Help me prepare for a job hunt with little work experience.
July 5, 2012 8:57 PM Subscribe
Lots of life experience/education, not so much work experience. Help me get ready to get a job.
posted by tokaidanshi to Work & Money (3 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Hi all. I'm a 30 year old man currently finished with my 1st year of a 2 year Master's program in International Relations. I don't have a great resume prior to entering grad school. How can I minimize this and what should I be doing in my second year of school to put myself in the best position to get a good job when I finish my degree next summer?
Background: I moved overseas (Japan) when I was 24, and the original plan was to teach for a year or two and then come back to the states for grad school, but I ended up staying significantly longer. This was partially because I was enjoying life as an expat English teacher, and partially because after my second year of teaching English, the 2008 financial crisis hit and it seemed like a bad time to quit my job and go back to the states. Long story short, I taught English in a variety of different settings and didn't get into a grad program until I was 29 and about to turn 30. About 6 months before coming back to grad school, I did manage to land a "real" job, working at a web development company where I helped coordinate user experience research projects with companies from abroad looking to do research in Japan. It was good experience, and I actually wish that I hadn't quit at times, but I had been accepted to a good grad program, and the job started out fairly slow so by the time it picked up and I realized that it would be a good job to stay at, I'd already finalized my plans to go back to school. I've now just finished the 1st year of a degree in international relations, focusing primarily on economics and international business. I left the web development company on good terms and I'll actually be going back to intern this summer, learning more about the business side of their user experience research division. However, I'm interested in export development, market entry strategies and market analysis, and this internship isn't necessarily directly related to those fields. Ideally I'd either like to work for a consulting firm that does this kind of work, or for the Commerce department, maybe working for somewhere like the Foreign Commercial Service.
I go to a good grad program, and people in my program do get these types of jobs coming out, but some of them have more extensive relevant work experience, or they're a bit younger and went straight through school. What I'm hoping is that, at worst, potential employers will view me on the same level as the people in my program who went straight through school and have little relevant work experience. I am a bit worried though, that they might look at my resume and wonder what the hell I was doing teaching English for so long.
Is this going to be a problem? I already have some ideas that I hope will help polish up my resume during this next year. There are businesses in my area that are looking to expand into Asian markets, so I'm going to try and do some market analysis/export strategy work for them over the course of next year. Any other ideas, ways that I can improve my resume, or things that I need to be thinking about as I prepare to find a job next summer? Thanks!