Finding work can be challenging, especially when most job advertisements say the employer is looking for a candidate with previous experience.
But if you have no work experience, you can still find work where you can use your strengths and work towards your goals.
Everyone starts out with little to no experience. You may even have strengths or life experience which make you the perfect candidate for some jobs.
If you need assistance finding work or planning your next career steps, tailored employment support can help.
Here are 7 tips for finding a job with no experience, and where to get support.
1. Identify your strengths
Even if you have no experience in a workplace, you will have strengths and skills you can bring to a job.
This may be things like great communication skills, attention to detail or computer skills.
You may even have life experience that makes you a great candidate for some roles.
For example, having lived experience with a health condition could help when applying for a caring or support role.
If you look after a garden at home, it could make you more eligible for gardening or nursery work.
2. Search online
Many jobs are advertised online. You can use job search websites like Seek and CareerOne to search for jobs, or look on the careers pages of companies you’re interested in working for.
When applying for jobs online, be realistic and only apply for jobs you’re confident you can do well.
Make use of online tools and services to make your job search easier.
The best job search websites to find employment in Australia allow you to set up an alert when new jobs that match your requirements are posted.
That way you can apply for suitable job openings as soon as they come up.
It’s a good idea to have a resume template ready to go at all times.
However, it’s best to tailor your resume and cover letter to each job you apply for.
That way you can highlight the skills, strengths and qualities you have that are most relevant for the specific job.
3. Expand your network
Many jobs are filled by word of mouth.
Try telling your friends, family and other connections that you’re looking for work. When you don’t have much experience, it’s important that you’re trustworthy.
When your application for a job comes with a recommendation from someone who knows you, it can help you stand out.
If you want to work in a particular field, make efforts to connect with others already working in the field.
For example, you might go to industry events, attend open days or set up a coffee date with someone you know in the field. Volunteering is also a great way to expand your network.
4. Get support to find work
If you’re having trouble finding a job, ask for help.
There are a number of government funded employment services in Australia that you may be eligible for at no cost. These include:
- Workforce Australia – support to find work for all Australians. Includes online guides, tools and information, as well as tailored one-on-one support from a provider in your area.
- Disability Employment Services – support for people living with injury, illness or disability to find and keep a job. Participants get tailored support for things like career planning, finding work opportunities, applying for jobs and accessing accommodations at work.
5. Try work experience and volunteering
If you can’t find paid work, consider a work experience or volunteering position.
Work experience and volunteering can be a good way to build up your experience and learn new skills that you can include on your resume.
If you do well in your work experience position, your supervisor may be willing to write a reference letter which is useful when applying for paid work.
Work experience opportunities can also give you the chance to try out different types of industries and workplaces.
This can help you figure out what types of jobs might be a good fit for you when doing paid work in the future.
When you do work experience or volunteering in a field you’re interested in, you can meet others already working in the field, get valuable insights from them and expand your network.
6. Learn new skills
In some cases, you might need particular qualifications, education or training to get the job you want.
For example, if you want to work as an electrician, you may need to undergo an apprenticeship.
Some jobs may require a driver licence or other types of licences to qualify.
Even if you don’t need any formal education to get the job you want, it’s important to keep learning and building on your existing skills.
You could try work experience, enrol in a training course or connect with a mentor in your field of interest.
7. Be patient and keep going
Finding a job can take time. It’s important to be patient and look after yourself during the job search process.
Be sure to make time for rest, exercise and connecting with loved ones while you’re looking for work.
If you’re finding it hard to cope or feeling down about the job hunt, it can be helpful to speak to someone you trust about how you’re feeling.
If you’re not comfortable talking to your friends or family, you can call a mental health helpline such as BeyondBlue or HeadSpace.
Searching for work, especially when you have little to no experience, can be daunting.
It’s important to remember that everyone started in the same place at one point.
The job search process itself can be a good time to grow skills like patience, determination and resilience.
Don’t forget you can ask for help through programs like Disability Employment Services and Workforce Australia.