Job hunting? Where to start if you’ve no on the job experience

Job hunting? Where to start if you’ve no on the job experience

Sadie White No Comment

Are you due to leave school this year and looking for your first proper job? No work experience and feel like you’ve not much to offer?

Alex Leonard, Employer Engagement Co-ordinator at Sheffield Futures provides advice and guidance on looking at the skills you’ve got and growing these to give you the edge when it comes to securing a job.

First of all I want you to think about your skills. I like to call this, looking at what’s in your skills jar. When you interact with people in life you grow your communication skills and when you overcome difficulties, you grow your problem-solving skills. As you do these things you add to your skills and your skills jar fills up.

So, how do we go about filling that skills jar? Firstly, it’s really important to take on the right mindset. The mindset we all need to grow anything in life is a positive mindset. Growing ourselves, growing our skills, growing anything is hard work, it takes a positive and ‘can do’ mindset but it’s worth it, as the good things that come with work, like money, confidence and feeling good about yourself are all more than worth a bit of hard work in the short term!

Grow the skills you have got

So now you know what your skills are, have a think about how you can grow the list of skills to get where you want to be. Here are some ideas:

Training courses

Training courses are a good port of call if you want to strengthen your Maths or English skills or even want to go down a specialist route for example writing code for websites or driving trucks.


Work for a charity or do great work in community to learn skills as you go. Volunteering looks great on your CV as it shows you have the get up and go to get the experience employers are looking for.

Voluntary Action Sheffield (VAS) is a great place to look in Sheffield or you can look on the websites of charities that interest you.

Work experience

Apply for temporary unpaid work experience and get a foot in the door. This will give you vital experience and exposure to the workplace. You will be able to get a reference and may even get lucky and be the first to know about paid jobs coming up!

Entry level jobs

Entry level jobs are jobs have a low requirement for skills or training, they’re paid and rely on doing a great interview. This might be a good option if you know the specific field you want to be in, are aware of what’s in your skills jar and want to work your way up in an organisation.

For more information, advice and guidance about getting into work from Alex check out Alex’s videos on Sheffield Futures YouTube channel 

How you can help

Our charity is dedicated to helping Sheffield's young people to reach their full potential and achieve the best out of life, whatever their starting point. To help us to do more to support young people and communities we need your help. Just remember, every penny you donate will make a difference.