Ask LH: How Can I Get A Job When My Resume Is Completely Blank?

I recently became eligible to enter the workforce but I’m having trouble getting accepted anywhere. Most places only want employees with experience in the field and I’ve never had a job before. I was wondering if you have any tips on how and where to get a job when your resume is completely blank? Thanks, First Timer.

Resume picture from Shutterstock

Dear FT,

When you say you “recently became eligible”, I’m going to assume this means you’re around fifteen years old (as opposed to being released from prison or something.)

As a teenager looking to enter the workforce, you don’t really need to worry about this. While it’s true that many jobs list prior experience as a prerequisite, there are still plenty of junior positions available for fresh-faced workers like yourself. Most applicants who apply for these jobs will be unskilled too, which makes for an even playing field.

If you’re still at school and looking for something casual, the hospitality and retail industries are a pretty good bet. These businesses are always on the lookout for young employees to train up, as they are paid substantially less than older workers. As long as you’re reliable and a fast learner, your resume credentials won’t be particularly important.

It obviously helps if you are willing to work nights and have your own transport (or extremely helpful parents.) All of this should put you in better stead than having a few months’ experience on your resume.

It’s also important to keep persevering. Your first attempt might end in failure. The same thing might happen on your fifth attempt. But if you keep applying for jobs, your luck should eventually win out.

On a positive note, we are about to enter Christmas season, which is typically the busiest time of the year for hospitality and retail. Subsequently, many businesses will be hiring more casual staff over the next few months.

Make it a habit to regularly trawl job search sites such as Career One, Seek, Australian Jobsearch and Now Hiring. Each of these sites has a pull-down menu that makes it easy to refine your search and find suitable jobs in your area. Naturally, you should also check the listings in your local newspaper and keep an eye out for “work wanted” posters in local eateries and establishments.

Whatever job you apply for, it pays to be aware of your rights and entitlements. Australia has a national minimum wage and you are legally entitled to rest periods after at set number of hours as well as a safe working environment. You can find out more about your entitlements at the Fairwork Ombudsman website. Good luck!


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