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Tips to Advance Your Career
with Little to No Experience

Think Positive

  • Approach challenges with determination rather than defeat.

  • Move forward decisively - don't doubt yourself.

  • Seek out help when needed to get the job done.

  • Believe in yourself and confidence will come naturally.

Click below to read more about why positive thinking is so important and how it benefits everyone in the workplace.

Benefits & Tips

Do Your Research

  • Talk with friends, family, and/or professionals who have job positions similar to the one you want.

  • Explore job postings of specific positions you are interested in; examine requirements/ qualifications to get a better idea of the type of experience you need to present.

  • If you are looking at a specific company, go to their website to learn more about what they value. This can help you better construct your resume and cover letter for a specific position.

  • Are there any certifications or specific programs you need to succeed in this career?
    Note: Many jobs will help with training and certification needs if they feel you are a good candidate!

Tell Your Story

  • Craft your story to help explain what made you choose this particular career path

  • Talk about your passions and how that may feed in to your new job

  • Emphasize your willingness to learn and take risks in exploring your new path

  • Find ways to make the work experience you do have sound transferable to your new career -
    How can you contribute to the organization's needs despite have industry-specific experience?

    Tip: Think about the Six Attributes that make you a
    CentreREADY™ designee.
    Example: Work Ethic! Think about any hobbies or projects that you've worked on. You can talk about how productivity of the project was - did you use time management well? - were you self-motivated to work on your own? --- then you'll inevitably begin talking about the other attributes without realizing it! --- was this a team project? - how did the team work together? - how did you all communicate with each other? - how did you/ the team make decisions?

Create a Skills-Based Resume

  • Build a resume based on your skills rather than based on work history. (Think Six Attributes!)

  • Align your skills with your story, focusing on how you as a person could help benefit an organization.

  • Focus on 3 -5 of your strongest and most relevant skills - talk about key accomplishments related to these skills. Key accomplishments can be anything that has been important to you.

    Example: Team Work! Maybe you're on a sports team and working together to make it to a championship game was a huge accomplishment for you. You can talk about how you all worked together throughout the season to build each other up. If you are a team captain, you could talk about the leadership skills you developed in helping your team get to the championship!

  • For this style of resume, start off with your skills and accomplishments at the beginning and put any work experience at the end.

  • Include an objective statement or summary ahead of your skills to give employers an idea of why you are choosing this career path.

Click to learn more about skill-based resumes and to view examples

Learn More

Get an Education

  • Enroll in classes that are relevant to the field you are interested in.

  • High school students have the option to attend Vocational-Technical school during the school year. Students interested in doing so should contact their high school guidance counselor for more information.

  • High school graduates can choose to continue their education at one of Centre County's Career Technical Schools: South Hills School of Business & Technology -and- Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology.

Try Volunteering or Part-Time Work

  • Look for part-time work in the field you are interested in that you could do in your spare time.

  • Talk with friends or family in the field and see if they know anyone looking for help.

    Tip: Working part-time shows that you are serious about your intended career path. It also gives you some insight into the work, so you can see if this is what you want to do. Getting any sort of experience in your intended field may present you with opportunities to help build your professional network, which in turn could assist in future career endeavors.


  • Consider doing volunteer work.
    Examples of organizations you could volunteer for:

    - Local Service Organizations
    - Community Arts Groups
    - Youth Organizations
    - National Parks and Conservation Organizations
    - Political Organizations
    - Libraries
    - Senior Centers
    - Family Shelters
    - Food Pantries
    - Animal Shelters and Rescue Organizations

Click below to search through job sites to locate your next part-time position or volunteer position.

Click below to learn more about the benefits of volunteer work.

Benefits of Volunteering

Be Creative

  • Create a video introducing yourself and explain your desired career path.

  • Create an online portfolio or website for yourself and your passions. (You can put your introduction video on here too!)

  • Provide links on your resume and LinkedIn page.

    Tip: There are multiple website platforms that are user-friendly and easy to use at the basic levels. You can find a lot of help and tutorials online as well!

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