How to Get Experience if You Need Experience in the First Place

There is an old Catch-22 that applies to getting a job: “You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job”. It’s a vicious circle that many job seekers find frustrating. This doesn’t just apply to recent graduates, either; people looking to move into new careers and those looking to move up the ladder hear the same thing.

With many experienced job seekers on the market due to redundancy, this that it is getting even tougher for the youngest members of our workforce to get the jobs they need to succeed.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Here are a few tips for getting that crucial bit of experience to put on your CV and gain the attention of a potential employer.


Just because you don’t get paid for the work doesn’t mean it doesn’t count as experience. Many volunteer jobs lack glamour, but they still suit the required experience. Look for volunteer positions that are closely related to the work you want. If you’ve got an education in accounting, try to secure a volunteer position working with the agency’s books.


Internships are a valuable source of experience that you can take advantage of while you’re still getting your education. Some programmes, such as teaching, even require you to engage in an internship or practicum as a part of the graduation requirements. If an internship is offered for credit, jump at the chance. You might just graduate yourself in to a career at a great company. Firms and organisations that work with schools and universities often hire from their intern pool. This is especially true of law firms.


Many a great business opportunity has started with a fabulous idea, no money and a group of individuals willing to put in a lot of elbow grease to become a success. You will need to be able to outline to your potential partners exactly what skills, talents and abilities you bring to the table that will allow the venture to move forward and succeed.


There are many companies who use temp-to-hire conditions of employment to take out their potential employees for a test spin to ensure they are a good fit with regard to skills and personality. Many times, they are willing to engage newly educated persons in these roles.