Proving Experience Without Any Experience

One of the most difficult aspects of landing your first entertainment job is convincing someone that yours is the “right experience” for the job – even though you may not actually have any experience. Okay, so you may not have a long, expansive background in the professional entertainment industry – but  fortunately you do have experiences. You just have to explain how those experiences directly correlate with the skill set a potential employer wants.


So, how do you do that?


Never Say “Never”

Never directly say you don’t have previous experience. Stay away from self-defeating phrases like “Despite my limited experience…” or “Although I do not have experience…” Try more positive phrasing based around your transferable skills:


                “I’m ready to transfer the skills I gained from…”

                “I’m excited to move onto a new opportunity where I get to leverage my skills gained by…”

                “I’m eager to take the next step using the experience I gained…”


Know the Company

Employers are looking for skills that can meet their needs and better their company. If you aren’t perceiving and directly addressing what they are looking for, you may be wasting your potential employer’s time.


Tailor your past experiences to the company and its requirements - do a little research before contacting an organization or writing a cover letter. For example, here’s a paragraph taken from a article where a former babysitter is looking for a management job:


“As a former caregiver to three active youngsters I certainly know the importance of good time management. I've gained that skill along with exemplary leadership, organizational and communications talents that would contribute to our mutual success…”


This advice is also applicable to job seekers looking to jump onto a new career path. A human resources job may not seem like good experience for a modeling job, but a little finessing of your messaging can help you make the switch.


Market the Whole Package

Finally, market more than just your skills. Employers are hiring more than a robot with a particular set of skills; they are hiring someone with unique individual talents.


The National Association of Colleges and Employers lists 10 personal qualities that employers are looking for:


Communication Skills                                     Motivation/Initiative                                      Teamwork Skills Leadership Skills                                              Academic Achievement                                                Interpersonal Skills Flexibility/Adaptability                                           Technical Skills                                                   Honesty/Integrity

Work Ethic and Analytical/Problem Solving Skills


Notice that “technical skills” is only one category out of 10. Don’t be afraid to show how well you’ll fit in at the company or demonstrate where you’ve shown your ability to be flexible and adaptable to challenges. If you can find a particular reference who can vouch for any of the above qualities, you’ll have an even better shot.


Use Those Experiences

Landing an entertainment job with little or no professional experience may be tough, but it’s not impossible. Many life experiences can be subbed in when you need to beef up you resume. It’s up to you to connect the dots for your employer in order to boost your entertainment career – remember to make sure whatever experience you claim to have is accurate and applicable.


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