You’ve just finished school and you’re starting to apply for jobs. However, every position seems to require you to have experience, but how do you get experience when no one will hire you? This is a vicious circle that traps many recent grads, and it can be very hard to get out of. Here are a few tips and tricks on gaining valuable experience in the workforce.

Volunteer or intern

Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in the workforce. Many not-for-profit organizations are more than willing to take on volunteers for various work. Volunteering is also a great way to give back to the community, and will look great on your resume—both for experience and community involvement.

Internships are another fantastic way to gain experience. A lot of college and university programs offer options to complete an internship with an organization in a position that is related to your academic program. If your school doesn’t offer a formal internship program, there are many companies that advertise their internship positions on regular job boards like Indeed.

Both volunteering and interning are win-win. You can gain experience, while companies can have the benefit of receiving work for low or no cost. Even if companies aren’t hiring for an intern, it doesn’t hurt to propose an offer to them. Pitch your skillset and why the internship would be mutually beneficial.

Attend seminars and conferences

Seminars, conferences and networking events are a great way to gain knowledge and insight within your industry. In addition to offering educational benefits, this is also a great way to meet and network with people within your industry. Be sure to carry lots of business cards and polish up on your networking skills. Keep in mind if you’re working for a company, many will cover the costs of event like this if it is relevant to your role. So it never hurts to ask!

Build your resume with temporary positions

Many people have reservations about taking on a temporary position because it can seem like a less stable source of income. But applying for and accepting a temporary role can have many benefits:

  • Same work, more pay – contractors often earn more than regular salaried employees!
  • Try lots of different office environments
  • Potential tax benefits
  • Flexibility to choose your work assignments
  • Keeps your interview skills up to date

Aside from these, temporary roles will continue to build your experience as your work towards finding a permanent job. In the challenging job market that we’re in today, a temporary role can do wonders for your resume. To learn more about the benefits of temporary positions, check out our temp page!

To learn more about gaining experience as a temporary or contract worker, please visit the job seekers section of our website!