Advice for finding a job when you have little or no work experience

While it can certainly be difficult to find your ‘dream job’ if you’ve recently graduated, have little or no training, or are returning to the workforce after an absence, there are plenty of entry-level jobs in today’s economy that can lead to bigger and better opportunities in the future.

Even the most successful careers often begin with an entry-level jobs. If you’re just beginning your career path, taking these tried and true steps can move your career forward.

Enjoy Your Work. Finding work that you like is a good place to start. A self-assessment from 123 Career Test or Red Bull Wingfinder can be a great place to start.

Gain hands-on experience. Sounds pretty basic, but taking a job on the bottom rung of the ladder you want to climb is often much better than start two steps up

Start Networking. Just because you don’t have experience doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop a strong network of potential employers. For example, creating a LinkedIn profile while still in school or just entering the job market can give you an advantage over entry-level job seekers.

Do Your Homework. Whatever profession you pursue, staying abreast of the latest news, hiring trends, etc., will further separate you from those who don’t put in the effort to understand their industry.

Use Multiple Sources. While it’s proven more effective to find a job by networking, the reality is job boards, career fairs and online postings can be critical for finding an entry-level job. Indeed and ZipRecruiter are the two largest sources for online jobs and you should include them in your job search.

Resumes & Cover Letters Still Matter. Just because the job is ‘entry-level’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest time in building a professional resume and a concise and well thought out cover letter.

Don’t Be Afraid. Sounds obvious, but putting yourself out there with confidence is perhaps the one single most important piece of career advice you will ever get. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to apply to dozens of jobs, or that prospective employers might pass on you. What it does mean is that you trust in the process. Remember you have put in the effort and done your homework. So why not you?

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