Skip to main content
EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article16 November 2023European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion4 min read

Time for a change? How to change careers with no experience

Changing careers can seem daunting, but with the right research and a positive attitude, it may not be as hard as you think. If you are ready for a change, here is our advice to keep in mind as you embark on a new path.

Time for a change? How to change careers with no experience

Do your research

If you have an idea in mind for a new career path, sitting down to research it is a very important first step. Firstly, you will need to find out if there are specific qualifications required. Then you should find out what skills and strengths benefit the role, what the average salary is, if the working hours will suit your lifestyle or commitments, and if there are any geographic considerations to think about – for example, would you need to move to do this job?

Once you have worked out if the role is definitely something you would like to do, think about speaking to someone in the industry to understand what a day in the job would look like and what employers look for when hiring new employees.

Look out for free or affordable courses

You may not have experience, but there is nothing to stop you from building some knowledge about your new career path.

Take a look on LinkedIn Learning, Udemy or Coursera to see if there are any introductory or relevant courses that will not cost too much. Later, add these to your CV when applying for positions and use what you have learnt to show potential employers you understand parts of the role and are willing to keep learning. Without experience, everything you can learn about the role will help secure your next position.

Use your cover letter to your advantage

When you are ready to apply for a job, it is time to make an impact with your cover letter. Cover letters are specific to each job, so it is best not to copy and paste one you wrote for a different role. Think of it as a chance to tell employers about your story rather than experience.

When you are applying for a role you do not have experience in, acknowledge that you have not been in a similar role before and highlight why you are looking to change career. You can use the opportunity to explain what attracted you to this particular job, why you think you would be a great fit, and to name the skills you do have that you think would benefit the role. If you notice you are missing critical skills for the position, do not be afraid to acknowledge this too and explain how your previous experience could also be useful in the new industry. You can also point out that you are eager and willing to upskill.

Show you are willing to learn

If you have been offered an interview, it is time to show your adaptability and willingness to learn face-to-face or over the phone. As well as telling potential employers that you are excited about the job opportunity, demonstrate that you are happy to do what it takes to learn the skills you will need to do the job well.

Depending on which new career you are aiming for, there may be different ways to learn on-the-job and get the experience you need. Consider looking for entry-level positions, or internships where learning is factored into the role, or perhaps even volunteering for a period of time to gain some experience.

Keep an open mind

When changing careers, it is likely your skills and experience will not quite match the job description, but that does not mean there is no hope!

Applying for a job is not always easy, even when you have the skills and experience. There is always a possibility you will not get the job so it is important to be prepared for that, but do not let it stop you from applying. There is always a chance the employer will see something special in your application, move you through to the next round of interviews and potentially offer you the job.

After spending time learning about the role you are looking to get into and listing the transferable skills you already have, you are ready to start exploring jobs and tailoring cover letters to show employers you could be a great fit. Changing careers may take some time and could require additional qualifications, but if it is something you are passionate about, keep an open mind and keep applying. You never know who might see your potential and give you a chance at a new career.

Remote work is the new normal, with many companies offering this benefit to their employees. However, it can be challenging to navigate, especially for new hires. Here are some ways you can make a success of remote working.


Related links:

LinkedIn Learning



Remote work: A guide for new employees


Read more:

European Job Days

Find EURES Advisers

Living and working conditions in EURES countries

EURES Jobs Database

EURES services for employers

EURES Events Calendar

Upcoming Online Events

EURES on Facebook

EURES on Twitter

EURES on LinkedIn

  • Hints and tips
  • Youth
Related section(s)
  • Hints & tips
  • Accomodation and food service activities
  • Activities of extraterritorial organisations and bodies
  • Activities of households as employers, undifferentiated goods- and services
  • Administrative and support service activities
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply
  • Financial and insurance activities
  • Human health and social work activities
  • Information and communication
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining and quarrying
  • Other service activities
  • Professional, scientific and technical activities
  • Public administration and defence; compulsory social security
  • Real estate activities
  • Transportation and storage
  • Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities
  • Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles


Articles are intended to provide users of the EURES portal with information on current topics and trends and to stimulate discussion and debate. Their content does not necessarily reflect the view of the European Labour Authority (ELA) or the European Commission. Furthermore, EURES and ELA do not endorse third party websites mentioned above.