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Think you lack experience? Think again!

You’re new to work and that’s OK – we’ll help you make the most of the experience you have.

It’s completely normal to feel like you don’t have enough experience.

When applying for your first job or switching career, it can be a little overwhelming. But we’re here to remind you that you’ll likely have more experience and skills than you think.

How you respond to these experience gaps is the important part. Knowing what you need to work on shows employers you’re proactive and willing to learn new things.

Make transferable skills work for you

If you lack experience in something, you can lean on your transferable skills. These are a core set of skills and abilities you’ve picked up over time.

Transferable skills are so useful – you can apply them to a wide range of jobs and industries. 

Here are our careers advisers’ top tips to uncover your transferable skills.

List your achievements, no matter how big or small

Did you complete a course at college or university? Maybe you’re working on a project or are proud of something you presented? These are all achievements and you used your skills to ace them! You could’ve worked well in a team, met deadlines or been a leader – these skills transfer into work. 

Look for achievements within achievements

Think about a thing you’ve won or taken part in recently. You could’ve been motivated to stick to the task or shown creativity to make something. So, always delve into the little achievements within your achievements. 

Focus on what you do have

Employers aren’t looking for the finished article – they want to see potential. If you’re the best fit for an employer, they’ll know it. Use your CV to sell the skills and experience you have, rather than what you lack. Although, if an employer wants something you don’t have – is there something easy you can do right now to fill that gap? 

A positive attitude goes far

This is a skill in itself – use it to sell your abilities! You can make a lasting impression on employers just by being the best version of yourself. Even during an interview, a positive attitude and personality can make up for a lack of experience. 

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How to build on your experience

A lack of experience doesn’t have to stand in the way of your dream job. First, learn where your knowledge or skill gaps may be. Then, check out these useful ways to address them. 


Volunteering is a perfect way to pick up new transferable skills. Most voluntary roles will let you do training, which can go on your CV. Volunteering may not be the quickest way to pick up new skills but it has so many benefits. You’ll have a role within the community, learn from others and maybe even discover a new passion. 

Free online courses

Using free online courses is a quick, low-risk way to build skills. The internet is full of free courses, some of which will give you certificates you can mention on your CV. Our course search is a great place to start your online learning journey. 


Learn on the job through internships and work experience. These are great opportunities to get your foot in the door at a specific company or sector you’d love to work in. These positions aren’t always well-paid or even paid at all, but they look amazing on your CV. Not to mention, you’ll meet people in your industry – which will help your future career. 


Drop a message to someone you admire – it’s simple! Most people are happy to have a chat about their role and how they got there. It takes confidence to ask but it’s worth it. Once you’ve had a chat, ask if they’d mentor you or let you shadow them at their work. This is yet another useful experience to add to your CV. 

Flexible learning

Life can be busy between family commitments and other jobs or hobbies. So, volunteering or full-time learning may not be an option for you. But there are lots of opportunities to learn part-time. Most colleges and universities have evening and weekend courses, get online and check them out.