Young people entering the workforce often face a frustrating cycle. Employers keep turning them down for not having any experience, which doesn’t allow them to gain any experience to be a better job candidate in the future. What can young workers and college students do to subvert this cycle?
There’s no way you’ll be turned down for volunteer work, so use that to pad your resume’s work experience section. You can do volunteering at your own pace, too, so you won’t be overwhelmed if you’re in school or college. Pick a cause or organization that interests you, preferably something in the field you’d like to work in. If you want to be a doctor, volunteer at your local hospital. If you’re a finance major, find a business or restaurant in your community that could use a volunteer. Having volunteer work on your resume can count as work experience in many cases and it looks to prospective employers. Volunteering shows that you’re willing to take initiative and give your time to a cause even without being paid to do so.
People can participate in some real-world activities during college—taking inventory of your town’s buildings for a class, writing a grant, fundraising for a campus event, and writing for the school paper are just a few of the things you can do. These experiences provide valuable work experience and overlap with jobs employers get their workers to do. Think about your time in college and don’t neglect any information that you could tell employers.
Young people are tech-savvy, so make sure you utilize your advantages. Use social media and LinkedIn to get yourself out there on the Internet. This opens up possible job avenues for you if nothing else. Consider getting a website or starting your own blog—this shows initiative and will distinguish you on job applications. It also shows that you’re competent when it comes to possible online tasks an employer might ask you to complete.
There are so many advantages you can get from doing an internship. If you can get an internship, take it—paid or unpaid. These real-world activities look incredible on any resume and show that you’ve had some experience with how an organization really functions. Some internships lead to long-term jobs if the employer really likes the work you do. Networking is also an important part of an internship. The people you’re working with will have connections and may be able to pass along information about jobs you could get elsewhere. They could even put in a good word for you if you’ve done well while working with them.
Getting a job is challenging for even experienced workers these days. There are limited spaces available and businesses need to conserve funds and hire the best person possible. For young people just entering the workforce, it’s more important than ever to add things to your resume that differentiate you from other workers. Use your youth to take action and gain experiences you can tell prospective employers about. Do this correctly, and you can turn the tables in your favour and make your youth an advantage.