How To Get A Job in Travel (When You Have No Experience)

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Everyone needs to start somewhere. If that’s you, then start here.  Want to work on a cruise, but have no experience? Always dreamed about working in the hotel industry, but the only experience you have with hotels is booking your own reservation? Don’t think that a lack of experience will hold you back from getting your dream job. Remember that at one point everyone has applied for a job without any previous experience. Of course, you may be under-qualified for some jobs, but it is still possible to get an entry level position in the travel industry where you can work your way up.

Here are some tips to help you break in:

Highlight other experience: Alison Green, who writes the Ask a Manager blog for USNews.com and is the author of "How to Get a Job: Secrets of a Hiring Manager," writes, “Think about what non-obvious experience you can highlight. You might not have years of work experience, but what else in your background can demonstrate that you have the skills the employer wants? For instance, maybe your fundraising work with your college alumni association demonstrates that you can quickly create rapport with people of all backgrounds and aren’t afraid to ask for money. Or maybe the tech blog you’ve run as a hobby demonstrates compelling writing and an ability to pick up new technology quickly. Experience doesn’t have to just come from traditional professional jobs; you probably have other things in your life that demonstrate useful skills.”

READ: What Are The Best Travel Jobs of 2016?

Start volunteering: Lolly Daskal is a leadership development and CEO coach and consultant and founder of Lead From Within. She advises, “If you can’t find a job, work for free. A volunteer position can be easier to find than an internship,” she said. “Volunteer for as much relevant service as you can. You’ll not only gain valuable experience, but will also be able to build a network and get a foot in the door.”

READ: 10 Awesome Travel Jobs

In 2012, The Role of Higher Education in Career Development: Employer Perceptions by The Chronicle of Higher Education, found that employers place more weight on experience, particularly internships and employment during school vs. academic credentials including GPA and college major when evaluating a recent graduate for employment.

Take courses: Some colleges offer continuing education courses in business management, travel and more related topics. Consider taking a course to enhance your education and show the prospective employer how interested you are in working in the industry.

READ: 3 Myths of Being a Travel Agent

Give it a shot: A help wanted job asks for a minimal amount of experience, say 1 – 2 years. You only have a few months of experience in a part-time job and you don’t think it’s nearly enough. Go ahead and apply anyway. Your leadership, skills and extracurricular activities might be exactly what they are looking for.

In her blog on careers, Sarah Landrum said that ‘When all is said and done, there are only two questions that any employer really cares about: Are you capable of doing the job, and can you prove it?”

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