Assess your skills and interests
First, make a list of your professional qualities and flaws. Be honest! Do you prefer to work alone or in a team? Are you detail-oriented, short-tempered or altruistic? Think about tasks you like and dislike (and we're not talking about household chores here). They'll help you write a résumé you can be proud of.
Of course, you should also take your field of study into account, whether you're still a student or not. Think about your favorite classes and ask yourself why you liked them. Do the same thing for your schoolwork.
Make new friends
Networking is one of the keys to professional success. Why? Job openings are not always advertised. In many cases, an employee's friend of a friend is hired. Think of it this way: Hiring someone is kind of like choosing which online series to watch next. A recommendation from someone you trust matters a lot!
To build up a solid network, visit job fairs, tell your friends and family that you're looking for work and attend events related to your ideal professional field, such as an album launch for music professionals or a cocktail reception for lawyers. Remember to set up a LinkedIn profile to keep in touch with your new acquaintances.
Opportunities from word of mouth
Starting a personal project, applying for an internship, doing volunteer work or just introducing yourself to strangers at a friend's party are excellent ways to meet people who share your values. Who knows, one of these people may think of you for a potential job. You should also think about joining an amateur sports team. You never know where the backup goalie of your soccer team works!
A résumé that gets noticed
Having a résumé with no work experience in it may seem strange, but it's still indispensable. Include your skills and interests, education and professional training, and any relevant personal projects or experiences. Don't add a photo of yourself, it's not a common practice in Quebec. Make sure the document reads well and has no grammar or spelling mistakes.
Your cover letter is a one-way ticket to a job when you have no experience
An impressive cover letter will help your application stand out to a potential employer. Mention that while you may not have any experience, you do have a strong desire to learn. Highlight your soft skills: your ability to adapt, your creativity, or your people skills. Illustrate them with relevant examples that you can discuss during a future job interview.
Never stop learning
Education and diplomas are important—and even critical for certain jobs. However, it's harder to find a first job without experience when you only have an undergraduate degree to put on your résumé. Take an online course to learn software, improve your Spanish or get your driver's licence. It might prove useful in a future job!
Explore other fields
Did you know that 48% of vacant positions in Canada don't require any prior job experience? Most of these jobs are in the fields of natural resources, agriculture and related production (73%) and sales and services (63%). Finding a job without professional experience in these fields shouldn't be too difficult.
Aim for the right position
To become a project manager, you usually need to have experience in a lower position, such as a coordinator or assistant. It may be time to say yes to the job your uncle's been offering you for the past two years! By applying for jobs as a young person with no experience, you'll have to do more to prove yourself than your colleagues with several years of experience to their credit. Remember that your first job, even if it's not your ideal position, can help you achieve your professional goals. Even if you're dreaming of an exciting career, remember that most people started at the bottom of the ladder.