It's grad season - which means tons of bright-eyed, newly-minted college graduates are hitting the proverbial pavement (er, the keyboard at least), degrees in hand, hoping to snag a job.
As a liberal arts major myself (English and Philosophy - If you want to talk John Locke and epistemology, I'll be your best friend), I asked Worldpay's Senior Talent Management Consultant Audrey Inniger how students interested in a programming or engineering career can stand out in a job search, even if they don't have a degree in the field. Here's her 5 tips for new grads:
1) Embrace what makes you unique.
Use the distinctive skills you learned within your major to create a selling point for the role you hope to achieve. For example, perhaps you were a Philosophy major, hoping to obtain a role as a Software Developer. When going through the job hunt, discuss how your major in Philosophy allowed you to learn how to critically think and solve problems, which will help you excel in your work as a Software Developer.
2) Take advantage of free tools and curriculum.
Utilize free tools to update your technical skill set related to the job you want. There are many resources available both online and at your local public library that you can use to enhance your skillset: podcasts, books, technical trainings, online courses, and tutorial videos. Personally, I recommend Codeacademy.
3) Leverage your network!
Take advantage of LinkedIn connections, your university’s alumni network, and friends to schedule informational conversations to learn more about potential opportunities.
4) Don't rely on cookie cutter resumes.
Not all jobs are the same, so your resume shouldn’t be identical for every application either. Tailor your resume to the role applying by listing your skills and experiences that best fit the job description.
5) Include a cover letter.
I typically don’t recommend a cover letter, but in this scenario, it’s smart. When you’re new to the job market, a cover letter is a useful way to list your transferable skills, and the reasons why you are applying for a role outside of your dedicated major.
How'd you snag your first professional job? Let us know how you did it in the comments!