Scouting for jobs can be dreadful. And if you’re a fresh graduate on the job hunt, you’ve probably seen many postings that you almost meet the requirements — or, don’t qualify for at all. Some postings require no less than 2 years of experience while others need you to have a plethora of skills under your belt.
So, how do you get an employer’s attention when you lack the experience for the job? We reveal what can you do to impress your potential employer — even if you don’t meet every requirement.
#1. Get to the nitty-gritty of the company
It’s no brainer that you need to do your research about the company you’re applying to. However, knowing the ins and outs of what the company is looking for may just be your ticket to landing an interview.
You’ll need to read between the lines of their job postings to discover the skills and experience your potential employer values. This means customising your cover letter based on what the company is looking for and how you can tie it back to what you can put on the table for them. Having a general idea of who the company’s clients are and the types of services they offer can help you better understand your role in the company.
Doing your extra research can earn you the company’s attention and confidence, showing that you have the enthusiasm and initiative to be part of the team.
#2. Strut your stuff
You might be wondering; how do you show off your skills when you haven’t got any to begin with? Well, there is a way — and it’s called transferable skills.
While you may not have years of working experience, you can still emphasise your skills and the ability to perform the job. Think about the skills you’ve gained from your university or college days, internships and volunteer work, and how they’ve helped you complete projects. This includes your ability to multitask, speak in public, effectively communicate and solve problems and being dependable.
However, you’ll want to provide some examples of how you use the skills rather than just having it on paper. And if you can show why a certain soft skill will make it easier to learn a particular hard skill, you’ve nailed it. Bonus points if you have specific achievements or awards you’ve gained throughout your education career that you can highlight in your resume!
#3. Send in follow up emails
If you’ve sent in your job application to a company or have attended an interview and you haven’t heard back from them, consider sending a follow-up email.
Most companies are swamped with job applications and they don’t always keep their applicants informed about the status of their applications. So, sending them a quick follow up will not only show your eagerness for the job but also nudge the company to take a closer look at your resume.
You can also send in follow up emails right after an interview to thank them for the opportunity of having you. This common act of courtesy will show your professionalism and it can also help you stand out from the crowd.
#4. Imitation is a form of flattery
If you’re a multimedia design or a mass communication student venturing into the creative world, it’s important that you know your potential employer’s way of doing things in terms of branding. And that includes their styles for art, illustrations and written pieces.
This means you’ll need to be crafty and make a compilation of materials (portfolio), whether they are drawings, written content, videos or projects that emulate the company’s style and piece it together with your personal work. Not only will this show your creativity, but it also highlights your versatility in delivering work outside of your comfort zone. This is one way to impress your potential employers!
Having a portfolio encompassing all your work will allow the potential employers to take a peek at your skills and capabilities. And bonus points if you can include a list of accomplishments or recognitions you’ve achieved for your work.
#5. Get someone to vouch for you
Often, the easiest way to get noticed by a company is having an insider vouch for you. Unfortunately, not everyone has the “cables” or network that can help them land an interview.
However, you can still have someone of credentials to vouch for you as a reference — even if they don’t come from the same company (but it’s an advantage if they do). Your academic advisor, professional mentor, former manager or direct supervisor from your internships are people who can speak up for you and affirm your working skills and ethics to your potential employees.
Employers value references because they can get a third-party opinion on the value you’ll bring to their team.
Getting your foot — and then the rest of yourself — in the door may take a lot of courage. If you feel that you have what it takes to do the job and you’re excited about working for the company, you should put yourself out there and apply. Besides, you’ll never be considered if you never submit your application. All the best!