How to Gain Experience as an Undergraduate

Have you ever seen a job that you are so interested in that requires some entry requirements that disqualify you? Sometimes you feel these entry requirements are so trivial yet they disqualify you from your dream job paying that huge salary.  In recent times, almost every job requires up to two to three years of working experience. As a graduate, you might fit perfectly for the job but the experiences needed makes you unfit.

It’s a question asked by more new graduates than any other: how do you land your first job when each company requires that you have experience in your chosen field in order to be hired? Here are four ways to gain experience and get your foot in the door so you can obtain your first job.

Here are four different ways to acquire insight and secure your opportunity so you can get your first job.

1. Internships

While many students complete at least one internship as a part of their undergraduate degree requirements, more and more new graduates are applying for internships as well.

Interning with a company in your career field is a great way to gain hands-on experience doing the kind of work you would like to do. Often companies offer a salary or stipend for new graduates who intern with their company. An internship can sometimes lead to a job with that company, or at the very least give you experience and references to add to your resume. When school is on a long vacation, try interning and it may go a long way to help you.

2. Volunteering

There are many non-profit organizations that have volunteer positions where you can gain work experience. Whether you have a degree in Web Design or Education, there are ways that organizations can put your skills to good use. Some companies look favourably on volunteer activities, so reach out to organizations that interest you.

3. Networking

Networking is a great way to make professional connections that could lead to a first job. Join student and professional organizations based on your career objectives. Most organizations sponsor networking events, conferences, and workshops. Each interaction you have with people in your career field could foster a new relationship or contact that can get you an interview for a job you really want. Check out organizations based on your major for more information.

4. Freelancing

One other way to get experience in freelancing. Sometimes you have to prove that you can do the work before you are hired. Freelancing is a great way to show what you can do. You may have to do your first freelance job for free or low pay, just to gain experience and positive references. After your first time, however, you now have more experience that you can add to your resume. Freelance jobs can be as short as a day or two, to several months. Sometimes a job that starts out as freelance can turn into a full-time position. Employers not only want to see what skills you have but also how dependable you are as an employee. The next time you are told that you don’t have enough experience for the job you want, try using one or more of the techniques above to gain more experience and quality references to help get your foot in the door.

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