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How do you get a job with no work experience?

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Old 12-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default How do you get a job with no work experience?

I am trying to find a job so I can save up and move out sometime this year, but it seems impossible because I have no work experience, I've never volunteered, I don't have any extracurricular activities and I only have one non-family reference. I don't even have her personal phone number, I have to put the school's number. I feel like I'm NEVER going to get a call back because my applications are so empty and unimpressive. I've written that I can work any day, any hours, overnights, holidays, weekends, whatever. I want to move out of here as soon as possible and I'll do whatever I can to make that happen.

I know living on your own is expensive, with rent and bills and food and transportation and everything, plus I have a cat so I'd have to pay for her food and litter etc. It's all so overwhelming and I'm trying really hard but I live in a VERY poor city and nobody needs anybody for work anywhere.

Does anyone have any advice? Places I might be missing? Most places you have to apply online for and I feel like that slims my chances down even more because I can't introduce myself and I'm just a name in probably hundreds of applicants who are probably more qualified than me.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
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Do you have a Goodwill store?

There was information on the evening news tonight about Goodwill offering job training. Many people were getting jobs after doing the training and some of them were working for Goodwill.

I know it's not much but it's a start.

Here's the link with the info.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/40153870...12420#40812420

If that doesn't work volunteer somewhere a library, senior center, hospital.

Good luck.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:12 PM   #3
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Do you have stores in your area? Variety stores, department stores ? See if they have any entry level job openings, stocking or clerking perhaps.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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Oh good something I actually can help someone else with.

My first advice would be that you should start to volunteer in the area of your ideal career asap. Not being employed is definately a downer but if you get interviews at least you can talk about your goals and how you are working towards them. Also consider a crap minimum wage job part time while you continue to search for your ideal career. Then on your resume spin your nonsense job responsibilities into some total hyperbole.

Example: If you get a job as a sales associate in a retail store spin your relevant work experience as if you enjoy very much finding the perfect outfit for everyone and smiling at everyone all day because you enjoy being around people.

Example: If you get a job as drive thru personnel it is because you are an over-organized and fast paced person who enjoys multitasking and thrives within a challenging environment.

My ultimate advice would be for you to get any job as soon as possible. Waiting for your 'ideal job' and consequently leaving a gap in your resume unless you are critically injured, pregnant or caring for a relative looks very very lazy.

Lastly, keep an organized journal of every job you apply to, and even though you are new to the workplace you should create at least a few resumes (one for each industry you are interested in working with).

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Old 12-26-2010, 09:00 PM   #5
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How old are you? Fast food places are almost always hiring, because it's a horrible job. But someone has to do it.

I've been working at least one job since I turned 15, plus doing extra curriculars, so I really can't sympathize. As soon as I was able I was responsible for buying all my own clothes and that junk. As a teenager, most of the time I had two jobs. My first job was at Sherby's Ice Cream and Treats. You're going to just have to take whatever's offered you first. A lot of my jobs I got with new stores opening, but I'm from Omaha, an expanding city. If you live in a smaller area there might not be as many options.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:42 PM   #6
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I'm 18, really close to 19 by the way. I'm freshly graduated (June) and looking for a part-time job like fast food. It hasn't been too long since I started applying, but I'm already starting to get discouraged that I won't be able to find anywhere to work. My applications are so unimpressive, and I'm pretty sure even fast-food places are competitive where I live. My mom told me McDonald's had a sign saying they were hiring and to apply online, so I did and never got a call or anything. I've also applied for big chain stores, an ice cream shop, petsmart, pizza places, and more that I can't think of right now.

I was wondering, is it better to shoot for locally owned stores? Local pizza vs pizza hut, sub shop vs subway? I thought that a lot of these places are usually family owned and don't really need people. I've been applying online, but I plan on going out and hitting the smaller places once Christmas blows over. Will my luck be better there?

Also, I read that I shouldn't wear jeans when going in to apply, but I don't have anything BUT jeans. Would it be worth it to go buy some black pants to make a better impression, or does that only matter for interviews?

Sorry for all of the questions!
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:11 PM   #7
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Have you been calling to check on your applications? If you haven't, big mistake. You're right. There's possibly hundreds of people applying for jobs. If you just put in an application, and leave it up to them to contact you, they never will. Not calling to check on your application shows you're uninterested. So always give them about a week, and then call to check in. You'll be surprised how many people will schedule your interview when you call.

I don't think it matters if you're wearing jeans to go pick up an application. Just make sure they're nice jeans without holes or anything in them. Make an effort to do your hair and put on some make-up to look presentable.

When it comes to your interview, DEFINITELY dress up. Black pants, nice blouse, the whole nine yards.

When it comes to locally owned stores, most of them will probably interview you and hire you on the spot, so that's something to think about when you're getting dressed to go pick up the application. A corporation has to go through formal interviews and paper work. And the person giving you your application isn't likely to be the one making the hiring decision. I've worked for both. Each has their perks.

