• Maya Grossman

How To Get a Job Without Experience

It is so frustrating to see entry-level jobs that require 3-5 years of experience. I mean, really?? They are called entry-level for a reason . Whether you are just getting started or pivoting I think you'll find my answer to this question valuable:


Okay, there are two parts to my answer. When you want to land your first job you'll need to have two things: 1. A compelling resume (or anything that could demonstrate your value) 2. A strategic job search process Let's break those down: 1. A compelling resume or a way to demonstrate your value: When a hiring manager looks at your application they need to *believe* you will be capable of doing the work, even though they have no proof you can do it. The best thing you can do - is provide proof. Here's how:

  • Use previous experience (academic work counts!)

  • Create a project to demonstrate your skills (build a website, do market research, design a presentation)

  • Volunteer! (volunteer work counts as long as you have RESULTS)

  • Create a Value Validation Project (see detailed step by step from my friend Austin here)

That last one is a game-changer! I have gotten so many doors open by creating a dedicated project for the company I'm applying to work for. Yes, it takes time. Yes, you won't always get the job just because you went out of your way to create this project BUT You'll improve the odds significantly! (and let's be honest, anything is better than 0.001%). Every single time I created a value validation project I heard back (no ghosting!). 2. A strategic job search process Remember what I said about hiring managers looking for proof? Hiring managers need to make a decision about a candidate with the little information they have, and they don't want to make a mistake. Making a hiring mistake is VERY expensive (it can cost a company 2x the yearly salary for that role).

So what do they do? They rely on signals. The school you went to, the companies you worked for, your experience, and your references or referrals. When you are just getting started you can't really impact most of these signals....except for referrals.

Especially when you don't have a robust resume, you need something (or someone) else to open the door for you. Instead of spending hours applying online (what we call spraying and praying), you need to invest in a more strategic approach.

1. Create a list of the top 50 companies you would like to work for 2. Choose the top 10 3. Find 3-5 people on LinkedIn who work there AND could be your team members (if you are applying for a marketing role, look for marketing ppl) 4. Reach out to them for an informal interview (30 min of their time to learn about the company) 5. DON'T ask for a job or referral yet. Do it at the end of the conversation or in the thank you email. 6. Make a great impression and get the referral and the interview. This targeted approach will get you much better results and will improve your chances of hearing back.

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