Aspiring professionals, especially young people graduating from college who are starting a career, are often expected to have previous experience. How can you build credibility and the “edge” you need to break into the workforce even before you get a chance to build your own expertise?

The answer lies in how fast you start and how much you know yourself.

If you have limited to zero professional experience, getting a fast start is crucial because it will expose you to areas and skills you like and help you become more versed in those areas/skills with real examples you can confidently share or refer to. You automatically stand out from other candidates if you have the real story to tell. This adds the the “credibility” gap that you may have.

Here are two steps you can consider if you’re an aspiring professional who’s ready to jump-start your career:

Assess your current skills and knowledge

At Devcurate, we believe that anyone can jumpstart a career if one knows how to leverage his/her skills and knowledge. If there are certain areas you lack research industry-specific knowledge, trends, and information, and learn those skills as soon as you can.

If you’re a fresh graduate, find out what specific types of knowledge people in the industry of your interest look for and try to build your area of expertise around it. Learn from thought leaders on YouTube, LinkedIn, or a simple Google search will help you get started.

The trick is to make yourself a unique and valuable resource, and know how to address the questions. When you’re at a job interview, you will have enough familiarity to tackle the questions/ solve problems. This is how you communicate your credibility in absence of your experience.

Don’t underestimate the power of volunteerism

Taking on external assignments signifies your grit, determination, and willingness — which are positive attributes hiring managers look for in candidates. Search for volunteer groups or organisations that are looking for volunteers and help out. This is your own growth investment. You can also make a list of organisations and check out their social media accounts to get started.

The key to all of this is to have certain clarity — what you enjoy doing and where do you want your career to go. Expertise doesn’t build on its own that’s why it takes hard work until you’ve proven yourself that you’re an asset, a valuable talent who has confidence and a skill set organisations need.

Don’t know where to start? Find out who’s hiring! Visit Impact Career now for available jobs in the social impact sector.

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