“Be ambitious. There probably won’t be another time in your life when you have such freedom of opportunity. Grasp it with both hands. If you can’t find an opening that fits what you want to do, why not try to create one yourself?” -Richard Branson
The best resume is a great personal brand.
The best personal brand is a body of work combined with a reputation for creating value.
One of the earliest, and seemingly harshest, lessons I learned about credit, is that it’s nearly impossible to get banks to loan you money until you can convince them that you’re not desperate for their money. Banks are not interested in helping people out or in giving people opportunities just for the sake of being benevolent. Banks are interested in making sure they put their resources into the hands of people who will do profitable things with them. This principle is no less true in the professional world.
An employer’s decision to hire you is not an act of charity, it’s an investment of company resources into their own future. And as with all investments, the investor looks for evidence of momentum. Momentum is the attribute of an investment that indicates an already existing propensity for forward movement that will only be increased, not initiated, by the investor’s resources.
When employers and potential business partners say they’re looking for experience, they’re not following some clearly-defined rule for evaluating the number of years you’ve worked. They’re looking for evidence of momentum.
When looking to get your foot in the door, remember that the goal isn’t to get rich, impress your family, or “make a killing,” with your first employment opportunity. The goal is to build “credit” as someone who knows how to make things happen.
Find ways to prove your skills. Do anything you can. Volunteer, work for free, take jobs that may initially seem “beneath you,” but that offer you an opportunity to establish character. Start your own organization, join an existing organization, blog, guest blog, self-publish, actively recruit mentors who can help you think creatively about developing useful skills, creating opportunities for using those skills, and marketing your ability to add-value to others.
The best advice that was given to me was, “Don’t wait for work, create the work.”
If no one wishes to give you experience, find ways to create experiences of your own.