Do you have poor credit, or no credit? Most people with no rental history haven't had the chance to trash their credit.
Either way, most landlords and property management companies have a defined set of rental criteria. Be upfront before you apply and see if you qualify. Independent landlords may be more lenient than property management companies and, if you're really stuck, look into renting a roomshare (renting a room in an apartment, rather than a whole apartment) set up to build up your rental history. It's not ideal, but it beats being homeless.