of jobs in the UK requiring a degree has now overtaken the number not requiring any qualifications. More than one in four jobs are now only available to those with degrees, the Skills and Employment survey found.

Conversely in 2014 fewer high school graduates in USA were opting to go to College. The numbers showed that 65.9 percent of people who had graduated from high school the previous spring had enrolled in college.  In 2009, 70.1 percent of new graduates had gone on to college.

So how can you overcome not having any experience on the job?

In many ways, this problem should be addressed long before an interview.  Here are a few suggestions:

Prepare and have a compelling answer to this difficult interview question.  Make sure you convince the interviewer that this is something you have really thought about.  Surprisingly it often works!

If you are a student, many courses will include placements.  Take advantage of these opportunities to get experience before you graduate.

Build up your experience by taking part-time work.  Even if it is not in your chosen field, highlight the transferable skills you gained.  Use the STAR method to demonstrate how they are relevant to this job.

Voluntary work is a great way of gaining experience on the job.  Including voluntary work on your CV or resume you can show any relevant experience you have.

Build up a network of contacts!  The influence of social media continues to grow.  If you have a great network of contacts in your chosen field, chances are that someone can recommend you or maybe offer you employment.

Apprenticeships and jobs offering work based training can provide you with the necessary job experience.

Although rejection can be painful, it is really important to separate yourself from the disappointment.   Stay positive after a disappointment and maintain a positive outlook. The time will come when you are offered the job ahead of someone else.