It’s a cruel, cruel world out there. Students need practical experience to land a job in their field, and no one will hire them without that experience.

Here’s the conundrum – how are students supposed to get experience if no one will give them their start?

You could sulk all day and pity yourself on these unfortunate circumstances… or you could take some initiative and do something about it.

Apart from landing an entry-level role within a company, there are other ways to build up your experience and skillset. So if you’re ready to stop sulking, we’ve got some options to get you started.


Take it upon yourself to find an organization looking for volunteers within your field. You can volunteer to do just about anything – especially within non-profit or charitable organizations.

They could be looking for volunteers for their street marketing teams, volunteers to assist in their financial activities, or volunteers to help develop their website. The options are endless.

This is one of the most traditional methods of gaining experience as an entry-level candidate. Also, do not assume that because you are not getting financially compensated that you cannot list this role in your professional experience on a resume.

Experience is experience regardless of your compensation, so don’t bury this at the bottom of your resume in a volunteering section.


A term that was one used by only journalists, freelancing has become a new trend across multiple industries. Instead of selling yourself to an employer, take a different route and sell yourself to clients.

Find clients who are looking for a photographer and explain that you’re the right person for them. This also goes for programmers, bookkeepers, interior designers – there are many industries where consumers are willing to hire an independent freelancer in order to get a discounted rate.

When it comes to your resume – make it clear that you were freelancing. You not only gained experience, but you also have clients who can vouch for your skills. This will show the hiring manager that you take initiative, that you’re reliable, and that you have the skills to succeed.

Online contracts

The internet changed the way we apply for jobs, but it also changed the way we work. Instead of applying for roles within a company where you will head into the office each day, look for an online contract instead.

From the comfort of your house, you can become a featured professional on a website where companies and consumers login to outsource contracts.

On a resume, list yourself as a Freelancer with the name of the website where you receive the contracts as your Employer. Popular websites that offer this service are Upwork and Freelancer.


Internships are the most common method used to gain experience by students across the world. Internships can be paid or unpaid, and in most cases, the employer is aware that you have no experience.

Looking for internships in smaller companies or start-ups will often allow you to take on greater responsibilities and a steeper learning curve. However, those internships are also most likely to be unpaid.

On a resume, internships are often expected for entry-level candidates. It is practically impossible to transition from full-time school to full-time employment without gaining experience somewhere in between.

This is where an internship comes in. In some cases, internships also lead to employment within the company, and this is really your best case scenario.

Work on yourself

In certain fields and industries, you can literally do your job for yourself.

If you are a make-up artist, you can spend your free time practicing your skills on friends and family members and documenting your work in photos for your portfolio. You can develop a website to showcase your work, and even create a fan following on social media.

This will be less relevant on your resume, but it will be a great addition to your cover letter.

You’re telling the employer that you love what you do so much that you spend all of your free time engulfed in work. This is especially applicable in creative fields such as writing, photography, and film-making to name a few.

At the end of the day, this is going to take work. To be honest, sitting around sulking will be much easier, but that’s also why you haven’t landed a job yet.

Set your laziness aside and learn that right now, your only focus is achieving your goals. If your goal is to land your dream job, you have to start somewhere. Gain some experience, do it for free if you have to, and always push yourself forward.

Get job search ready fast

Open new career opportunities with our professional resume writing services.