How to Build Your Confidence Without Work Experience

If you don’t have any or much work experience, chances are, you are likely to feel incapable and “unworthy” of landing an internship or even a full-time job. However, you may be losing sight of some experience or skills that could be classified as “relevant” for the opportunity you are seeking. Finding that competitive advantage even without a company name on your resume can quickly spark up your confidence in no time.

Check what you tell yourself

Do you often talk yourself out of greatness? Do you feel like others are better than you and you don’t have much to offer? Beating yourself up doesn’t make you any better; just worse. The first step to confidence starts with you — how you perceive it and connect with it. Once you have a positive mindset towards confidence, you are well on your way to embracing it the way you should.

Draw from work-like experience

Although it may not be entirely obvious, everyone engages in some form of work activity during their life. Did you know that your volunteer work counts as valuable work experience? What about the time when you helped your mom to sell something online? Begin with an audit of everything you have done (from school activities to hobbies), and then analyze the skills and traits that make you stand out. The trick is to  share what you do know and give less attention to what you don’t.  

Know the skills your industry is looking for

Every industry including the PR industry has a preferred  skill set when recruiting applicants. If you don’t have work experience, acquiring some highly marketable skills might be your biggest advantage. Extensive research and studying the various job descriptions online, you will be able to decipher the top skills that can make you stand out in your field. If you find and learn them, you would be surprised that your lack of work experience may not be much of a disadvantage anymore. 

Have a strong pitch for your resume

Even if you don’t have work experience, don’t make your resume a platform to showcase this. Your resume basically shows your strengths and what makes you the better candidate, so leverage your strongest selling points as much as you can. If you list and give vivid descriptions explaining your competencies through work-like experiences and share your top-rated skills, your resume will definitely communicate that you are a good candidate. It all depends on how you are telling your story. Make it worth the read.


Nana Ama Obenewaa Akoto-Boateng

Ama Akoto-Boateng is a graduate student pursuing an MA in Communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. She serves as a PRSSA 2020–2021 National Publications Subcommittee member. In her free time, Ama enjoys singing, trying out new recipes, and going on a road trip. She is passionate about visual storytelling, sustainability and public relations, and has been at the forefront of a number of award-winning sustainability initiatives. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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