So you’re in the throes of job searching when you come across something that looks amazing- the money is right, the key responsibilities are all tasks you know how to do (and do well!) and the company is one that you’d LOVE to be a part of. There’s just one problem- your resume doesn’t reflect any actual experience for this position. So what do you do? How do you get it across to the hiring manager that you’re the best person for the job without all of the required experience?
For starters, don’t lie about it- lying on your resume always causes more harm than good and will most likely get you fired should anyone find out. (Trust me on this!) In this situation, your best course of action would be to take any relevant experience you do have and capitalize on it. Definitely put it on your resume, but make sure to specify that this was one of many tasks that were assigned to you, as opposed to your primary focus.
Secondly, be sure to explain where you acquired those skills in your cover letter! The whole point of a cover letter is to basically introduce yourself and explain why you’re the best fit for an opportunity, so let your first impression be the best one possible. Some examples could include:
“While I’ve never performed these tasks through my current or previous employer, I believe its always important to keep learning more skills that will only benefit me as well as my future employers, so I’ve made it a point to learn x,y and z…”
“While my actual work experience isn’t reflective of these tasks, I learned to do this through etc…”
“I’ve never done this in a professional capacity; however, one of my hobbies is (whatever program, etc) where I learned (relevant skill)…” (if you have any credentials- ie certificate of completion, etc, be sure to attach copies as proof!)
Any outside workshops regarding any tasks would be beneficial to include as well- it shows that you’re a hard worker, motivated, that you’re always trying to better yourself, and that you enjoy learning new things (which are all things that hiring managers look for during the hiring process!) it’s not always about the person with the best skills. Sometimes passion for a subject, an eagerness to learn and a positive attitude can serve as your biggest assets!
Will this get you the job every single time? Realistically, no. But that’s okay- you could be a complete shoe-in for a job, have all the right skills and still not land the opportunity. The important thing when looking for a job that you enjoy is to let your passion for the subject matter do the talking. Excitement is contagious, so if you’re lucky enough to land that interview, let that positive attitude shine! Just be sure to be honest, explain how and where you’ve achieved these skills, and be your best self- eventually you’ll get where you’re supposed to be!