How to successfully apply for a job you have no experience for

I’ve heard a lot of people say when they’re looking for a new job: “I’d love to do this, but I don’t have any experience”.  And that’s where it stops. They close the open tab on their computer and with that, shut the door on opportunity. 

That’s why in this post I tell you exactly how you can apply for that job you want and know you’d be amazing at. 

How to successfully apply for a job you have no experience for

To be honest, it’s mostly my girlfriends who say this. They see a job ad they think they’d be awesome at, but because:

  • it’s a change from what they’re doing
  • they don’t have specific experience in that yet
  • they don’t meet 100% of the things listed in the ad

they don’t even apply.

It breaks my heart. Honestly.

Call it naivety, but I believe you can apply for those jobs your heart soars when reading, even (and especially) when you don’t have experience in yet.

Think about it. If people only ever got their first job by already having experience in that job, then how did they ever get their first one?

I mean …

Trump Meme


There’s got to be an in somewhere. And there is!

There’s always a chance the company you’re applying to will take a “risk” and hire someone who doesn’t fit all the bullet points.

Don’t believe me …. Well I’ll give you 10 reasons why you should still apply, ready?

  1. Because you’ve got a ton of skills which would be fresh for this position.
  2. You’re a great person and they want good people in their team.
  3. You’re teachable and willing to learn how to grow into the role.
  4. AKA not an ego centric know-it-all.
  5. You’re bold – you’ve applied to a job where you need to do even more work selling yourself.
  6. They can probably save money by starting your wage lower than normal to account for said “experience”. (Although, you can definitely negotiate this … ).
  7. You’re prepared (because you’ve done the work on your CV).
  8. You’re adaptable – you’re making a career change after all.
  9. You’re confident – you’ve made a skills CV which is difficult to do, especially when you hate talking about yourself.
  10. Because I said so. Joke. No, because you killed the interview (don’t worry I’ve got you covered on that too. I’ll be posting on how to do this).

So there. And there are plenty more I could tell you.

Now we’ve got the perfectionist-not-enough mindset under wraps, how do you actually apply?

Create a skills CV. This is different to a normal CV where you list everything you’ve ever done in reverse order.

First …

Basically, you analyze the heck out of the job ad you really want to apply to and pull out all of the skills/qualities they are blatantly (and subtly) asking you for.

Why did I say subtly?

Well, you know how usually they list out skills in bullet points very clearly? They also usually mention responsibilities as well, maybe in the beginning or ending paragraph of the job ad.

And here is your in.

The list of bullet points is where you usually get scared off. But you need to remember to look at the wordier sections where they talk about responsibilities/duties and whatnot.

Because, let me repeat:  it’s here where your in is.

For example, just say you’re applying to be a social media manager. They list out the bullet points like “2 years’ experience” (Blah ignore), “able to use Twitter” etc. But then afterwards they casually mention, “weekly meetings and strategy sessions”.

There. That’s it.

Maybe you don’t have the “two years’ experience”, buttttttt in your current job as an “Administrative Assistant” you always have meetings and strategy sessions.

And for these meetings you’re always prepared and ready with ideas to share. People at your work are impressed with your enthusiasm, your eagerness and insight into the client’s mind.

Boom GIF

Even McGonagall agrees …

So, read the whole job ad, then make a table with two columns. List down everything they are specifically asking for, and what they’re subtly asking for. Then in the next column write how you have demonstrated this.

Like this for example …

Job Ad Says:

How I can show this skill:

“Creative thinker with impeccable communication skills” Proposed original marketing strategy ideas to the team; caused a 5.7% higher engagement
“S/he is hyper-enthusiastic and up-to-date on ever-evolving digital and social media trends” Took initiative to present to team members on current marketing trends (researched in my own time) & how we could implement new strategies
“Maintain editorial calendars and communicate deliverable deadlines across agencies and internal creative teams” Managed department Manager’s schedule & ensured timely, effective communication between departments via Crew App

Second, you need to organize all these notes.

So, group the examples of how you demonstrated each skill together. Put all the “being prepared” examples together, and all the “understanding the client” together.

Once you’ve grouped them altogether, you should have a good list of skills which match the skills in the job ad.

Then, here comes the more trickier part, but you can totally do it!

You have to decide which skills you demonstrate the best AND which skills are the most relevant to this job ad. Then make these the focus of your skills CV.

So, after your name, contact details and objective/heading (if you choose to write one), you need to make these skills into sub-headings.

Then bullet point examples of you demonstrating these skills in a variety of ways underneath these skills heading.

For example …

Skills CV Example 1

(Obviously this isn’t the whole CV, just the first half!)

There we go. You can successfully apply for jobs you have no experience in, and it not be a waste of time. Because really, you DO have a chance.

Remember …

Trump Meme 2


If there’s anything you’re still unclear on feel free to drop me a line; I’ll help you out.

Also, don’t forget that if you really are struggling and just want someone to take care of it all, I can do that for you too, so send me your CV.















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