Sometimes you find a job description that highlights a need for experience. You want to get into the industry but have no experience. How can you gain experience if no one will hire you? It’s a paradox, but there are lots of different routes to get to the next level in your career.

Here are seven ways to show a potential employer why they should be excited about hiring you despite your lack of experience.

1)Highlight your soft skills

Focus on your ability to contribute directly. No matter what type of job you’ve had in the past, you likely have other skills that will transfer to another job. You’re experienced in efficiency, teamwork, systems and procedures, and communication. And perhaps most importantly, you’re enthusiastic and willing to learn.

2)Be realistic, humble and confident

Show you understand the reality and challenges of stepping into a job you’ve never done before. You have much to learn, but you’re willing to learn, work hard and take initiative. You want to seem confident, not cocky, and not naïve about what it takes to do the job well. Be humble and be willing to start at the bottom.

3)Don’t worry about perfection

Don’t sell yourself short and deny yourself the job just because you don’t fit the job description perfectly—most applicants don’t. Instead of calling attention to your lack of experience and automatically minimizing yourself as a bad hire, concentrate on your strengths and all the skills you have—friendliness, professionalism, work ethic and a willingness to learn—that will make an impact on this company.

4)Investigate your employer

Research as much as you can on the company you’re applying to. Know their reputation, issues they’re involved in and available positions. Ask killer questions to prove you’ve done your homework and are really interested in the well-being of the company.

5)Gain the experience

Look for internships, volunteer positions or your own projects to help you learn the relevant experience you’re lacking.

6)Write a great cover letter

Avoid using a form cover letter! And don’t rehash your resume. Instead, explain why you’re excited about this position and why you believe you’d excel. Again, focus on your strengths instead of your lack of experience.

7)Build relationships

Learn to network with experienced professionals. They can advise you and provide you with useful tips and valuable references

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