How To Get Hired Outside Your Major

In college, you had no trouble selecting a major that interested you, and after graduation you were fortunate to find a well-paying job that related directly to your degree. Now, several years later, you are ready for a career change, but you are understandably unsure if you can find a new job outside of your area of expertise.

Take heart—as Career Advice notes, by following some tips and advice, it is very possible to land a plum position in an industry that is outside of your college major. For example, consider the following:

Get Experience Through an Internship

For people who are considering switching to a new career, try getting some on-the-job experience prior to sending out applications. For example, if you are currently employed in the financial industry but dream of working in an IT department, see if you can land an evening internship at a local technology company. If you aren’t sure where to look, Internships.com helps place people in almost 80,000 internship positions with over 56,000 companies. Interning in your desired new field will not only help you land a future job, it can also show you quite clearly if this career is right for you.

Gain Knowledge Through Education

Depending on what new career you want to pursue, it might be prudent to take some classes to learn more about the industry and the skills needed to succeed. If you are unsure how you can balance your current job with classes, an online school might be your best option as you can complete classes at night or on the weekends. College Online is one of many resources that can connect you with over 100 online schools and 2,000-plus degrees, which will help you choose a program suited to your needs.

Take Stock of Your Skills

As you prepare to interview for a new job, remember that you are far more than your degree. Make a list of all of your strengths and skills that go far beyond your job title or what it says on your diploma, notes Career Realism. For example, if you majored in telecommunications and film and currently work for a television station, you probably have interviewed and trained new people, organized staff events, learned new computer programs and given presentations about industry-related topics. These skills are sure to impress future employers, and show that you have experience that goes far beyond your college major.

An honest assessment of your many skills should also come into play when composing your new resume. Focus on creating a skills-based resume rather than an education-based resume, explains Investopedia. To do this, start by listing the tasks you have learned and been responsible for at work, and then note how you completed these responsibilities. This will show future employers that you have an abundance of problem-solving and organizational skills.

Understand That You May Be a Small Fish Again

You might be the head of the math department at your local high school, but if you want to change careers, you should be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up again. In other words, be willing to swallow your pride—at least a bit—and remind yourself that you will need time and experience in your new career to be successful. This positive, can-do attitude is sure to impress potential employers during the job interview process.