“If I could sum up why I’m committed to the HR Girlfriends community it would come down to because we are ‘….in this together.'”

~Sana’ Rasul, Chief Girlfriend

Career Monday: How to Land a Great Job Even if You Have a “Useless” Degree

Even if you rarely see want ads calling for a degree in comparative literature, you can still launch a successful career no matter what you majored in. Careful planning and creative thinking will lead you to the best job opportunities for you.

If you’re stumped on how to look for a job with a degree that everyone says is useless, try these suggestions.

Preparing for Your Job Search

  1. Research your options. Your future direction probably is less clear than if you studied engineering. Interviewing others and taking an aptitude test will help you find what kind of work you’re suited for. Your college placement center will likely have such testing available.
  2. Explore nonprofits. While some corporations hire liberal arts majors as well as MBAs, other organizations may be targeting candidates just like you. Look up charities and professional associations that match your interests.
  3. Review your accomplishments. Draw on your activities outside the classroom and the office. Maybe you’ve excelled in leadership or financial management by serving as chairperson of your theater group or keeping the books for your local animal shelter.
  4. Create a portfolio. Assemble work samples that will show an employer what you can contribute. Put together writing samples, videos, and other resources.

Conducting Your Job Search

  1. Project confidence. Speak enthusiastically about your philosophy studies. Either your potential employer will appreciate your individuality or you’ll keep looking for a culture that’s more compatible for you.
  2. Choose keywords carefully. Automated searches may make it more difficult for employers to find you if your background is less oriented to their keywords. Edit your resume to include widely used terms in your chosen field.
  3. Forget about training. The job market has gotten tougher for recent graduates. These days many companies demand new hires that will start performing on day one. Downplay your eagerness to learn unless the interviewer seems enthusiastic about the idea.
  4. Look into internships. Internships are a great way to learn on the job. Clarify your responsibilities and inquire about any available stipends.
  5. Focus on communications and problem solving. Most human resources studies suggest that these are the top two highly valued skills. Rehearse short stories you can tell about the favorable feedback you received as a graduate teaching assistant. Discuss how you found a less expensive venue for your chess club’s monthly meetings.
  6. Showcase additional skills. Many positions also require strengths in reading, writing, and logic. Think about how you can apply your current expertise in new contexts.
  7. Network vigorously. Networking is always your best bet. Ask others how they arrived at their present position. You may find some great ideas.

Additional Suggestions

  1. Think long term. Look at entry level jobs as one stage in your career path. Getting your foot in the door opens up more possibilities. Analyze any job offer in terms of its growth potential.
  2. Head back to school. Earning an advanced degree has many advantages in some fields. With a Master’s degree or a doctorate you may be able to teach or do consulting work.
  3. Sign up for training. On the other hand, you may decide that you’re ready for job-specific training. A community college or training center can prepare you to earn a good salary at many trades while you read psychology books at night.
  4. Work for yourself. Pursuing the studies you love without getting discouraged by tuition costs and employment figures proves your determination. Apply that resolve to starting your own business or doing freelance work.

A university education does so much more than prepare you for a job. Learning develops communication and thinking skills that enrich your entire life. Your degree in history or film can help you succeed in the workplace and everywhere else you go.

Leave a comment

Never miss an opportunity to earn HRCI/SHRM credits, identify a mentor, or connect 1:1 with another HR Girlfriend in your city or across the country.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Author picture

HR Girlfriends™ is a Human Resources networking organization dedicated to advancing the practice and culture of people empowerment. Our team of Girlfriends consult, train, educate, develop, share, promote, and advocate for solutions in the field of human resource management.

Are You IN?
Or Are You OUT?

It’s time you join forces with a community of like-minded peers ready to tackle the issues unique to the women of HR.
  • All
  • Affirmations
  • Career Monday
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor Newsletter
  • HR Certifications
  • HR Compliance
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
All
  • All
  • Affirmations
  • Career Monday
  • COVID-19
  • CyberSAFE
  • Guest Blogger
  • HR Advisor Newsletter
  • HR Certifications
  • HR Compliance
  • HR Law Alert
  • HR Q&A
  • HR Reading
  • HR Reel Talk
  • Join Our Team - Apply Now
  • Membership
  • Talent Management
Affirmations

Affirmation: My Dreams Are Within Reach

I am one of the fortunate few who are deeply aware of what they want in this wonderful life. Because of this, I can see ...
Read More →
Career Monday

Career Monday: Continuous Learning Made Easy

If you stopped thinking about your education on graduation day, think again. Continuous learning is a lifelong adventure that enriches your personal and professional life. ...
Read More →
HR Q&A

Q&A: What can we do to reduce turnover and retain employees?

High turnover can quickly become costly. We recommend the following practices to increase retention: • Pick the right people in the first place. Put thought ...
Read More →
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap