Once you decide what type of field you want to go into (the more specific, the better!), there are a few things you can do to break into a new career and begin building a foundation of professional experience.
Find a student internship or volunteer position: Interning or volunteering in your field is one of the best ways to get some real experience in the career you want and boost your resume! Many companies are more willing to hire a candidate right out of college if they’ve at least had some relevant experience in the field, through internships or other part-time work.
Search out smaller companies for your first full-time job: In many fields, it can be easier to land a position in the field in smaller, local companies. Depending on the size of your city or town, you may even know some of the people working in the field that interests you. Oftentimes, it is easier to land a position with a smaller company where you can gain the experience and expertise you need to get hired at a larger organization.
Think about your connections and networks: Your parents, an aunt that works in publishing, a friend in advertising, ask them for advice about how to get into the field. You can also ask them to let you know about any future available positions within their company or at similar businesses.
Take on a lower position in the field: As a student or recent grad, you may have an idea about the particular position you desire in your career of choice. Unfortunately, these positions may require actual experience, as well as demonstrated knowledge and skills. Think about the type of position you hope to have, and then look at the positions under them which many people start out in and work their way up from. You may feel that the positions you’re looking at are less than glamorous and you may even feel over-qualified. But just remember, most jobs require work experience, not just a college degree. Working for a little while in a lower position can set you up for promotion in the company, or give you the experience required to apply for the positions you actually want.
Whether you take on an internship, work for smaller companies or land a job through a connection, remember that everything counts. In every position you have you should demonstrate your hard work ethic and perform your job well so that you can get a good recommendation, be eligible for promotion, or hired when a position does become available — it will only help you!
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Amanda Ryan is a a highly skilled resume writing expert and career expert who also specialises in creating, writing and developing career content, working alongside student and graduate job seekers and developing career content for newsletters, partners and career websites.