Which came first, the job or the experience? Now, I’m not a scientist, so I can’t speak to whether the chicken or the egg came first. However, as a career expert, I can tell you the job came first. The job is always the first thing that leads to you gaining experience. So why is it that when you go into certain job interviews, you might walk away with a response like, “We liked you, but we went with a candidate that has more experience.” You might be throwing your hands up in the air like, “What the heck? How do I get a job if I don’t have the experience first?”
If you can resonate with this, then don’t worry. That’s exactly what I’m going to cover in this video. I’m going to be talking about three ways that you can make sure you snag that job offer even when you don’t have the experience. You can continue reading along, or watch the video below!
How To Get A Job Even If You Don’t Have All The Experience
Rule #1: You Don’t Have To Meet 100% Of The Job Description Requirements
Even if you don’t have the experience, know that you do not have to meet 100% of the job description requirements. I want you to think about this in a certain way. If you meet 100% of the job description requirements, that means you’re either taking a step back in your career, or you’re making a lateral move. Hiring managers actually view it as a huge risk when they hire somebody who knows everything in the job. If that’s the case, that new hire will most likely be asking for their manager’s job soon, which is not a good sign at all.
I want you to go into this interview with confidence even if you don’t meet 100% of the job description requirements. They’ve seen your resume and know exactly what skills, knowledge, and foundations you put on there, and yet they still brought you in. So if you’re getting an answer that they went with another candidate, it just means that you didn’t market yourself well enough in the interview process to convince them you’re the right fit.
Recently I had a client who had about 10 years of website design experience. All of her previous titles were in web design, and yet she just got a job as a business analyst – which has nothing to do with WordPress or designing websites! It had a lot to do with attention to detail and being able to communicate with technical teams. So that’s what she really focused on during her interview process. She focused on what she brought to the table rather than what she was lacking. If you haven’t yet checked out my SWOT analysis video, I really encourage you to take time to go through that exercise because if you can really focus on your strengths, again, what you bring to the table, it will help you beat out those that do meet 100% of the job description requirements.
Rule #2: Demonstrate That You’re Coachable And Eager To Learn
All right, and that brings me to rule number two, which is to demonstrate that you are very eager to learn and that you’re coachable. So as much as you want to focus on what you bring to the table, there are going to be moments in the interview process where they’re really poking holes at what you’re lacking or missing. Now again, this is not the time to panic. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t know how to do something or not know a specific software or process. However, it’s really important for you to share very honestly that while you don’t have that experience, this is how you know you’re going to be able to come up to speed very quickly.
Demonstrate your eagerness to learn by giving specific examples of where you were behind in a certain area in the past, but yet you came up to speed super quick. Even better if you became the in-house expert on that specific knowledge area or skill or process or system. It will give your interviewer a lot of peace of mind that you are indeed the right fit for the job.
As humans who are always evolving and trying things out of our comfort zone and taking on new jobs in new companies and new industries, we’re always learning. So it’s not a matter of whether or not you have the ability to learn quickly. Everybody does! It’s just on you and me as job seekers to be able to demonstrate this in the interview process.
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Rule #3: Exemplify The Top Soft Skills Employers Really Care About
There was a study by the Society of Human Resource Management that found employers care more about your soft skills than your technical skills. This is great news for those that have knowledge gaps or skill gaps from what is being requested in the job description! Let’s go over some of the top soft skills that are being identified and assessed during this interview process.
So how exactly do interviewers assess for these skills? Well, one way is by observing the way you naturally carry yourself through conversation and throughout the interview itself. How courteous are you? How flexible are you? How well do you communicate with this other person? How personable are you? When you think about communication, it’s not necessarily what you say, but how you make that other person feel. That’s kind of the golden rule of communicating.
The second thing though is that there are going to be a lot of behavioral questions that are most likely thrown your way. These types of questions are typically asked in every single interview you’ll go on, so it’s important to be prepared for them! In case you missed it, I have a video on how to identify and answer behavioral questions in the format that interviewers are trained to listen for. You might want to check that out to prepare for any upcoming interviews!
Reviewing The Three Rules
Let’s review the three rules that will help you get a job before you have all of the experience. So again, rule number one is just knowing that you don’t have to meet all of the job description requirements. I have clients who literally go from research analyst to research manager with zero years of experience, just because the job description requirement asked for at least three years of management experience. So again, in order to be able to successfully land those jobs, you do have to be able to speak to your accomplishments from the past and really focus on what you bring to the table versus what you lack. So this is really by being able to demonstrate you’re eager to learn, you’re coachable, and again exemplifying those soft skills that employers care more about compared to the technical skills.
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When you can do all of this, employers are willing to give you a chance. You’ll be able to beat out the candidates that do have all of the job description requirements met. And if you need further help with landing your dream job, be sure to check out my free resource library
If you found this article helpful, you can learn about how Emily Liou, Career Happiness Coach at CultiVitae guides corporate professionals to wake up happy on Mondays! Emily works with ambitious corporate professionals in her private coaching program called The Corporate Ladder of Purpose™. She also teaches job seekers how to conquer every stage of the job search process through her comprehensive e-course and group coaching program, the Happily Hired Formula™