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How To Get Job Experience Without A Job

Updated on December 10, 2013

It’s a catch twenty-two, you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job so what do you do?

The best way to gain skills you can add to your resume without having employment is to volunteer.

What kind of work do you want to do?

We first need to figure out what it is you would like to do for a living.

If you are having trouble getting a job in your particular field of interest and you need money to pay the bills get whatever work you can find for now. You may not get the type job you want but something is better then nothing while we work on getting you experience in your field of interest.


Clubs and organizations are always looking for people to help out and many will have a position open for the type work you are looking for. There are charities, churches and groups you might not have thought about.


If you want to be a supervisor or leader then you want to find an opportunity that will fulfill that space on your resume.

Look for groups needing someone to be president of something. Being able to put down on an application that you led a trip somewhere, a fundraiser, put together a large banquet or set up a conference looks very impressive. Not only were you leading people but you also did it on your own time and without pay.

If the president or chair positions are decided by a vote and you are not elected, volunteer to help that person. Once you get your foot in the door and people see you are willing to do the work without supervision you might get elected in for the next term.

Work hard just as though you are getting paid, you never know who might be watching and those you work with will be good references on your resume.

Career opportunities within groups

Not only will you be able to add experience to your list of qualifications but you also will meet influential people.

Corporations encourage and some even require their managers to volunteer for charities like United Way and other community organizations. You will be giving your time to a worthwhile effort as well as rubbing elbows with people who could help you find a full time position in the career you want. Getting to know people within organizations will help you network and find employment.

Types of job experience you can acquire

Wording is very important so you may need to change titles as well as job descriptions to align with career opportunities you are pursuing. As you probably know employers often rename a position to make it sound more impressive; they aren’t trash collectors they are refuse engineers. Use a thesaurus, look online for job descriptions and make changes accordingly.

Make sure you understand the job description before volunteering so you can do a good job. Talk to past members who held this position so you can get any inside information that will help you along the way. There are always people who get along with each other as well as those who do not just like in the work place so this will be good experience in learning to deal with others.

These positions will vary depending on the club and some will have a committee under these headings if the group is large.


The entire time you are working with people in a club you are making contacts, meeting new friends and learning new things while enjoying your interest. Enjoy yourself work hard and you are sure to find a job placement you will like.

The surprising thing is this; most people who develop job skills and gain employment in this way are more motivated, more fulfilled and continue with the charity long after they have found their career passion.

Helping others is a part of our human nature and makes us happy.

Chairman or President- These people keep everyone on track; see that meetings and trips are going smoothly. A leader who not only heads the meetings but also makes sure everyone else is taking care of their duties.

Secretary- This is the same thing as an Administrative Assistant. Your job usually involves taking notes of the meetings, reading the minutes (recounting the last meeting) and depending on size of group you may be responsible for writing a blog, usually just means posting the minutes online or in a paper newsletter format but could be as much as writing up stories about the latest happenings).

Treasurer- This person or group takes care of expenses, the checking account, paying speakers and bills. If there is a group they may have to oversee the structure of the building and keep in it good working order. Sometimes they vote on what method of repairs or materials to use. Can be renamed anything from Accountant to Financial Administrator for resume purposes.

Membership Chair Person- Sometimes this person’s job will be combined with the treasurer’s position depending on the size of the club but basically they keep track of the roster as well as dues if there are any. This can take on aspects of Human Resources in many ways, use your imagination and consider all of your duties as well as experiences.

Web Master- Most clubs need people to help keep up the organizations website with updating upcoming events, and meetings as well as pay the website provider. This has a potential for being a good foot in the door to an IT department. Depending on your knowledge and how much you do to the site it can look very good on a resume.

Recreation Director- This position has many titles and obligations but basically it entails setting up and organizing outings and speakers. Clubs like to keep up on the latest products, ideas and functions and this person is responsible for keeping everyone up on the latest news. Depending on the group it may just be entertainment only and education may not necessarily be the purpose.

Advertising Chair Person- Many clubs have a person or group designated to keep the public aware of their meetings as well as trying to bring in new people. If there are any fund raising functions you may be responsible for posting ads for that as well. This can be a good place to work on art skills, sales or social networking.


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    • Esther  Strong profile image

      Esther Strong 

      6 years ago from UK

      This is great as it details the differing ways volunteering is advantageous.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading. Not everyone realizes the benefits of volunteering and how much it can help a person gain the job they want.

    • Nyamache profile image

      Joshua Nyamache 

      6 years ago from Kenya

      I agree with you that we cannot always get the kind of job we want. It will be a waste of time if someone is waiting for years wanting to be employed in the job he/she wants. If a chance of job presents itself do it and who knows it will enable you to get the job you always wanted. Volunteering is good especially to companies that are already established as this will enable one to gain experience. This hub is very useful. Thanks for sharing this useful information. Voted you up and up!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is a really good post for high school students. Gaining some experience before entering the work world is very useful and does teach good life skills. Voted up.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      6 years ago

      Great hub and good suggestions. This also relates to stay at home moms like me. I have not worked in almost 10 years so my "real" experience and references are from quite a while ago. Luckily I did start doing some parttime work in the last couple of years and I volunteer quite a bit.

    • debbiepinkston profile image

      Debbie Pinkston 

      6 years ago from Pereira, Colombia and NW Arkansas

      These are great suggestions Pamela! Thank you!

    • kittyjj profile image

      Ann Leung 

      6 years ago from San Jose, California

      I agreed with you that one of the best way to gain work experience is to volunteer. My son's school requires all 7-8 graders volunteer within the community for minimum of 10 hours.

      Great hub and very useful! Voted up and shared.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Hawaii, I hope it helps someone find employment.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Pamela!

      This is a wonderful, well-written, and easy to read Hub that is destined for evergreen status.

      High school and college graduates; people who lack mainstream job histories; immigrants; ex-felons; and others can make excellent use of this information.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting, and tweeted!


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