How To Get A Job If You Have No Work Experience

Young people working on a laptop and tablet

It’s the classic chicken and egg question. To get work experience you need to have a job, and to get a job you need work experience. More and more people are finding themselves without work experience at an older age. News out recently said less young people are working while at school,[1] and many jobs, even entry-level, require some degree of experience. It can be even harder for those who don’t have any qualifications, or who are struggling in other ways, such as with their mental health.

So, what can you do?

Spear, have worked with over 4,000 young people to help them get into work. Many of these individuals had no work experience or lacked the skills they needed to sustain a job. We know that many young people are talented, enthusiastic and able to learn quickly. The challenge they face is becoming ‘work-ready’, and convincing an employer that they have the skills to do the job. Almost everyone has transferable skills. You can develop these through volunteering, projects undertaken at school or through taking responsibility e.g. in a sports’ team. Learn how to highlight this experience in your CV. This can make the difference between getting an interview, or being sent to the bottom of the pile.

Spear equips young people like 19-year-old Omar with the skills they need to get a job. He had been kicked out of college twice and never worked. Spear offers interview practice, CV workshops, and coaching around ‘soft skills’ including resolving conflict, making small talk and networking. Omar said, “I never thought I’d amount to anything in life. I was even kicked out of college twice. Spear taught me the skills I needed to get a job. I know I can move mountains if I want to.” Omar got his first ever job at M&S working as a warehouse operative. He plans to return to education and hopes to go to university, something he didn’t see as a possibility before.

How can Spear help?

Spear has a high success rate. 75% of those who complete the first six weeks of the programme not only get into work, but are still there a year later. The coaches keep in touch for a year to help iron out any teething problems and are on hand to advise on career progression. Spear also work with employers to place young people directly into jobs. They work across a diverse range of industries, from IT, finance and retail to property management.

[1] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41989185

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Spear has eight centres across London –the free programmes run six times a year and are aimed at 16-24-year-olds who are not in education, employment or training. To find out more, visit www.resurgo.org.uk/spear/young-people  

Julia Evans is Head of Media & Communications for Resurgo Trust, the charity that runs the award-winning Spear Programme. www.resurgo.org.uk/spear