Do you ever find yourself wondering why you dedicated three years (or maybe even more) to studying a subject when you're not sure what kind of a career this could lead to? Or perhaps you’ve tried a job in your chosen field and realised that it’s not right for. Well, you’d be surprised how many people choose to switch industries or end up going into a sector they didn't study in.
If this sounds familiar and you're now looking for a job in a different industry, there’s good news! From A-levels to Masters, your qualifications can aid you in your job search, but they don’t define your chosen career path.
Below, we’ll look at six ways you can boost your employability and find a job in a sector you didn't study.
1. Decide what it is you want to do
If you're going to choose an industry you’ve not studied for, you need to decide what it is you actually want to do before you can begin your job hunt. Have a think about what industries you might be better suited to, whether this is based on your hobbies, interests or previous work experience… Or perhaps even from simply browsing through job descriptions. Having a better grasp of what you want to do will help you with your job search.
2. Look for work experience
One way to help you secure a job in a different sector is to get some relevant work experience. This can help you to prepare for your career, looks good on your CV and can give you a talking point during an interview. Look out for work experience or volunteering opportunities with your favourite brands or look online for any companies looking to take on an intern in your chosen field.
3. Keep learning new skills
It’s always a good idea to keep learning new skills, but particularly if you're hoping to enter a new industry. There are plenty of resources available online to help you learn the key skills you need for your chosen sector, from YouTube tutorials to online courses, you can continue to boost your skillset whilst on the job hunt.
4. Make the most of your transferable skills
Your transferable skills are going to play a crucial role in helping you to find a job in a sector you haven't studied. As such, you’ll want to spend some time identifying your transferable skills and make a note of which are going to be most relevant to your chosen industry. For example, communication, organisation and problem-solving are going to be important skills in most roles, so you need to make the most of these soft skills.
5. Carefully craft your CV
Armed with your transferable skills, any relevant work experience and your qualifications, you need to carefully craft your CV. You can use your personal profile as an opportunity to explain your career change and again, be sure to shout about your soft skills throughout. If you’ve got any achievements you're particularly proud of from your time in education or in a previous role, add these to your CV and quantify them where possible.
6. Build your network
Networking can be extremely beneficial throughout your career, by beginning to build your network at this early stage you can increase your chances of finding the right job opportunity. There are several ways you can do this. Firstly, platforms like LinkedIn allow you to connect with relevant brands and professionals online.
You could also attend careers events either hosted through your educational establishment (college or university) or you can search online for local events. This gives you a chance to see what opportunities are out there and to network with others in your chosen industry.
Remember, it’s completely possible to get a job in a sector you didn't study for, so don’t let this hold you back! Using our steps above, you can decide what it is you really want to do and continue to boost your employability until you find the role that’s right for you.
Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV—he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
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