Are you a student in your last year or about to graduate? You don’t know where to go and move on, and the major you received you’ve already disliked in the 2nd year of study? And now you have only your desire and interest in this or that area, but it seems that there is a big abyss between you?
In this article, I will tell you how you can fill that abyss and all the gaps on the way to your dream job!
But first, let me calm you down and remind you that life always makes its own adjustments. As they say, if you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans. What you liked at the age of 18 may cease to attract you now. You might have enrolled in that major by parents’ punishment or advice. And that’s okay. You are not alone. You’ve probably heard that your friend began to work outside his specialty, a neighbor went to get a second higher education, and the son of a mother’s friend started his own business. Have you ever looked at the statistics? In fact, only 27% of people work in their specialty. So make your nose higher, because an exciting struggle for the coveted place under the sun awaits us!
For recruiters, your experience is just as important as your education, and in most cases even more important. Admit it, you got an education for the show, right? … Because the parents insisted. Well, go and thank them for that. It is really difficult to get anywhere without education, so it’s almost in the bag if you have at least something to indicate in the education column.
But we want to get a job in another major, huh? The education here immediately falls away and experience comes to the rescue. And let me guess… You’ve already begun to worry, thinking that you do not have this. But everyone has an experience and now we will find yours.
Part time jobs for students
I think in 4 years of study you have worked part-time somewhere in order to get at least some pocket expenses. Even students with a full grant earn extra money, because usually, the scholarship is not enough for everything. Well, sit down now and remember what kind of work you did and how it can be connected with the desired position. It may seem to you that it is heaven and earth, but I, in turn, will say that you are looking in the wrong place. We are looking for soft skills, those that are not visible at first glance.
For example, a girl studied to be a teacher and worked part-time in a pizzeria, doing monotonous work every day – making pizza. It so happened that sometimes by mistake the delivery people took the pizzas, confusing the addresses, the chef went somewhere, and calls from angry customers poured on her. Or a client came to pick up the pizza himself, but it turned out that “Pepperoni” was made by mistake instead of “Hot chicken” and now he is waiting impatiently, and she needs to tell him the unpleasant news. Then the girl apologizes, begins to negotiate, comes up with compromises and ideas on how to satisfy the client. But she herself has long wanted to leave this place, she has no desire at all to teach children, she likes to draw and wants to become a designer. But she looks at her work experience and it seems to her that working in a pizzeria has given her nothing and how it can be connected with design at all. But what about those cases when she constantly resolved misunderstandings between the client and the pizzeria. After all, this is called problem-solving and customer-oriented. This is what can already be regarded as her key skills. So sit back and think carefully, do you really have no work experience? Maybe you worked part-time in a team where people of other nationalities were present? So you can write that you are able to work in an international environment. It is a big plus when you apply to an international company. And in general, you yourself – your status as a foreigner – you can use it as an advantage and say “with my exotic background I will bring around more diversity and a different outlook to your professional team”. Every such little thing can play into your hands and do not forget it, because the job of your dreams is at stake.
Projects for students
After all, you have studied for 4 years at the university. Get out of your memory all the projects and teamworks you worked on. Maybe you and the group made a business plan for the cafe and you took over the marketing and customer acquisition part? This is what can be indicated in the experience column. Or maybe you were in charge of the financial part and calculated how much money you need and what the costs will be? This is already strategic planning of financial policy. Or have you created menu designs, posters, and signs for a cafe? Everything that you have done before has had an experience in your life. Just look at it from a different angle.
Or maybe you created an activity club at the university, developed it, recruited people, invited speakers – here we can undoubtedly say that you have leadership qualities. Or did you help organize events around the school, met new students at the university, or was a foreign student assigned to you? Wow, so you are responsible and you have great organizational skills.
