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How To Land Your First Job in a Field You Have No Experience In

Landing your first job can be tough. Whether it be in college or after graduation, some career-seeking collegietes are wary about what exactly they want in a first job. Maybe during college you changed your major three times, making it difficult to gain experience in your field when you didn’t even know what your field was! Maybe upon graduating, you just figured out where you’d like to start, but had no internships to put on your resume. Being undecided is okay! You just have to do some extra work to sell yourself to employers when you don’t have relevant things in your cover letter that say, “Hire me!” 

Do your research

Don’t just research the responsibilities of your dream job. Research every factor that made that job come to be. Look for the people you would be working with, their accomplishments, their contributions to the company, and similarities or talking points that can be centered around them. Don’t just hover on the “About Us” page on the company’s website. Research the founders individually, learn about their backgrounds, how they came to be successful in their fields, and what you admire most about them. Making your investment in the company personal can be a major selling point. Say your goal in life is to work at Self – mentioning that you heard Editor-in-Chief Joyce Chang speak at Her Conference would sound great in an interview! Most importantly, ask questions! As Danielle Tullo, editorial assistant at Cosmopolitan.com said at Her Conference, employees love when job-seeking students ask them about their experience and even offer to buy them coffee in order to pick their brains about their daily life. Reach out to anyone and everyone in your desired role, you never know what could come of it! 

Visit the Career Services Center on campus

Perhaps the most important place on campus (other than the dining hall) is your one-stop-shop for all things career. The experts in this office make it their job to find students successful employment opportunities. Don’t feel shy about setting up an appointment with a career counselor, it is what they are there for! If you haven’t already, setting up a meeting to figure out next steps with a career counselor at your school would be a great way to find some assistance in searching for a job if you have limited or no experience. 

Use college courses as “Relevant Experience.” 

While you may not have had an internship at a finance or insurance company, you may have taken several Accounting, Economics, Business Law, and Financial Management courses at your university. Use that to your advatage! Create a section on your resume entitled, “Relevant Coursework” and use it to boast about all the amazing work you did during your four years! Employers appreciate the significance of hard-earned A’s in college, and would love to hear you make a connection between your studies and their company. So if you took an integral capstone course where you worked intensively on industry-leading companies, write up the skills you acquired in that class, and feature them on your resume. 

Accept any job in the field you are interested in

While it may not be the high level, super trendy, Devil Wears Prada job you were dreaming of, working in any department of a firm that specilizes in what you are intersted in is a huge first step. For instance, if you are interested in editorial, but end up working in marketing at Hearst, don’t sweat it! If you work your butt off and make worthwhile connections, the next time Cosmo is hiring, they may look within the organization (to you!) for their next editorial employee. Job hunting is a complex maze of networking and learning how to work the system. Starting at an entry-level job can be all about meeting the right people and taking steps toward your future.