How to Get a Job Without Any Qualifications in the UK

Written by Luke Kitchen
Last updated May 11, 2022

Ever wondered how to get a job without any qualifications? If you’re looking to change positions or find a completely new career, you may feel limited by a lack of qualifications. 

However, with the right strategy, your current skills and abilities will show a potential employer that you’re the right candidate for a job – regardless of whether you have the qualifications they are asking for.

In this article, the team at Refreshing a Career looks at how you can get a job with no qualifications so you can become a stronger candidate.

Do Employers Recruit Staff Without Qualifications?

Lots of employers are willing to train employees from scratch, so it’s always worth applying for jobs even if you don’t have any specific qualifications.

However, make sure that you are honest about your qualifications in your application so that employers know what they can expect from you and your career path.

How to Get a Job With No Qualifications or Experience

Changing careers can be difficult – and it’s harder without relevant qualifications – BUT it’s not impossible.

There are various things you can do to make up for your lack of experience. These tips will enhance your application and wow employers.

Transferable Skills

Firstly, focus on your transferable skills and knowledge.

If you’re switching industries, use your previous job experience to illustrate your potential in a new position.

To do so, consider how you can frame your experience in a more relevant light. Look for transferable abilities that you gained during prior employment or experiences to include on your CV.

Our blog on how to emphasise transferable skills can help.

Soft Skills

For those who are changing careers, your soft skills will be your most transferable skills.

Soft skills will not be specific to an industry but will be crucial for succeeding in a new career. Some of the most common and sought-after soft skills include:

  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management
  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Adaptability or flexibility

Start at the Bottom

It’s an old saying, but there’s a lot to be said for starting at the bottom and working your way up to get the job you want.

To do this, find an entry-level position (check what the average salary is first) or even an internship and increase your experience from there.

It may not be as lucrative as you would like, but it will provide you with important work experience that you can include on your CV.

Also, make sure your reasons for applying for the job are obvious.

Employers will look for proof that you really are interested and not simply looking for a job to pay the bills.

Focus on Emphasising the Skills and Experience You Do Have

Rather than focusing on what you are lacking, emphasise the skills and experience you do have.

It’s wise to build up a strong network of contacts who can help you find job opportunities, and don’t be afraid to contact people for advice or support.

You should always keep an open mind and remain persistent – with determination and perseverance, you can succeed in your job search without any qualifications in the UK.

What Jobs Can I Do Without Any Qualifications in the UK?

In today’s job market, having the right qualifications and experience is often seen as essential for breaking into certain sectors with most potential employers.

However, this isn’t always the case, and there are many jobs you can do without having any qualifications at all. Some of these include:

  • Retail jobs: You can usually get a job in retail without any qualifications. There are often training programmes available to help you learn on the job.
  • Hospitality jobs: Many hospitality jobs don’t require qualifications
  • Cleaning jobs: Many cleaning companies will take on staff without any qualifications.
  • Administrative jobs: You may be able to get an administrative job without any qualifications, particularly if you have experience in a relevant field.
  • Sales and marketing positions: If you have strong sales skills or experience in a related field, you may be able to find a job in sales or marketing even if you lack formal qualifications.
  • Customer service positions: Many customer service roles don’t require qualifications, as your ability to provide excellent customer service is often more important than having a degree or certificate.
  • Freelance and contract work: A growing number of job seekers are choosing to pursue freelance or contract work rather than traditional full-time employment. If you have the skills and experience to work independently, you may find success as a freelancer or contractor.

These are some of the best jobs for people with no qualifications in the UK.

Volunteering and Internships

If you’re job hunting in the UK and feel like you’re stuck in a catch-22 situation, don’t despair!

You should consider taking on volunteer work to build up your experience or the transferable skills you may have acquired through other activities like hobbies or extracurricular pursuits.

You should also consider an internship – whatever your age is.


There’s no doubt that volunteering can be a great way to build up job experience.

It can even come from your extracurricular activities, such as coaching a children’s football team, that will be of huge help.

That’s because you gain experience in doing something tangible and build up your soft skills while doing so. Also, volunteering always looks good on a CV.

Not only will you demonstrate that you have drive and commitment but also show yourself to be a team player.

Volunteering opportunities are typically easier to get than an internship, and they’re a great approach to boost your employability.

Volunteering jobs provide you with a chance to learn new skills and make connections that may come in handy later on in life.

Interning and Apprenticeships

If you’re job hunting and don’t have any qualifications, internships and apprenticeships are great ways to get the experience you need.

That’s because many apprenticeships and internships lead to permanent employment opportunities.

Internships can help you stand out from the crowd and may be beneficial to your career.

Some large businesses have formal internship programmes, so check the websites of firms you’re interested in to see what’s available. You may need to apply speculatively to other firms.

Start Your Own Business

This idea is a little bit left-field – but not if you’re struggling to find a job.

Starting your own business can be a great way to get the experience you need.

This also allows you to take on a wide range of projects, build up your professional network and be ready when applying for that dream job you want.


We have already mentioned that building up a network of contacts within the industry you want to join is a great way to get noticed.

Having an established network shows that you’re interested in the sector. What’s more, on platforms like LinkedIn, you can show off your credentials and knowledge.

Targeting Your Job Search

Another tip to succeed in your job hunt is to target your search.

You should target those positions that don’t require qualifications to improve your chances of landing employment. You should also seek career advice to learn more about the industry you want to work in.

Focusing your application on the relevant skills the employer asks for, such as customer service skills, is another great way to get your application to stand out for all the right reasons.

The Emergency Services

There are many jobs in the emergency services that don’t require qualifications, including roles in firefighting, paramedics, and police work.

These positions often place a high value on experience and physical abilities. So, if you have previous experience in these areas or are physically fit and able to handle stressful situations, you may be well-suited to a job in the emergency services.

However, while you may not need qualifications to work in the emergency services, it’s important to note that these jobs can be extremely demanding and challenging.

If you’re considering working in this sector, make sure you are prepared for the demands of the role and are up for the challenge.

Why Emphasise the Skills You Do Have to Get a Job?

The bottom line for this article by Refreshing A Career is to focus on the skills you do have rather than dwell on the ones you don’t to get a job you will enjoy.

By highlighting your strengths and abilities, you will find a job that matches your interests and qualifications.

Additionally, emphasising your skills in job applications, cover letters and interviews can help to differentiate you from other job seekers and demonstrate that you are a strong candidate for the job.

You can find the latest career change jobs on Refresh a Career to give you some inspiration! If you don’t find a job you like on the first go, make sure to read our tips on improving job board search results to find a job in your area that you can apply for!

Switching careers or industries is no easy feat – it will take work and dedication, but your efforts will make your success worthwhile. Good luck!

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Last Updated: Monday February 26 2024
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