Get Work Experience. Get Hired.

Posted on September 30, 2020

Lots of jobs require experience to get hired. A lot of people think, "How can I get experience when I can't get a job?"

There are ways to get experience when you've never had a job. The options below help you develop your job skills, work know-how, contacts and confidence. And having any of them on your resume can help you get hired.

School and Community Activities

Participating in clubs, sports, theater, music, dance, religious organizations and other community activities can be fun and develop your skills. Include these on your resume. Find activities through school districts, community education, local arts groups, religious organizations and the public library.

Volunteer Work/Community Service

Volunteering is unpaid work. You can gain skills like writing, providing childcare, teaching, coaching, fundraising, mentoring, making sales, answering phones, organizing materials, doing construction, creating art and more. Call, email or stop at a nonprofit or school you’d like to volunteer for and ask about opportunities. Many provide training.

Job Shadows

Explore what a day is like in a career you are interested in by working with a Career Launch SD advisor to establish a job shadow with a local business. During the job shadow you can learn more about the business, ask questions and expand your network.


Internships are a great way to get experience in your relevant course of study, potentially receive credits, gain employer recommendations, learn directly from businesses and possibly be offered full-time employment with the company.

On-the-Job Training (OJT)

An OJT is training provided by an employer to a paid participant while engaged in productive work in a job that provides knowledge or skills essential to the job. Commonly, the employer promises to hire the trainee upon successful completion of the training as part of the OJT agreement.

Take the Next Step

To learn more about your work experience options, contact us to connect with your own career advisor.