The greatest oxymoron of the modern world of work? Easy. â€śWeâ€™re looking for a young graduate with Masterâ€™s degree and experienceâ€ť.
How can it be possible to hit both requirements? Anyone who has gone through a top-level, full-time educational programme is unlikely to have been able to build up a wealth of professional experience.
Yet at the same time, when youâ€™re going for a new job, turning up with a meagre-looking CV heightens your risk of being cast aside and viewed as an under-prepared professional.
So how do you go about convincing a recruiter that youâ€™re somebody to rely on despite your lack of experience?
The secret is to appear credible and show that youâ€™re somebody with sky-high potential. You want to come across as a promising professional deserving of investment from the company and worthy of receiving the best opportunities and embarking on a process of development.
Needless to say, itâ€™s no mean feat.
But here are three pieces of practical advice to enable you to sail through the paradox of training and professionalism, make up for your lack of experience and give that all-important initial boost to your career.
1.Put yourself at the disposal of the team
When you join a company, donâ€™t think that opportunities are just going to fall into your lap. Show your tenacity and go in search of work and chances to show what you can do. If the company needs to carry out a street survey to gather information on the performance of a particular product, put yourself forward as a candidate to interview passers-by.
And if the boss has asked for an analysis of last yearâ€™s sales figures, throw your hat into the ring to get it done.
In other words, earn your crust and do so with a smile. Youâ€™ll come across as willing, determined and enthusiastic, even when it comes to the most boring tasks.
2.Focus on your analytical skills
Nobody in the company can match you for analytical skills. Youâ€™re fresh from study, so your ability to seek out and process information is at its peak.
Treat this as a key competitive advantage and put yourself at the service of the company. Youâ€™ll be able to project yourself as a professional capable of analysing market insights and decodifying consumer behaviour, thus uncovering precious pearls of strategic wisdom for all areas of the business.
3.Project a professional image
In order to make up for your lack of hard skills, put your soft skills firmly in the spotlight.
The most important of all? Reliability.
As a new entry, donâ€™t make the mistake of taking on more work than you can really handle. Donâ€™t be afraid to flag up any problems or issues you encounter while completing your tasks and â€“ above all â€“ never miss a deadline and never hand in incomplete work.
While it may mean taking just one step at a time, be sure to take responsibility for the work you are assigned and ensure you do the best job possible.
Because the step from being reliable to being respected and credible is a small one.