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How To Find A Job After College With No Experience By Preparing Beforehand

Updated on August 28, 2014

How do you make the switch from college to your first job? Your first job meaning the one in your field of study or chosen profession and not the one you took to make ends meet. A part-time job such as stacking groceries to help pay for college does not fit this definition. A job as an accountant would if you majored in accounting.

Making the switch is an issue everyone will one day have to deal with. This is much easier when the economy is booming and jobs are plenty. Employers will be actively recruiting. Simply sending out your resume to companies or uploading your resume online can be enough to get a job.

But in a bad job market, there are so many resumes competing with each other. Often your resume will not even get looked at by a human being and gets discarded by automated programs. You will have to put in the extra effort to get the job you want.


The dilemma young people face

In a bad job market, those with experience have the advantage. Employers have fewer open positions than they do candidates for those positions. Their preference leans toward someone who can hit the ground running and contribute as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, no one is born with any experience. It can only be gained by having a job. Young people are then faced with a situation where they cannot get a job due to their lack of experience and cannot gain experience due to their lack of a job. This can be extremely frustrating.


How to find a job without experience?

Here are some things that you can try to have worked for me:

  • Get connected and build up your network as much as possible and as soon as possible. You can never be too young or too old to do this. Not every job gets advertised and the more people you know, the more likely you are to find something. Who you know is as important as what you know. You should also try to stay in touch with people. Someone's dad may someday become the company president and that person could help get you in even though you lack relevant work experience.
  • Prestigious schools have the edge. Someone with a degree from a well known school has the advantage over someone who does not. Their alumni network tends to include people in positions of authority. Some companies will only recruit students from select schools. Without that degree, you are already eliminated. Be aware that even a degree by itself does not guarantee anything, although it definitely makes a difference.
  • Invest in a marketable degree. You should really find out what the prospects are for your degree and be prepared to make a change if prospects are poor. Even in a bad economy, some sectors could still be doing well. Somewhere in expansionary mode is where you want to be. A shortage of applicants in a certain niche makes employers more likely to give a shot to someone who lacks experience.
  • Build up a portfolio which highlights what you are able to do. Do not rely on just your diploma or other academic credentials. For instance, a programmer could demonstrate some of the software programs he or she has written. Just showing what you can do speaks louder than a bunch of text on paper.
  • Get into internships as soon as possible. Internships, even if unpaid, can help you get your foot in the door. An employer is better able to evaluate what it is that you bring to their company in a way that is not possible by simply reading your resume. Check if the company is willing to go the next step of hiring you on a permanent basis. Some companies try to take advantage of the situation and are only interested in free or cheap labor by using interns. Do not waste your time with these people.


Getting a job in a tough labor market can be difficult. Fortunately, there is something that you can do but extra effort on your part is required. You cannot lay back and wait for things to change by themselves. One could always hope to get lucky or you can do something about it to stand out from the crowd. Be willing to do whatever it is that you have to do. It is up to you to make a difference.


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