If you’re looking to get on the career ladder but have never worked, it can seem like an impossible task. Nevertheless, there are many ways to improve your chances of finding employment. We’ve put together this guide to show you how to get a job with no experience.

Unfortunately, one of the key elements that an employer will look for on a job application or CV is work experience. This puts some people in a bind; they need a job to get work experience but, without work experience, they can’t get a job.

While this may seem like there’s no way forward, rest assured that there are ways out of this catch-22 situation.

How to Add Experience to Your CV

With these job application tips, we’ll show you how to boost your CV, gain some essential skills that employers look for, and line you up for a shot at your first job.


The most common pathway into employment for someone who’s never had a job is through volunteering. Volunteering demonstrates a determination to work hard, an ability to be punctual for work, and the initiative to start working. Even better, if you are committed to volunteer work, the organisation will likely give you a great reference for when you apply for paid roles.

If you can access a volunteer role that develops certain skills, you can build a great CV that will demonstrate your experience performing aspects of the paid role. Common skills you can develop through volunteering include using a till or register, handling money, leadership, organisation, good communication and taking responsibility for opening/closing a business. These are highly transferable skills that are essential in a variety of jobs.

For further information, check out our dedicated page on Volunteering Ideas to Help Improve your CV.


Another great way to develop skills and gain experience is through traineeships. These are government-funded programmes that include a real work placement. Traineeships can last from six weeks to a year, but the majority of them last for less than six months. They are unpaid, but they will help you develop key skills you need to be work ready. At a minimum, a traineeship will help you develop your job application skills and boost your CV.

For information on traineeships and how to apply, head over to the gov.uk website,


Due to the current skills shortage in the UK, employers are in desperate need of skilled workers. Tens of thousands of people need to retrain due to these rapid changes in the UK economy. Fortunately, there are a host of free courses available to get you started on a well-paid and stable career. For more information, head over to our dedicated page on Education and Training opportunities.

For many people with existing commitments, finding the time to take on this type of training simply isn’t possible. In this case, it’s important to make it known to a prospective employer that you’re willing to undertake training for any job role.


For anyone looking for a job with no experience, who you know can often be more important than what you know. One reference from the right person can help you get your foot in the door and onto the career ladder. Here’s where it’s important to do your research and use your initiative.

Keep track of events like careers fairs, industry seminars, exhibitions and trade shows that are taking place. This is an excellent way to meet people and build up a network of contacts. For more information on networking, head over to our page on Networking Tips.

Make the most of professional social media platforms like LinkedIn. You can follow and connect with companies from the fields you’re interested in and get to know industry leaders and trends. Don’t be afraid to get involved in discussions and share your opinions. This can yield excellent results, with many people receiving job offers from their social media profiles alone. In fact, 91% of UK employers currently use social media as part of their recruitment process.

Key Takeaways

It may seem like too big of an obstacle at first. But there are lots of ways to boost your CV and find employment even if you’ve never worked before. Follow our simple tips on how to get a job with no experience and you’ll be preparing for your first job interview in no time.

Refreshing a Career offers lots of support for people who have never worked. Follow our Job Application Tips and CV Writing tips, and you’ll soon be ready to find a job on our jobs board.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact our team. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the page for all the latest from Refreshing a Career.