The Lounge
Moderators: spoiled_candy, Mollybygolly, nomoreexcuses, peaches0405


Ok, here's the situation:

I have never worked before due to anxiety/depression issues. I'm 22 years old. (yeah, I know I should have had some work experience by now.) I did work at a lawyer's office part time (for about a month or so), but can't list it since it was an under the table job and it didn't end on good terms. (due to a coworker who also landed me the job...)

I'm now trying to get up the courage to finally work, but the problem is will they even bother hiring me since I have never worked before and don't have any prior experience? I know I can do this job (I'm considering Dunkin Donuts.), but it's just getting my foot in the door. I just don't think handing in my job application will look good with not having any prior experience. (Then again, it's like the chicken and the egg...You have to start somewhere!)

Not also to mention, that I'm originally from another state, but moved here to live with my fiance' so any references I have would be out of state...Another downer to this whole thing.

Any advice as to what I should do on my application to get hired? Or at least catch their interests into interviewing me? I really want to try to normalize my life somewhat, but I have a feeling it's going to be a drag trying to start all of this out.

Any tips or advice are well appreciated. Thanks! :)

14 Replies (last)

Do you have an volunteer experience? Or ever work for someone for free that you can put down?

#2  
Quote  |  Reply

For getting a job at something like Dunkin' Donuts, experience definitely isn't necessary.  My very first job was at Tim Hortons (I quit after a day!), and then a friend got me a job at a store.

Having good availability and being willing to work for minimum wage (at first) usually helps.

You'll do fine :)
Good luck!

With no experience, you just want to project a professional image.  Look neat, clean, and organized whenever you speak to a manager.  Shake hands - smile - speak clearly - show an interest in the job and the company, beyond just trying to get a paycheck - say Please, Thank You etc.  Try to mind the little things - write neatly on the application - watch your spelling.

I don't know why you couldn't list references from out of state.  I would also try to work in your experience from the law office, somehow.  Maybe pose it as a type of volunteer work???  Or maybe list it under "other qualifications".... not sure, but definitely try to show it.  If you've done any kind of community service or volunteer work - be sure to list it as well.

And follow up.  After you drop off the application, wait a few days and call the store to see if they've had a chance to review your app and find out when they might be able to interview you.  If you get an interview, follow up again after the interview (maybe a week or so) and see if they have made a decision.

When it's your first job, it's about ambition and appearance.  Good Luck!

#4  
Quote  |  Reply

It is equally valid to demontrate your "core competencies" through real life examples (especially for entry-level positions), as opposed to work related examples if none are available. An example would be breifly outlining a time you demontrated reliability (maybe you have house sitted or babysitted in the past), or describe a time if your life you took on a leadership role (maybe you have a younger sibling/cousin/neice/nephew that you are a role model for). The most important thing is you have to separte yourself from other candidates in one way or another. You can google "core competencies" for some ideas.

In interviews, when asked questions about your experiences, remember the S.T.A.R acronym: Situation, Task, Action, Result.  This can be used to describe many situations in which you have been faced with challenges/obstacles; it doesn't neccessarily have to be related to previous work experience to be valuable to an interviewer.

Ever work the conession stand at games while in High School? 

Did you babysit? Then you were a nanny. Did you help friends with homework? You have independent tutoring experience.

Also- volunteering / interning are some of the best ways to get experience - and, a lot of places will hire internally first. Meaning, they will hire their interns when a job opens up - they already know you, and you already know the job.

Good luck!

Helping friends with homework is hardly tutoring. haha

Yeah its hardly tutoring, but you have to fluff up your experiences to make your application look good.

In all honesty, I don't think it'd be that easy for an unexperienced person to get a job with the economy. I could be wrong.

Original Post by mel_e_mel:

Did you babysit? Then you were a nanny. Did you help friends with homework? You have independent tutoring experience.

this is an exceptionally bad idea.  if you can`t attach references, don`t call it a job (especially if it`s the only job on your resume and it`s fake).

Original Post by mel_e_mel:

Also- volunteering / interning are some of the best ways to get experience - and, a lot of places will hire internally first. Meaning, they will hire their interns when a job opens up - they already know you, and you already know the job.

yes to volunteering.  it isn`t likely to lead to a job, because most agencies that use volunteers are non-profit and can`t afford to train you, but it`s great for getting experience and references.  also looks great on college and scholarship applications.

internships - you need an in. 

Original Post by luhluhlovesongs:

Yeah its hardly tutoring, but you have to fluff up your experiences to make your application look good.

In all honesty, I don't think it'd be that easy for an unexperienced person to get a job with the economy. I could be wrong.

Employers can tell when it's "fluff" aka lying. I wouldn't recommend doing it. Be honest. In the meantime, volunteer somewhere that interests you to at least gain some experience. 

If its in the job history section, I guess it'd be lying. But I thought we were talking putting it as referrences.

Ah, guess its not the same.

Honestly, I wouldn't worry about not having prior experience at all if you are applying to Dunkin Donuts or McDs. They don't require much experience or even qualification. All they want is probably a good head on your shoulder and not-horrible work ethics. Good luck.

I stand by my answer; I've bluffed my way into a lot of things. My theory: You can figure out how to do things before anyone else figures out you don't know what your doing. Especially at a fast food joint; it's not rocket science.

It's not for everyone, but we're also not talking anything vital for the OP. She's looking at entry-level service jobs, and they're not really going to care about her references. You can always have a friend be a reference for you; I've "worked" at a lot of peoples restaurants that don't exist, so I could get a waitressing job in grad school. I desperately needed the money, and it worked out fine.

And you don't need an "in" to be an intern; you need to apply. If you're in school, there should be a program or office that can help you with this. I've interned at 4 different places, with no "in" at any of them. The experiences at least got me job interviews, and eventually a good job. It's true that some people get the internship through family connections, but an equal amount of people get there on their own merit. You just have to try.

Thanks guys for the advice! You were all very helpful. I can't really think of any volunteer work either..ouch. :/ (I've been living under a rock for apparently too long. Lmao!) Maybe I can conjure something up. Heh.

If I do go through with this and get hired I'll let you all know! :)

14 Replies
Advertisement
Advertisement