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Continually Applying For A Position Despite Having No Experience Is Experience

Throughout this school year, I’ve probably applied to a total of at least fifteen jobs, clubs, and research positions. Did I get accepted to any of them? Unfortunately, no. It seems that many of these positions want prior experience, which I don’t have at all. After my constant rejections, I’ve been asking myself how I can even gain the necessary experience when no open position will accept me due to my lack of skills. Despite constantly updating my resume, writing various cover letters and participating in never-ending interviews, I have not gained a single acceptance. Although I did feel disheartened by these rejections, I’ve been able to learn from them and improve upon my own skills. 


woman using laptop
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I’ve gained experience in learning to write a resume. For my first few applications, I focused on the aesthetics of my resume instead of focusing on content. For this reason, I could’ve been rejected due to my lacking resume. Furthermore, I had no idea what a cover letter was before I started applying to all these different positions. After having to do quick searches on Google for the structure of a cover letter, I got more used to with writing them for positions that required a letter. Personally, one of the most nerve-wracking things about applying to a position is not turning in the application itself. Instead, it is the interview that makes me extremely nervous. Although I am comfortable with talking in social situations, talking about myself knowing that the interviewer is rating my answers for the open position can be stressful. Thus, for many of my first interviewers, I often stuttered and tended to repeat my answers. However, with the many interviews I’ve participated in, I’ve gained experience in learning how to answer common questions, such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why do you want this position?” 


weekly planner on a tablet
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I do admit that even with the experience in applying to many positions, I do still feel dejected when I’m rejected from these positions. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’ll never be able to obtain a position that will advance me toward my goals due to my lack of technical or practical experience. For example, I’ve tried to apply to open positions as an Office Assistant for medical practices, but often these practices want people who have had previous experience or people who are certified and licensed. Yet, I have neither certification nor experience to help me. Clubs are also extremely competitive when there are hundreds of applicants and only a handful are accepted into the club. Knowing this, it dissuades me to continue applying to all these opportunities. 

Although I did experience a phase of sadness from my rejections, I’ve also gained motivation in continuing to apply. Even if I don’t have technical experience, I plan to apply to more extracurricular opportunities that I’m interested in just to gain experience in communication, teamwork and leadership. Because I’ve applied to so many positions, I also have drafts of my applications that I can improve upon for future applications as well. Despite the uncertainty I’ve felt after each rejection, I’ve gained valuable experience in understanding my strengths and weaknesses. The application process is daunting, but with each position that I submit an application to, it does get easier, and hopefully I’ll finally get accepted sometime in the future. After all, applying with no experience and getting rejected is just as valuable of an experience.

Jamie Vu

UCLA '23

Jamie is a second year student at UCLA. She loves to listen to music and enjoys going to concerts and listening to artists live. During her free time, she likes to go out and explore.
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