No Experience, No Problem?

The age old dilemma... "I need experience for this position but where am I supposed to GET the experience?"

Experience doesn't always have to be cookie cutter in a 9-5 job. Everyone has experience in something. Maybe it's a club or committee where you have a leadership role? Maybe you lead a sports team to a championship title? Maybe you had a part-time job in a different industry but the skills you learned are still applicable?

It's important to keep a running list of your skills and experiences so that when a job posts that is of interest to you, you can jump on updating your resume appropriately and quickly. Many candidates get discouraged when they see "3-5 years of experience required." Sometimes the job isn't a good fit and sometimes you have experience that would apply but you overlook it because it doesn't seem linear enough. 

If you are in college or recently graduated and keep getting discouraged by the "experience required" portion of the posting - I challenge you to dig deep and see where your non-traditional experience can provide reasons for being the perfect candidate.

Lastly - a good rule of thumb is if you fit 80% of the job description, you should apply! With or without the experience required. To tip the scale in your favor if it's an opportunity you're really jazzed about, consider writing a personalized cover letter to go with the resume and application. Cover letters are very under rated in today's job market but it could be the differentiating factor that the other candidates aren't doing!

Stand out, take a risk, express your experiences, and Go Forth!