Is it worth still applying if you are not sure? These 4 tips will help you find out!

Why do employers ask for experience?

Basically, employers want to know if you have successfully performed the duties of the job in the past. Their hope is that you could get on with the day-to-day work with minimal training.

Does that mean you shouldn’t bother applying if you lack enough experience? These 4 tips will make the decision clearer for you.

Tip 1: You may have “applicable” experience!

You do not always have to meet the exact requirements. So for example, if they are asking for 2 years of work experience and you have 1 or maybe even slightly less you could still be considered. Your consideration for the role can depend on many factors such as your experience being in the field that you want to go into. Your voluntary experience in the field is just as important and counts – which is why volunteering is important!

Click here to find voluntary opportunities with CCCU

CCCU student Rebekah Dawes (left) studies (BSc) Geography & Politics – she works part-time at The Kent Wildwood Trust caring for animals and leading visitor educational talks. Pictured explaining how she got her job by first volunteering for them.

Tip 2: Prove you are valuable!

You may have the skills and ability to do the job even if you have not had the chance to show this with experience yet.

Think about what the employer is trying to achieve. If you can show that you have the skills to help them deliver their goals then you are much more likely to succeed.

Did you know that you have all of these skills simply by studying your course at CCCU?

  • Research, analysis and evaluation
  • Effective data use
  • Formluating ideas and new concepts
  • Written and oral communication
  • Subject specific knowledge
  • Decision making
  • Team and independent working
  • Creative problem solving
  • Time management
  • IT/Technology
  • Professionalism and customer service
  • Organisation and planning

You may have even more skills than just these! Consider your extra-curricular activities, positions of responsibility, jobs and voluntary work you have been engaged with during your time at CCCU and beyond

Tip 3: Get a referral

It would be fantastic to have someone who already works at a company to speak positively about you. You can get this in two ways:

Ask for opportunities – Sometimes just asking for the opportunity to observe how a company works can be your first step. Offering your time for free can be a big sacrifice and should only be considered as a way to show your passion for what the company does and your desire to learn more and be of service. This will not go unnoticed, with employers looking to you more favourably when you apply for roles at their company, since you are already aware of their way of working and potentially have already developed some professional relationships with employees. The CCCU Work Experience Fund could help you with costs relating to obtaining these opportunities.

Click here to apply for the Work Experience Fund

Use LinkedIn – a professional online networking platform that can give you insights to companies and the employees that work there. On this site, you can create your own profile and follow companies you would like to work for. On these company pages, you can see if you have any mutual connections with people already at the company, or simply get in touch with employees who are in the roles you aspire to. These individuals can provide valuable insight into not only their jobs but the recruitment process.

Click here to create your own LinkedIn Profile.

How LinkedIn can connect you to companies.

Tip 4: Use the power of a CV

When it comes to your CV, use it to highlight your important skills and experience that match or are similar to what the hiring manager is looking for. If this is your first time considering this, maybe you could use some help with creating your first CV or developing your current CV to match the jobs you are applying to.

Get your CV checked within 15 seconds by uploading it to our CV360! This tool is free for you to use and will give you detailed feedback immediately on your CV’s appearance, content and a prediction of the recruiter’s first impression.

Upload your CV to CV360 now by clicking here!

Remember, you may not have the exact experience that a recruiter is looking for, but a well written and targetted CV can show you have lots of skills that are applicable for that job.

Your Next Steps!

Here is how the Careers and Enterprise Team can support you with your next steps:

  • Get your CV and job applications checked by our team. The Careers and Enterprise Hub in Augustine House is open from 10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm on weekdays (no appointment required).
  • Come to LAUNCH – Our Team’s dedicated Careers Event on 11th March 2020 for students thinking about life after university. Employers with grad schemes will be coming to CCCU to speak with you about how you could join them. Register your interest for this free event here.
The Careers and Enterprise Team is here to help! Come visit us in Augustine House or email us at careers@canterbury.ac.uk