This part is very important. Look, you got one education, but you want to work in a completely different field. Because you’re more interested in working there, right? But you can’t just take and write in the resume “I’m interested”, moreover, more than half of the applicants will write this way. Immediately you need to show your interest in deeds, and not in words. For example, if you like computer design, well, take a course on it, get a certificate, and now you can safely enter it into the column of experience and awards. Thus, you will show that you are really interested in this or that sphere, you yourself are already trying to study something in it and are not sitting idle. This shows your tuned combat decision and you will already be taken seriously.
No such certificates? Do them before it’s too late. It’s never too late to learn. Of course, it will be great to take care of it in advance, for example, taking a gap period and devote time to your full development, studying the necessary courses, and replenishing your portfolio. But if you are already in your last year of study or have already graduated, do not rush to lose heart, courses and information materials are now full off online, and you can finish them within 1 month. Everything is up to you.
Volunteering jobs for students
It’s sad to admit, but there are not many people who go to volunteer … and voluntarily. Yes, volunteering can help you to get a job. Because, this is what is an invaluable experience, further showing you as a specialist in the field, and characterizing your personality. Volunteering tells a recruiter a lot about you. After all, if you’ve helped in a field that you like, it can hook a recruiter. After a month or two, having gained the needed experience, you can safely follow your dream.
By the way, it is not necessary to volunteer for any organization. Don’t wait for something, start volunteering yourself. The same clubs and activities that you helped organize at the university ARE volunteering. Do you have any programming skills? So go help to create a website for a friend who owns a store. No friend like that? Offer help to an Instagram blogger. You give him a website – he gives you an experience. Whatever you do for free for your experience pays off in the future.
Internships for students
This is my favorite. First of all, I would like to say that you also need to get an internship first. But getting an internship is much easier than getting a job. Nobody requires interns with 5 years of work experience, (I mean it is not even an internship anymore), but on the contrary, they mainly take only graduates or students in their last year of study. For you, it is a great chance to see whether working in this particular sphere is yours or not, gain relevant work experience, retrain, and start getting your first salary. By the way, there are also unpaid internships. But do not rush to give up on them, on the contrary, here, as in the case of volunteering, underpaid internships are valued more.
How to get it without relevant experience?
Use everything described above. Yes, to apply for an internship, you also need to have a strong resume. Therefore, you will need to think well and write even the most minimal and insignificant experience. You can even slightly embellish it, there is nothing wrong with that, we are fighting for our place under the sun. Just do not overdo it, because in the next stage you will be invited to an interview, where you will have to defend everything that you wrote in your cv. And now, if you have already finished an internship in some company on your desired position when applying for an official job, you will already have that very necessary experience and a reason to apply for a position outside your specialty without hesitation. You may also be offered to work in the company where you completed your internship as a full-time employee.
These are all methods of how you can get a job that is not related to your major. But before I finally finish, let me give you one more cool piece of advice or life hack.
After all, you studied English in primary and secondary school, right? Do you remember when they said that sometimes the answers lie in the questions themselves? Well, questions like “Does she like ice cream?” And you should have answered “Yes, she do” or “Yes, she does”. The teachers always said that there is nothing difficult, you can just look at the question itself.
Likewise with applying for a job. Where a vacancy is a question and your resume is an answer. So what should you write on your resume to make it a winning one? Take a close look at the vacancy itself. What are they looking for, what skills and what qualities? Maybe they need someone responsible or attentive to detail? Analyze the keywords of the job, see which ones you can adapt and add to your cv. Thus, you can find the correct answer and get A. Take an action! That’s all 🙂
Anar is a versatile personality originally from Kazakhstan, currently residing in South Korea. She has two higher educational backgrounds, outstanding linguistic abilities, and speaks 4 languages. Now, Anar is a linguist intern in VocApp & Photo Aid, the largest flashcard software company in Poland. Among her responsibilities are to create content such as blog posts and landing pages in English, and translate and localize the existing ones to next languages such as Russian, Kazakh and Korean. Her life motto is “To live is like to draw without a draft”. Thus, what she wants to say is try to live your best and beautiful life right now, as if it is already your second chance.