Certain industries like the video game or movie industry or the UX/UI industries are very competitive. Getting jobs in these industries requires tenacity, skill, and a bit of luck. While you can’t do much about your luck, you can do something about your skills and your tenacity. It is these skill sets that will eventually allow you to get an entry-level job in your industry. Here are four steps you can take to help you get one step closer to that job.
1. Research the Companies
Your quest to get a job in your ideal industry should begin with research. Do you know the names of the key companies in your industry of choice? Do you know how those companies hire? Do you know what kinds of employees they’re looking for? If it’s a big company, chances are it puts out a lot of marketing materials. It’ll also have active accounts on social media. Study these materials until you understand the kind of employee that the company wants. Also look to see if the company is rated favorably on job sites or social media.
For example, maybe you’ve decided that you want to work for a university, and you’ve started your search by going through Independence University reviews or that of another academic institution. Go on that company’s Facebook page and other social media profiles. What information does this give you? What do you need to know more about? File all this information away. If you learn that you need certain skills to do the job, be sure to acquire them. Repeat this step by looking at the company’s other social media accounts, its website, and job boards.
2. Informational Interviews
Do you even know what the entry-level position in your field of choice looks like? Do you know how people in that industry hire employees? Many people don’t know the answer to questions like these nor do they know where to find them.
You’ll probably only get 15 or 20 minutes with the person, so make it count. Go into the interview not only looking professional, but being professionally prepared. Ask pertinent questions. If the person you’re interviewing started out at the entry level, find out what he or she did to get to where you want to go. Doing this not only gives you information that you can directly act upon, but it also prevents you from pursuing avenues that might not net you results.
The informational interview is one way to network with people in your field, but it’s not the only one. Internships, volunteering, and industry social events other networking opportunities abound. These activities put you in the direct path of people who work in the industry you want to work in. Be sure to get the names and contact information for people who are important in your industry. If there is an opportunity to rub elbows with them, do it.
4. Be Patient and Persistent
Industries like the video game industry are very competitive. Lots of people will be applying for the jobs that you want (if this is your industry of choice). You need to be both patient and persistent. The Internet has increased the number of competitors who can apply for jobs. While it’s nice to think that you’ll get a job right away in your field of choice, chances are you’ll wait many months before you land a job in your industry. Use that time wisely.
While you wait to hear back from possible jobs, keep brushing up on the skills that you need to work in that industry. Get your portfolio or resume up to date. Keep making contacts. Keep applying for jobs. If you’re in school and you know you’re graduating in May, start applying for jobs in February or March. Whatever you do, don’t give up. You’ll keep yourself in the running when others have dropped out.
Getting an entry-level position in your job-of-choice isn’t impossible, but it does require some effort and skills. Additionally, the amount of knowledge and professionalism you bring to the job affects your chances. Finally, know that it takes time to get these jobs. Just because you don’t have your dream job today, doesn’t mean you never will.