How to Market Yourself When You Don’t Have Any Professional Experience

Whether you are interviewing for a position, speaking with an employer at a career fair, or networking with a professional you are marketing yourself to show exactly who you are and what you can bring to the company. But for those of us who don’t have any professional experience you may feel lost from the very beginning. And that’s okay because we all have to start somewhere. Although you may not have past professional experiences to speak about there are certainly more ways to market yourself than simply speaking about past internships or jobs.

Before your next networking event or interview think through some of the strategies below to better market yourself that don’t involve past professional experiences.

  1. Be confident: BU students are capable of incredible things, and as a BU student you are too. The attitude and presence you bring is always the first thing people will notice. Coming into every interaction with confidence proves to yourself and anyone you interact with that you can succeed in any position. Building confidence may not be as easy as that, like many things it takes time, practice, and maintenance. Start by practicing a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally, and setting SMART goals.
  2. Engage/ ask questions: Show your interest by engaging in a conversation! Start by telling them what you like about the company/position or by asking them questions to learn more about the company and their role. A useful way to show that you are interested and have passion and dedication is by asking researched questions. Learn about the company ahead of time and ask questions about particular components that interest you. From the eyes of an employer having a conversation with someone who is engaged will leave a longer-lasting impression than with somebody who isn’t. 
  3. Know your transferable skills: Okay you don’t have any experience, but wait maybe you actually do! Experience does not always have to be a hired position at a company. When speaking about your capabilities, you might have more than you think. You can gain transferable skills in the classroom, in student activity groups, in part-time jobs, and in so many other places. Update your resume and see exactly what non-professional experiences might have helped you gain skills that could land you a job. For help with drafting a resume, make sure to check our post “Creating a Resume Without Experience”. 
  4. Talk about your future goals: Think about your career goals, what are you interested in, what skills would you like to develop, and what populations do you want to work with? Start by developing an elevator pitch about yourself as an easy way to give people information on who you are and what you want to do. You might also consider thinking about your “personal brand”.

When marketing yourself, remember you are unique and can bring something to the table that no one else can, so show them your ambitions, your skills, your interest, and all the other reasons why you are capable!

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