How to Solve
"I don't have work experience" Problem (Part 2)


How to Solve
"I don't have work experience" Problem
(Part 2)

Written by Thanh Quach @thanhquach

March 2, 2021 (Updated)

(3 minutes read)

In part 1, we know that the reason why hiring managers don’t call you in for an interview is not about “I don’t have 1 year of work experience”. What they want to tell you is: “We are open to fresh graduates, but you need to show us about all the skills we need in an attractive manner”.

If you apply for jobs and you don’t get called, you are missing the last component “an attractive manner”. Please let me explain.

#2 - How to Solve "I don't have work experience" Problem

Firstly, I’d like you face the reality: there is no way that you can earn 1-2 years of work experience now to satisfy that ridiculous requirement.

So, you should not get frustrated and scared everyday because you can’t meet that requirement. I don’t recommend you to work for free just to earn the finance/accounting-related “work experience” either. 

You should stop focusing on what you don’t have (1-2 years of work experience) and you need to focus on what you currently have (your part-time jobs, your school projects…etc). There is an old saying that don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.

Earning 1-2 years of work experience right now is what you can’t do. So what can you do?

There are 3 steps that you can do to solve the “work experience” problem:

  1. Believing that your part-time job work experience is “good enough”
  2. Treating your part-time jobs the way you want potential employers treat them
  3. How to present your part-time work experience in an attractive manner

Let’s get started with Step #1

Step 1 - Believing that Your Part-Time Work Experience Is “Good Enough”

The employer doesn’t necessarily need you to have finance/accounting work experience. It is just we interpret the work experience in the wrong way and we start to believe that “Oh I must have finance/accounting-related work experience”. Remember, you just made this up in your mind, nobody confirms this with you. It might shock you but this is the truth:

You don’t need finance/accounting-related work experience to get an interview, and eventually an entry-level job offer.

It’s time to get rid of this false belief and start paying more attention to your part time job experience or school projects (if you don’t have part-time job experience). This is very important because what you believe will direct your actions, which leads us to Step 2.

Step 2 - Treating your part-time jobs the way you want employers to treat them

I always hear students saying that:

“Oh, my part time jobs? It is really nothing special, I am just a waiter at a local restaurant, I don’t do any accounting/finance tasks there. Sometimes,  I don’t even speak English. I mean what can I say about this experience?”. 

If this is how you think about your job, then it will show up pretty clear on your resume, you are basically telling the employer “Oh, my work experience is nothing but I wish you will hire me”. And we have been wishing for weeks (or even months), still no job, so wish is not a strategy lol.

If you were the hiring manager, do you want to call this candidate in for an interview? Absolutely not.

If you don’t treat your job seriously, why should the hiring manger treat it seriously? And he can quickly conclude that “If I hire this candidate, this is the way he/she thinks about the job and this is the best indicator that he/she will not perform well”.

Keywords, resume format, tricks, tips and another 100 things on Google are useful, but I can tell you that, your attitude toward your part-time jobs is the starting point, if you get it wrong, nothing else matters. This is probably why people follow those advice on the internet and still not making much progress.

 

Instead, you would like to call a candidate who says something like this “Oh, my work experience is quite interesting, let me tell you how I do “ABC, DEF…etc” and how I contribute to my restaurant”.

Alright, at this point, you might say:

  • Oh, but I mean I am just a waiter at a no-name restaurant, does the employer really care or value the work that I did?
  • Man, I am working at a nail shop, my English is not good, the only thing I did was nail, it doesn’t have anything to do with finance/accounting.
  • I am just a security guy at the condo, I don’t even know what should I say about my job, I just sit there, literally doing not much.

Before we discuss what we can say about our jobs, we have to give them some value. The reason you don’t realize its value might be:

  • You don’t like it.
  • You are tired with it.
  • You don’t like your boss or the salary.
  • You don’t see your future in this job. 

I totally understand, it is just the way it is. But, don’t forget, you get PAID to do the job, you must create some value there.

Whether you like your jobs or not, put a high value or low value on it, it doesn’t matter . The potential employers don’t need to know all these things. We want to focus on the “good” stuff when describing our work experience, not the “not-so-good” stuff like the above, you can save it and complain with your buddies.   

Now, as we appreciate our part time jobs.

Let’s move to Part 3 in which you will learn how to describe your part time jobs in an attractive manner.

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