February 24, 2024


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6 Ways To Get A Job When You Have Little Work Experience

5 min read
6 Ways To Get A Job When You Have Little Work Experience

Gen Z are facing multiple barriers into work in today’s job market. Many of these barriers stem from the pandemic and its aftermath, which includes Gen Z being forced to start this crucial stage of their careers remotely, completing their studies and entering the workforce—from home. This has resulted in negative impact on mental health, feelings of loneliness and isolation, job insecurity due to AI taking over many white-collar jobs, and layoffs in major sectors over the past couple years. Consequently, many Gen Zers are faced with the prospect of being thrust into job-hunting, without having had practical opportunities for work experience. They’ve missed the everyday learning that occurs through in-person social interaction, or opportunities to develop essential soft skills which are required to boost their resume, such as communication skills.

This has resulted in 45% of Gen Z being concerned about the stability of their employment, according to a McKinsey survey, while a Deloitte survey noted that approximately 46% of Gen Zers admit to being stressed or anxious all or most of the time.

What can the younger workforce do to land their dream roles in today’s tight labor market, with their limited experience?

The good news is that many managers are looking for transferable abilities beyond resume bullet points, when hiring for entry-level roles. Additionally, this barrier into work can be overcome by being strategic in your job search for entry-level roles.

Richa Gupta, G-P’s Chief HR Officer, believes that limited job experience needn’t be a complete roadblock for Gen Z job candidates. “When interviewing or researching potential employers, Gen Z should be strategic and selective,” she advises. “Thoughtfulness enables job seekers to make choices that align with their values, goals and personal well-being, leading to a more successful and rewarding career path.”

She recommends Gen Z prioritize seeking employers that provide a strong career trajectory at this critical stage of their lives, to help them rebound and gain the skills needed to progress into other roles more aligned with their career.

Gupta lists five specific factors to look out for, including:

Professional Development Opportunities

“Look for employers who invest in training and development programs. Companies that offer mentorship, workshops, skill enhancement and opportunities to work with colleagues in different countries indicate a commitment to helping employees advance and grow in their careers. In G-P’s recent Global Growth Report, Gen Z-aged employees overwhelmingly responded (85%) that they believe companies that hire from multiple countries offer more opportunities to grow their careers. Even further, Gen Z employees see opportunity beyond just the workplace – nearly 2 in 5 (39%) listed the opportunity to acquire new personal skills as a top reason to work for an organization with a global presence,” Gupta says.

Transparent Communication

“Being open and transparent with expectations provides employees with a clear understanding of their role, responsibilities, and career path,” Gupta continues. “Approximately 47% of Gen Z employees in the report listed transparency as a top quality for a successful leader. Seek employers who openly discuss performance evaluations, expectations, career goals and the steps needed to advance within the organization.”

One of the best ways to easily identify these employers is to talk with a range of current and previous employees and ask them about their experiences. You could find them on LinkedIn and strike up a coffee chat or, if they are in your local area, invite them for lunch.

Additionally, employee review sites such as Glassdoor provide excellent insights into company cultures and the management style including communication transparency.

Innovative Culture

“Companies that embrace innovation are more likely to provide opportunities for growth, and those with a global presence are better positioned to handle shifting market dynamics.” Gupta goes on to explain that, according to the report, global companies are better at attracting talent, generating new business, navigating geopolitical and economic pressures, and implementing new technologies, such as the adoption and integration of artificial intelligence. “A forward-thinking, agile organization can be a positive sign for career progression and is essential in today’s agile workforce,” she suggests.

Room for Growth

“Research the company’s history of promotion from within and ask hiring managers about growth opportunities during the interviewing process. If they have a track record of investing in employees and advancing them in creative ways, that can be a sign that they value internal talent and offer room for growth,” says Gupta.

A company’s LinkedIn page can also be a fantastic resource to provide insights via a graph on employee turnover, promotions, and growth rates at the organization.

Diverse Leadership

Gen Z are well-known for being committed to diversity in the workforce. Gupta recommends that Gen Z seek out companies with diverse leadership teams, as these are often more inclusive and provide opportunities for employees of all backgrounds to advance. This helps you further your career, even if you’ve had limited experience, so that you are not placed at a disadvantage compared to others.

“When asked what would be most enticing about working for a global organization, greater diversity of thought was one of the top four responses from Gen Z employees. A diverse leadership team may indicate a commitment to fair and unbiased career progression,” Gupta adds.

Highlight Your Skills

When asked what qualities employees need to be successful at a global company, executives surveyed as part of the report chose problem-solving skills (38%), communication skills (38%), and a team mentality (35%).

“Gen Z job seekers should emphasize these capabilities to show how they would be a good fit for the team they hope to join. Candidates can demonstrate their problem-solving capabilities by sharing specific instances where they faced challenges and devised innovative solutions, underscoring their adaptability and critical thinking,” Gupta recommends. “Gen Z candidates should also showcase their communication skills to put them forward in the job process, as employers often look for candidates who can convey their ideas, information, and thoughts effectively – both verbally and in writing. Finally, they can highlight their ability to work on a team by discussing past group projects (this can include those undertaken remotely) and how they contributed positively to the team’s success.”

Limited work experience needn’t impede your career growth. Rather, view it positively as an opportunity to reinvent yourself, showcase your transferable skills, and find an employer that can guide you and supercharge your progression.


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