Despite your major, past work and internship experience and what your parents tell you the best field to work in is, have you ever wondered about working in a different industry? One that you have no experience in, but simply an intriguing interest? You may think that your competition with prior experience would make HR not even consider you, but think again because there are ways.
The first piece of advice is to conduct informational interviews with people working in the industry and more specifically, at companies that you would be interested in working for. Network with any connections you have for the easiest way in or do what I consider almost like cold calling, simply send an invitation on LinkedIn with a brief, personal message. Bold? Yes, but chances are at least a few will respond and be willing to answer some quick questions. It’s important to ask about how they stay up-to-date on the industry trends or ask for any recommendations of blogs or books to read. By making these connections, not only are you gaining a unique perspective from the inside but you are also acquiring a contact to keep in touch with for when you do apply for a specific position later on.
Another important factor is finding a way to prove your interest and passion of the industry. Creating a blog on WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr that you consistently update will share your dedication, writing skills and knowledge of the industry. Blogs can and should be included on your resume and your LinkedIn page, only if it is entirely for professional purposes and appropriate content that you can be proud of. For example, someone looking to apply to intern in the music/entertainment industry could post about their award show predictions and opinions on new and recent gossip or favorite artists. Someone interested in working in cosmetics could share reviews and hauls on new products, do tutorials and conduct research about uncommon tips and tricks.
The third and probably the most important tip is to highlight in your application and interviews the qualities that you do possess and not the ones you don’t. For example, if you are applying for a PR position in the fashion world, don’t say that you have no experience in fashion but just like shopping. Rather focus on your writing skills and how you follow the latest runway trends. Share writing samples from articles or blog posts you’ve written. Being passionate, driven and direct about what you want and why you will succeed is what they want to hear. Share your long-term goals and what makes you stand out among the other candidates. It’s the proof that you are willing to put your own time into learning more about the industry.
If you’ve been interested in trying something new, go for it! A simple life motto is you’ll never know if you don’t try. No passion is worth ignoring and it could become something really wonderful that you succeed in. It’s true that people enjoy their job and their life if they love what they do. Having personal investments in a topic will make you strive for more and more.
This blog was written by Ariana Voyer, our Campus Ambassador at the University of Central Florida. She is a last semester senior heading up to NYC this summer to pursue her dream career. Follow Ariana on Twitter @arianavoyer.