Almost every fresh grad is puzzled by the dilemma: how can I gain industry-relevant job experience for a job I haven’t done yet?
In today’s cut-throat competitive world, a good degree from a reputed college is no longer enough to secure your dream job. Now, relevant work experience in your specified career field is just as valuable as your degree or exam results.
But with a wide array of ways to gain job experience and highlight your expertise for the career you want, which is the most efficient route for you?
So, here it is, our top six ways to gain job experience that boosts your authority and catches your ideal employer’s attention (with bonus insider tips to land the best work experience opportunities!)
How Valuable is Job Experience?
In the past few decades, work experience has become the holy grail for kick-starting your career as a young graduate.
Attaining work experience is now one of the quickest ways to establish your authority in a niche and position yourself as the ideal candidate for the job. Excellent work experience gives you a chance to:
- Boost your confidence
- Try out various career opportunities
- Showcase your areas of expertise to your prospective employers
- Identify reasonable lifestyle adjustments needed for your ideal career
- Meet new prospects and widen your professional network
- Learn new soft skills and build on the old ones
- Find out more about your dream career’s requirements,
However, work experience is no longer constrained to an office job. Especially in the post-COVID world where working remotely is becoming the norm, you are showered with a wealth of options to gain industry-relevant experience for your dream job.
6 Ways to Gain Job Experience to Land Your Dream Career
Over the past years, internships have become the prerequisite for gaining work experience in various industries – from broadcasting and marketing to finance and fashion.
Internships enable you to gain real-world work experience, expand your industry knowledge, and discover if you are in the right career sector. Furthermore, it equips you with the understanding to apply the skills you have learned during your internship to your future jobs.
With plenty of data backing the importance of internships, it can prepare you for the demands of today’s competitive job market. And who knows, if you wow the boss enough, they could even keep a position available for you later!
An internship opportunity helps you:
- Gain valuable work experience
- Explore various careers paths
- Give yourself an edge in the job market
- Develop and refine essential skills
- Gain confidence
- Transition into a job
In a nutshell, an internship is an experimental learning opportunity that offers you an invaluable chance to build crucial professional relations before graduating. And, it is a fantastic learning curve for young grads, freshers, or professionals looking for a career switch to meet industry experts and widen their network.
2. Remote Internships
Remote jobs are the future of work, and virtual internships equip you with the skill and knowledge to cope with the changing demands of hybrid workplaces.
Remote internships offer you excellent opportunities to gain job experience while maintaining a work-life balance, working remotely with global businesses, and attaining experience with different workplace cultures across borders.
Furthermore, some employers (particularly those who work for increasingly scattered firms) may consider your remote internship an advantage. It demonstrates that you have the self-discipline and remote communication skills needed to succeed in an online working environment.
However, finding the right remote internship opportunity can be a challenge for many, especially when many companies abuse interns by assigning them loads of irrelevant tasks (i.e., the virtual equivalent of making the office coffees which is the sad reality of many internships)
We at, Virtual Internship offer you a guaranteed remote work experience with a hosting company in your required career industry, along with personal coaching, support, and more. Furthermore, VI’s approved host companies and vetted internship projects ensure that our interns gain valuable and relevant experience.
Apart from filling your heart with pride for contributing to a worthwhile cause, volunteering is a great tool to learn a new skill and add desired work experience to your professional profile.
Volunteering is a terrific way to acquire and practice the training required for your ideal career. Along with experience, it can also equip you with the expertise required for a particular role or promotion.
Volunteering enables you to develop a range of transferable and sought-after skills such as:
- Time management
Furthermore, volunteering is a shortcut to winning jobs in companies with a strong sense of social responsibility. As a result of displaying your philanthropic side, you position yourself as a good culture fit for companies with a cause.
Moreover, volunteering can add depth to your resume and help you stand out from the competition.
Following are the platforms we recommend our students to find great volunteer opportunities in their specified areas:
4. Professional Development Courses
Modern learning courses, especially those in the professional development subject areas, are often coupled with an on-the-job learning experience for candidates.
Along with adding related work experience to your resume, personal development courses can help you find your ideal career prospects, foster professional development, and directly gain experience with a dedicated host company.
Professional learning courses have proved to be a very effective way of developing proficiency in many professions. In addition, it helps you expand your knowledge beyond textbooks and theory and acquire a sense of what your future employment may entail.
For example, our professional development courses instilled in VI’s internship programs offers our interns value-adding seminars, workshops, and classes by industry professionals. As the perfect blend of learning and experience, this course will familiarize you with your chosen industry and allow you to gain work experience from the best companies in your field.
5. Build Your Network
As a fresher with no experience, your acquaintance with industry professionals is vital in steering your career in the right direction. A reference from an established employee from your contact goes a long way in highlighting your profile during the resume shortlisting and interview process.
Building your professional circle and communicating with peers facilitate you with the edge you need to break into a particular profession. Therefore, networking with your prospects, employer and peers can be the key to your future job.
LinkedIn is our preferred go-to platform for networking. Almost every firm and its employees use this professional social networking media, so it’s a terrific platform to make connections and spread the word about prospective opportunities.
Read More: 5 Ways to Boost Your Linkedin Profile
Internships, volunteer, and work experience are essential ingredients to ensure your resume grabs the employer’s attention through the application process.
However, as a fresher, getting the right work experience can be challenging. So, how about creating your own work experience through freelancing?
The freelancing world is unlimited in terms of projects and earnings. However, each task you take on will have its challenges and learning opportunities. Consequently, as you deal with a variety of people, you will gain more work experience and marketable skills. Therefore, it’s a fantastic method to broaden your knowledge and polish your skillsets.
Freelancing provides you with
- Multi-faceted exposure
- Nurture great interpersonal skills
- Chance to experiment with your craft
- Freedom to choose clients and projects
- Flexibility of location
- Better earnings
Moreover, freelancing in your portfolio demonstrates that you are self-motivated, and can meet deadlines, and manage your time under pressure. All of these are qualities that savvy companies would seek in a new recruit.
VI’s Insider Tips
Here’s Virtual Internship’s insider tips to make the most out of your skills while applying to gain work experience in your ideal job:
- Examine how you can amplify your existing skills and traits to your advantage.
- Analyze the job description and build a list of all the skills and personal attributes that qualify for the position.
- Make a point emphasizing soft and transferable skills like teamwork, leadership, and attention to detail.
- Highlight volunteering activities, work shadowing, or internship as an instance of your devotion and commitment to learning more about the industry.
Ready to Gain On-Hand Job Experience?
To sum up, work experience plays a vital role in shaping your career. It not only helps fresh graduates and undergraduates gain real industry exposure but also helps them develop and sharpen the necessary skills required to stand out from the saturated job market.
Now that you know the best ways to gain experience, are you ready to escape the classic ‘you need experience for job and job for an experience’ catch-22 loop and gain industry-relevant work experience through a remote internship?