Starting in the working world within your field of passion is HARD, tell me about it. I came to LA with zero connections, zero field work experience (I used to be a nanny and an English teacher in Spain through high school & college), I "just" had two degrees in the industry I wanted to work in (PR & Advertising Bachelors by the University of Barcelona and Marketing by UCLA).
Soon, I will be finally telling you all about my experience and how exactly I got to where I am, step by step, but today, I am going to be telling you my top tips on how to boost your resume to make it stand out when you "lack experience" within the job/industry you are trying to break in (whether you are a freelancer, wanting to work for a big company, starting from zero after graduating or wanting to shift fields).
And I am telling you this from my personal experience from my two point of views:
- How I made myself stand out when I was starting with no working experience
- And what I look for in resumes, what stands out to me as a business owner when hiring
1. KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
For me, this was the hardest part when starting to apply to jobs, because I really did not know what I wanted. I knew what I liked, what fields I was passionate about, and what my strengths were, but I really did not know exactly what job I wanted to do (I had a ton of ideas, but nothing very set).
How did I narrow it down? Internships. I applied to my dream agencies, internships within my dream fields (PR & event planning within the talent, fashion, hospitality, lifestyle industries). I saw exactly what I liked and what I didn't like. And it even surprised me.
Once you know what you want: write it down. Identify your goals and plan a method to get to them. Write a time line. Note new skills that you need to learn or perfect to accomplish those goals. Enroll on a seminar or workshop that will help you prepare, etc.
2. DONT WAIT FOR THE OPPORTUNITY. Waiting for someone to offer you the perfect job you've dreamed of is pretty much a waste of time. Two things to remember: jump on to opportunities (they wont be perfect but they will build your resume and will be wonderful learning experiences and, build new experiences on your own. How?
- Keep improving and adding new skills to your resume
- Find a mentor
- Start a blog or youtube channel within your field
- Keep educating yourself
Employers won't hire someone who's been "stuck" make sure your resume is always evolving toward your goals.
3. BOOST YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS. Getting the right reviews, testimonials, feedback... takes time. But its a MUST when it comes to building and growing your resume. As an employer, if I see you have positive reviews by a bunch of different experts, it immediately becomes more attractive. So make sure you sit down and gather all of those LinkedIn Recommendations and testimonials to legitimize your work. Even if they are not within the exact field you are trying to break through, if you have great work ethic reviews, that's already a big plus.
4. BRAND YOURSELF. No one else is going to do it. So personal branding is needed. With just one click, with just a quick overlook, I will decide if I like you or not. It's honestly not really judging a book by its cover, because the way you brand yourself is also a way of showing a part of your skill, how you will do certain things within your future job. And presentation in the work field is KEY.
How? Get your website rebranded, take new personal high res photos, start a professional social media account that includes your lifestyle and work... social personal branding is everything and it is something I really look for when hiring someone, and it's something that has gotten me very far, because when you don't have any work experience within the field of passion, you need to believe in yourself and brand yourself better than ever.