Found a job that you think you’d be great for, but you don’t have enough experience in the industry? Don’t give up! While some employers may state that they require a certain level of experience, there is often room for negotiation, especially if you’re a great candidate.
If you really want the job, there are a few simple steps to take, to make yourself stand out. These are outlined below.
Consider your transferable skills
While you may not have the required level of industry experience, it’s likely you’ll have transferable skills that you can bring to the table. Soft skills such as communication, teamwork and problem solving are not industry specific. They are, however, important in most roles.
So be sure to outline these skills in your CV and build on them in your cover letter. Demonstrate to the potential employer how these skills have helped you in the past and how you can apply them to this role. A strong set of transferable skills could make up for your lack of experience.
Demonstrate why you’re great
When talking about why you’d be right for the job, whether in your CV, cover letter or even during an interview, ensure you give examples. It’s all well and good saying you were an asset to your old company, but make sure you back this up with facts and figures (where possible).
For example, instead of simply saying ‘I am a good team leader’, quantify this by writing ‘In my previous role I managed a team of six people, ensuring all projects were completed on time and to a high standard’.
Many employers will be willing to overlook your lack of experience if they can clearly see how you’ve made a positive impact in the past. After all, they’re looking for a new employee who can make a great contribution to their business too.
Do your research
Before you apply to any job you need to make sure you do thorough research. But when you know for a fact that you don’t meet the desired requirements, this becomes even more important.
Take some time to get to know the business and make sure you tailor your CV and cover letter to reflect this. Perhaps reference campaigns or products of theirs that you’re impressed with. This will show you’re passionate about the company and the role. Often, passion will outweigh years of experience.
Be willing to learn
Another important part of applying for a job when you haven’t got enough experience is showing your willingness to learn. Proving your keen to get stuck in, learn new skills and to grow with the business can really help you to stand out. Employers are looking to retain great candidates and if they believe you’re going to stay and develop within the company for a long time, you could be a worthwhile investment to them, despite your lack of experience.
To help them understand what you aim to achieve by joining their business, you should make the most of the personal profile of your CV. Do this by including a sentence or two outlining your career goals. You can then expand on this in your cover letter and if you’re invited to meet in person. As we’ve said before, passion speaks volumes. Finding an enthusiastic candidate who will fit in well with the company culture is far more rewarding than simply finding someone with ‘enough’ experience.
Reveal your passion project
While the ‘hobbies and interests’ section on your CV is optional, if you’re part of project outside of work that is relevant to the job – shout about it! You might have an online portfolio, write your own blog or run a side business. Whatever it is, include this in your CV and it could help you to stand apart from other candidates (including those who have experience).
In summary, if you’re excited about a role, don’t let not having enough industry experience hold you back. Put time and effort into doing your research and writing a well thought out and tailored CV and cover letter. Emphasising your soft skills and your willingness to learn could be all it takes to show that you’re the right choice for the job!