July 23, 2010

Getting Your Foot in the Door Part 2: Experience

Once you've actually made contact with someone you'd like to work with you'll probably need a resume to prove why you deserve the position. This presents us with the age of old problem- you need experience to get a job (sometimes even to get an internship), but you can't get experience without a job. With a little creative thinking you can get that experience...

There are plenty of organizations out there looking for free help or volunteers. Public radio stations, music festival, school newspapers, and even venues can be a great way to get some experience without the need for an interview. Can't find something in music? See my next tip....

See the Bigger Picture
There are certain skills that apply to almost every job: organization, leadership, ability to work with a team, the list could go on. So you spent your summer working at McDonald's and don't have much else to say. Sure, a record exec may not care about the burgers you flipped,but maybe you got employee of the month, set up a new system to organize the work area managed other employees. This is NOT about lying on your resume, just learning to see how those seemingly unrelated jobs gave you skills related to your actual goals.

Nothing to Lose
Don't let your fears or preconceived ideas of what the company is looking for get you down. You have nothing to lose by applying anyway. Worst case scenario: you never hear from them. At least you know you tried and no one ever said you can't reapply later. They may even appreciate your persistance. Best case: you actually get a job or internship offer. You can't succeed if you don't try.
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