The uncertainty of the economy over the last year due to Covid-19 certainly impacted the job market. Many lost their jobs, while others had to cut back on hours or put themselves at risk of exposure just to pay the bills. Whether your employment status was impacted by the pandemic or not, you might be ready for a career change. With vaccines on the horizon, things are beginning to look up and businesses are beginning to feel more confident in hiring again. So what happens if you want to make a complete career change with no experience in the field you’re pivoting to?
How do I switch careers without experience?
It can be tricky to break into a new career field, pandemic or not, but it’s definitely doable. We’ve got five tips on how to start a career with no experience.
1. Revamp the resume
(apply your experiences to fit what you’re looking for)
If you’re applying to jobs, you’ll always need a resume revamp. This means updating it with anything recent that may be missing, and also making sure that you highlight any qualifications you have or applicable skills you can bring to this specific job—even without direct experience.
Your resume can be a make or break factor for an employer, so don’t skimp on effort!
2. Make or rekindle connections
We live in the wonderful age of technology which makes making connections so easy, both online or in person. A few Google searches, and you’re able to find a LinkedIn profile of the hiring manager, or maybe someone in the field you’re interested in that could be a good resource. Do not hesitate to reach out.
Rekindle any relationships, whether professional or amicable, with people from your past that could be good resources. These people may be willing to have a conversation, and eventually, potentially put in a good word for you.
3. Get educated
For some, a career change may mean going back to school, whether it’s completing their undergraduate degree, or potentially starting grad school. Going back to school is a great way to restart your path into a new career, and you’ll have the new knowledge fresh of mind when job searching.
However, going back to school isn’t an option for everyone. It can be extremely costly and time-consuming. Luckily, it’s not the only option. Sites like edX, Coursera and Udemy offer low-cost or even free courses on various topics. Local colleges in your area also might offer low-cost or free courses and certification programs.
Whichever option you choose, you can walk into an interview with some knowledge in your pocket that can set you apart from other candidates.
4. Get experience on the side
You may have had some trouble gaining experience because of that exact reason: no experience. One way to get that experience is through volunteering. Consider getting involved with a non-profit organization in the industry you’re trying to enter.
Although this isn’t the same as being hired, you’ll not only get a great learning experience out of volunteering. You’ll have more experience to show on your resume, and it looks good to employers when they see you have volunteering experience. Volunteering is also a really good way to make some connections with people in that industry who could help you out later.
5. Be patient and positive
Making a career change with no experience is not going to happen overnight. It’s important to remember that all job hunting—with experience or otherwise—is a process. You have to prepare yourself to be patient and remain positive. The hiring process always takes longer than they say it will, and you can only follow up so many times before it gets old. What you need to remember is to not let a rejection (and there will be some rejections) bring you down. Though getting a “no” from a job you had your hopes set on can be discouraging, you have to be prepared to hear it. Having a positive attitude will not only keep you from feeling burnt out, but it will also reflect off of you during the interview process.
What are the best jobs for a career change?
The best jobs for a career change with no experience may be the ones that don’t always require a degree in that field. For example, you’re not going to become a doctor without going to med school. Instead, certain jobs that are willing to hire without previous experience may only require a company-sponsored training course, or being trained by a colleague. Such fields include:
These are broad industries, which works in your favor. Once you gain experience in one of these fields, you’ll find it easier to move laterally into a related industry. You’ll also find that many of these areas have great opportunities to advance once you’ve been at it for a few years and have more experience under your belt.
To get started, take a look at the STS Staffing job board.