How to Job Hunt When You're Starting from Scratch

  • scratch

The 2020 pandemic has wreaked havoc on careers as well as personal lives. With major sectors of the economy nearly or totally shut down, many who thought they had job security are out of work — and believe they don't have the qualifications to switch to a different specialty. Meanwhile, new graduates looking for their first job have been unable to get out of the starting gate at all.


If you're in this situation, take hope. There are ways to land a job without experience in that particular field. We've rounded up expert advice to get you on the right track.


Look for careers with employee shortages


While some industry sectors have shrunk dramatically, others are experiencing a boom, and as a result, a skyrocketing need for more employees. Hiring managers are only too aware of this problem, and know that they can't stick to hard-and-fast job qualifications if they want to bring in enough new workers.


One of the biggest trends forecasted for the staffing industry in 2021 is that candidates will be hired based on their soft skills (more about them below), and given on-the-job training for specific roles. What this means for you is an excellent opportunity to get your foot in a previously closed door and learn new skills at your employer's expense.


Here are the 12 careers projected to have the highest hiring demand. Notice that many of them don't require much experience, the educational qualification is zero or fairly easily obtained, and some you can work from home.


  • Wind turbine technician
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Solar photovoltaic installer
  • Occupational therapy assistant
  • Statistician/mathematician (data analysis)
  • Home health care/personal care aide
  • Physical therapist
  • Medical/health services manager
  • Physician assistant
  • IT security
  • Oil/gas derrick operator
  • Remote technology — ecommerce, network engineer


Build up your soft skills


You can acquire these skills on any job — not just the ones in your field of expertise. These are the qualities that make you a good employee, which most employers believe is equally, or even more, important than industry-specific education or experience.


The most desirable soft skills are:


  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Work ethic
  • Planning
  • Problem-solving


. Rework your resume and cover letter to highlight the ways you demonstrated these skills in your previous employment.


For example, this:

Restaurant shift manager — supervised employees, managed reservations and service times, controlled cash, maintained inventory, checked sanitation standards


Might become this:

Supervised and guided a team of employees, ensured that customers received a good experience, planned for inventory maintenance, and monitored sanitation procedures, while in a fast-paced, high-volume environment


Even if you hope to enter or return to your chosen profession post-COVID, it's well worth your while (aside from the money) to take any job that allows you to add these skills to your resume.


How Integrity can help


Since day one, our mission has been to help people exceed their own expectations. And this year, it's more relevant than ever! We'll connect you with jobs you didn't think you should even bother applying for, as well as employers that will train you after you're hired, no prior experience or education necessary.


Plus, our career counselors are ready to share expert advice on presenting your very best self to a hiring manager. So what are you waiting for? Visit your local Integrity Opportunity Center and together, we'll make 2021 a great career year!


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