How to get a job when you have no experience

Getting a job often requires experience, but to get experience, you’re going to need a job. Here’s how to get a job when you have no experience and get your foot on the employment ladder.

Accept you’re not going to walk into your dream set-up

You’re going to have to start small – waitressing, cleaning, bartending. You’re not going to walk into an internship (unless you have some handy connections – in which case, I’m incredibly jealous). If you want to get experience, you need to look at jobs that don’t require experience.

Apply to loads of places

Having said that, that’s not to say you’re incredibly limited in what you can do. Apply to absolutely everywhere and you have a higher chance of being accepted and hopefully, you’ll have a bit more choice – you may not want to work in retail and would prefer to work in a café, for instance. Different companies will have different pros and cons, so do your research and take your pick once the offers start coming in. Don’t forget to include a cover letter to be able to express and introduce more of yourself beyond experience.

Ask for references

If it helps, you can ask old teachers/tutors for references. Though your old Maths teacher probably won’t say that you’re the best waitress in town, they may be able to say something about your diligent work ethic or your ability to work under pressure. You may not have had a ‘job’, but you’ve had to work hard at points in your life before, and it’s a transferable skill – whether it’s binomial expansion or serving a family of 5 on a busy day.

As a last resort…

Apply for unpaid work or volunteering first. This will get you some experience before applying to another, paid position. Ideally, you wouldn’t have to do this, but look on the bright side – working in a charity shop is going to be good for your karma, right? But all jokes aside, you’ll get easy experience and do something good at the same time. And first access to all the clothes.


It’s hard to get a job with no experience, there’s no denying it. But keep trying and you’ll get somewhere eventually. It may take a few rejections, but everyone has to get their first job ultimately. Keep trying, and you’ll get one soon enough!

Don’t forget to update your CV as much as you can as you look to add to it with volunteering, references and

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