You’ve spent so much time getting your degree and now that you’ve graduated, employers want someone with hands-on know how.
It may seem like a vicious circle but there are ways around it, and anyone can create the opportunity with a bit of determination and self-promotion.
Address the elephant in the room
Ok, you’ve never had a job. It’s not a big deal, but it’s not irrelevant. Use your cover letter to fill out any missing gaps in your CV.
Not entering your field immediately is ok
Many graduates fear that not entering their desired sector straight out the gate will somehow hurt them in the long run. It won’t. Employers understand that entry level jobs are more about the skills acquired than the tasks at hand.
Highlight the experience you do have
It’s really easy to limit yourself to the confines of a job description and take yourself out of the running before you’ve even put yourself forward. But what’s important to remember is that employers are looking for relevant experience. If you’ve answered phones and organised meetings – that’s admin experience. If you’ve set up a Facebook page or sent out newsletters, that’s marketing. Be creative (but don’t lie).
Volunteer or reach out for an internship in your field. Not only will the real-world practice give you an idea of whether the role is something you would really like to do, but it also means adding to your network list. On that note…
Network, network, network
You don’t have to be employed to make use of platforms like LinkedIn. Create a profile, add your education, and mention your goals in your bio. This is a great opportunity to follow the companies that interest you and start reaching out to key individuals. There’s no rule that says you can’t send them a message along the lines of telling them what you have studied and why you would like to join their organisation.
Even if no roles are available, you’re at least putting yourself on their radar for when something is.