Dedicated to helping job seekers find work during the pandemic. Click here to read more

Past Experience Clashes with Degree


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Karen writes: I am a “non-traditional” recent college graduate. My work experience does not coincide with my degree at all. I have followed all the cover-letter and resume tips and guidelines from multiple sources and sent out close to 100 resumes. I can’t even get an interview! I know I have a lot to offer these companies but they don’t even give me a chance. Can you help????
The Career Doctor responds: Karen, what you need to do is build a resume around your recent degree and the transferable skills you have from your previous experiences (work and school). I assume you want to enter the field that relates to your degree. If this assumption is correct, then you need to examine the skills that employers in that field are looking for in job candidates and see if you used many of those skills in your previous jobs –regardless of the field. You can read more about how to do this analysis by going to Strategic Portrayal of Transferable Skills is a Vital Job-search Technique. Then you need to rebuild your resume around those skills, possibly experimenting with a chrono-functional resume. You can find the best sources of information at Quintessential Careers: Resume Resources. Now onto a possible second problem with your situation: Are you doing anything besides sending out resumes? Are you calling these companies where you sent your resumes and asking for an interview? You cannot wait by the phone expecting these employers to call you — you need to be proactive and call them! Are you taking advantage of your network of friends, colleagues, and family by trying to get job leads from them? Are you using the career services office of your college? The alumni network of your college? Are you looking online for jobs? I think if you redo your resume to focus on your transferable skills, become more proactive in your job search, and take advantage of networking opportunities, you should find your job searching much more productive.