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How to Build a Resume that Overcomes Your Lack of a College Degree

Employers are increasingly requiring college degrees for most of their jobs. There are many reasons why someone may not have a degree, but often that will catch up with them in the job search process. Thus, it often results in missed opportunities for them. They shy away and never bother to apply for the job at all. If you’re one of them, there’s something you can do about it.

As a professional resume writer, I have encountered job seekers who have extensive work experience. Some even assumed supervisory, managerial, and leadership roles yet they lack something — a college degree! So, how do they do that?

No degree, don’t worry
As one who has written quite a number of resumes, I knew for a fact that most, if not all, those who landed a job without a college degree simply did one thing — they tried! Instead of shying away from an opportunity, they put their best foot forward. The key is finding the right jobs and capturing your other assets effectively on the resume to overcome the ATS limitations that may otherwise exclude you from consideration for the role.

Bridge the gap
One strategy is to focus on the other credentials that may supplement or overcome their gap in education credentials. For example, highlighting their alternative education and training on their resume, including certifications, seminars, webinars, and the like. No one should get a certification just to have something on their resume for the education section. But, many certifications or licenses are as or more important than college education.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense disruption on college, making it even harder to get a degree. Fortunately, this may create a window of opportunity for you to pursue companies or positions that may not have been open previously. Many people are also using this opportunity to identify and include virtual learning programs to include on their resume which they never had time for prior to COVID.

Equivalent experience
Another strategy you can employ to be competitive in your job search is to leverage your volunteer experience. If you are an active member of the community, feel free to include that on your resume. Emphasize the soft skills you’ve learned during your community involvement. Soft skills like strong leadership or excellent problem-solving among others are useful skills needed in performing any type of job.

As equally important as your soft skills are your practical skills. Leverage your knowledge of computers to add value to the job you’re trying to win over. You can list down the software you use because there are many jobs that require them. Most business activities necessitate the use of computers to run, so keep on reskilling and upskilling to update your knowledge of the latest in technology.

In sum, those who are on the top-level positions in a company started somewhere. They might not have the college degree when they applied to an entry-level job, but as they progressed in their career, they also focused on their education. So, remember the next time you see a job post that requires a college degree to qualify. Think of the ways you can add value to your target company and start from there to build your resume even without a college degree.

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