Let me make this crystal clear. An ideal candidate that desires a career as a Physical Education Teacher might typically have a college degree in that field, however the employment is normally at Geno’s Landscaping Service and the teaching internships might be at a local high school because the administrators in college teaching programs know that practical experience is essential for new college graduates to be successful in a career search. Even though the candidate that worked at Geno’s Landscaping Service demonstrates a strong work ethic by starting as a landscape laborer and being promoted into management, ideally employers will still prefer employment in a more relevant field.
Now let’s compare a similar candidate with the same degree, college major and teaching internships, who also has a goal of becoming a Physical Education Teacher. Due to advance planning, he has employment as a Physical Fitness Instructor at a local YMCA/gym, earned a few relevant fitness education certifications and has several well-documented turnaround success stories with clients on video tape posted to his online career portfolio/LinkedIn profile. This is what I am referring to as alignment of career, education, internships and community service.
Now, if you were the hiring manager and you could only pick one of these candidates to hire, which one would you hire? Clearly, if all else is equal, the most employers would pick the candidate with ideal alignment (college education, employment, internships and community service most aligned within the same field as stated job target). Here’s why, proper alignment shows more evidence of intelligence with strategic planning, goal setting, logic, longer term dedication and true passion for the teaching profession.
True, this isn’t as easy to do as it sounds because often today, just finding work when you are a college student is a serious achievement. Still, you must recognize that the employers hold all the cards due to the huge glut of talent competing for limited vacancies and they will find what they want without difficulty. Most importantly, you need to recognize early on that you must cater to what employers want. Furthermore, you must plan to be able to present the finest résumé possible to employers early on. Having proper alignment is an essential ingredient to realize your dream job.