Now's probably not an ideal time to be job hunting. Just because places hire a bunch of people for the holiday season starting in late October. And then to fulfill their work force, they just offer jobs to the seasonal employees. But those people will start dropping like flies once they realize retail and fast food isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Just keep looking for places with now hiring notices. Fast food joints have high turn over rates, so call and check on those apps.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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One more thing, when you turn in your application. Ask for "the manager". The higher up the person you give your application too, the more likely it is to be looked at.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:29 PM   #9
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Thank you so much! I've gotten mixed information when it comes to checking on applications. I wasn't sure if I should call and check on the status or sit around and hope they call me. Now I'm going to have to call quite a few places to check on my apps.

I have tons of nice blouses, but I only wear jeans. I'm going to have to invest in a pair of black pants. Thank you everyone for your help, and if anyone else has more input please share!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:00 PM   #10
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I second getting a nice pair of slacks to wear to interviews.

Another place that is always looking for help are motels. Seems like they always need maids. Hospitals and nursing homes almost always need food and janitorial/housekeeping/laundry staff.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:45 PM   #11
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My advice would be apply everywhere. It can be expensive to advertise for staff, so a lot of places don't advertise at all. I worked in human resourses for a big grocery store and that's what we did and only hired from cvs that were sent in. Keep trying and something will come up as it can be hard to find someone who is available so many shifts. I've worked for a few big companies, and once you get your foot in the door if you have the right attittude you can move your was into higher and better paying positions.

Dressing up is a must. And dress up if you go to stores to ask for application forms. If there is something available and you look tidy and presentable then you might just get a call that day.

Good luck and don't give up
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Old 12-27-2010, 01:18 AM   #12
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You guys are awesome, thank you. I'll definitely go buy some black pants to wear when applying/interviewing.

By the way, when I call to check on the status of the application, I ask for the manager correct? Then what should I say? I don't want to sound like an idiot. Something like "Hi, I applied online about a week ago and I'm looking forward to ______ (I don't know what to say here.) I was wondering if my application has been looked at?
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:57 AM   #13
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I swear by temp agencies as a step up. Although it's mildly annoying to know that a cut of your pay is going to the agency, at least they come up with jobs. The fact that you get short term assignments in multiple places can be a plus. It pushes you to broaden your work skills and can demonstrate the versatility that employers will want.

If you can type, add, file, and answer phones that opens up many possibilities right there. Lots of offices need someone "up front" to handle incoming mail and phone calls. Once you get your foot in the door, it becomes possible to learn of permenant work elsewhere in a company that may not be advertised.

I got my current salaried job from working as a temp several years ago. Much of the skill set that I needed, was earned from prior temp jobs and contracts.

I really think it's a better avenue than "burger flipping". Get your information in with several temp agancies. Call them every week and tell them you want to be placed. The agency managers pay attention to who is serious, and the persisitent hunters are the ones who get the assignments!
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:12 AM   #14
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Definately the slacks.I got my first real job because I wore a dress on the hottest day of the year and the bosses wife was impressed(I was 16 at the time and applying at a flower shop).Also,my son and I are volunteering at an animal shelter.He can't do much because he's only 17,but at 18 he can learn how to run the store,or work the front desk which will all give him experience.I've been out of work for years,so doing the volunteering will hopefully help get me back in the work field.

Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:26 PM   #15
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As others have mentioned, always be tidy when you ask for an application. If it's not busy, ask to speak to the manager. Ask if they are "taking applications" and when you come back, don't just hand it to whoever unless the place is busy and they tell you the manager is busy. Ask for the manager and hand over your app. Be nice. Smile. I am not working anymore (SAHM) but I have interviewed people on the spot because I needed someone ASAP and people who slink in, look at their shoes when they talk, are rude, etc - no good to me.

I wouldn't call to ask about an application if it's retail or fast food. To me, it was like calling to see if I was hiring. If you're REALLY interested, you'll get yourself dressed, come in the slow hours, and ask me personally.

Good luck. If you just want SOMETHING, have you tried babysitting? That was always reliable work for me when I was in college. Someone is always looking for a sitter who will show up on time (I know I am) and not flake out. Ask around. Tell people you know that you're interested. People are always looking for a sitter to avoid day care or on breaks. If you don't mind a little light housekeeping, even better. I have a friend with an interior design degree that cleaned apartments to put herself through college. When she graduated, she realized she was making better money cleaning than she would designing. Many years later, she's put two kids through private school and one through college and she's still going strong. Which is not to say you should aim to do housekeeping for the rest of your life, just that if you can be creative sometimes you can find something that you can work with.

Good luck! It's hard when you're first starting out and your job history is blank. You will find something. However, my advice about moving out - work for a while before you jump. Save as much as you can. Be realistic about what it costs to live on your own. If you find a roommate, don't choose someone just because they're a friend, choose someone who can pay the bills on time and clean up behind themselves.
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