How To Get An Interview With Limited Work Experience

Hiring manager interviews a job candidate with no experience

Picture this: you come across a job posting and think, "Wow, that's my DREAM job!" You instantly get excited about this opportunity and start crafting your resume and cover letter. However, when you work on your resume, you realize that you have very little relevant work experience to show off.

This could be because you're a recent college graduate, or maybe you had to take time away from work to deal with some personal things.

If you're in this situation, don't worry—your job search is far from over. You can use the following tips to land a job interview, even if you don't have a lot of work experience.

Narrow Down Where You Want To Work

Pick 10 companies in your area (or ones that aren't located near you that allow remote work) that intrigue you. This is called your interview bucket list, and it's something every job seeker should have. 

Narrowing down which companies you'd love to work for helps you focus your efforts and tailor your message in your disruptive cover letters which will help you stand out to potential employers.

Not sure where to look for these companies? You can check out Glassdoor to find reviews from current and past employees and get a sense of what companies are located in your area. If you're struggling to find companies you're passionate about, you should also check out Work It Daily's Incredible Companies page to see snapshots of companies hiring. Work It Daily highlights job opportunities on TikTok too! 

Find Out Why You Want To Work For Those Companies

Job seeker with no work experience makes an interview bucket list


Once you've narrowed down which companies you'd like to work for, you need to figure out why you want to work for them.

Think about what connection you have to these companies. What do you respect or admire about them? Maybe you're passionate about the products or services they provide. Maybe you feel connected to their mission. Whatever your reasons, you should genuinely want to work for these companies and help them reach their goals.

Knowing why you want to work for these companies will help you in future conversations with their teams. It will also help you stand out as a candidate during the hiring process.

Set Up Informational Interviews With People At These Companies

Man with no work experience applies for jobs


Networking is the best way to land opportunities at your target companies.

Before you apply for any positions in your job search, connect with at least one current employee at each company on your interview bucket list. After they accept your LinkedIn connection request, start a conversation with them, and then continue to add value to everyone in your professional network consistently through sharing articles, offering to make introductions, etc.

Building a network within your top companies gives you the chance to share your story, learn more about the companies, and gain trust with current employees. And who knows? One of your connections might even refer you to an open position down the line!

Setting up an informational interview could really help you get your foot in the door, despite your lack of experience. You'd be able to show your passion for the company, which could make hiring managers more likely to take a chance on you.

Make Sure Your Resume Highlights Your Skills

Job candidate with no work experience attends an interview


There are other things you need to highlight on your resume besides your work history. For example, you can (and should!) emphasize your key skill sets.

Even if you have little to no relevant work experience, there's a good chance you've developed valuable, relevant, and in-demand skills through the jobs, internships, and volunteer experience you've had throughout your life.

If you emphasize those skills and make them stand out on your resume, your job application will be more likely to get past the ATS and into the hands of the recruiter or hiring manager.

It's not impossible to land a job with no work experience. You just need to have the right job search strategy. By building a network within your target organizations and including key things on your resume, you'll navigate the job search more effectively and meet key players who can help you get your foot in the door.

Need more help with your job search?

Check out our FREE resources page and Live Events Calendar.

Or, join our career growth club today and get access to one-on-one career coaching, resume and cover letter reviews, online tutorials, and unlimited networking opportunities—all in your back pocket!

If you want FREE career advice in your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily Dose!

This post was originally published at an earlier date.