Following the 2008 economic downturn that lead to nationwide lob losses, many Americans returned to education to earn a college degree and gain a competitive edge in a failing job market. Consequentially, more and more high school leavers, and young people in general, felt the pressure to pursue further education so that they stood a chance in a graduate-saturated job market.
For those with no college education, competition is now more fierce than ever, with a 4-year degree becoming an entry requirement for many occupations. With graduates flooding every level of the career ladder, writing a resume without a college degree can pose a challenge — even using an online resume builder is tough when you have little experience to highlight. So how exactly can you improve your chances of getting an interview if you don’t have a bachelor’s degree?
First of all, the outlook for non-graduates isn’t as bad as it looks. Surprisingly, according to the ResumeWriterDirect HR, hiring managers & recruiters survey conducted in May 2014, the majority of US and Canadian hiring managers favor experience over education.
A whopping 90% of the HRs, hiring managers and recruiters that we surveyed said they would give an interview to someone lacking the educational application requirements for a job, if they have extensive, relevant experience.
This is because the job market is now loaded with educated job applicants. Where large sections of society spent recent years in education, they have failed to accrue essential real world experience, specifically industry relevant experience. Such experience is becoming a commodity that can now be brokered in place of a university degree.
WHAT TO DO
When applying for a job it’s important you, as non-graduate, own a resume that presents your professional experience as being both “extensive” and “relevant”, based on their job goals. Even if your experience isn’t directly related to the industry you are applying for, with some skillful writing and the application of clever resume formatting techniques, it is possible to tailor your resume to meet these golden pre-requisites: relevance and extensiveness.
To give yourself the best chances, first do your homework on the hiring company. Really get under the skin of who they are then implement this knowledge by identifying yourself as ‘one of them’. This can be done in your resume, and also in person when you get an interview.
WAYS TO RESEARCH A COMPANY
- Get online and research the company by reading their company website, including the about us page. Find their mission statement; learn about their company goals.
- Read their promotional material (e.g. online adverts), review all their social media and get a feel for their company “voice” and the angle they take when interacting with clients/customers.
- Use sites like LinkedIn to learn about the staff and their achievements, try to understand the kind of employees the company favors.
- Investigate the specific job role you are applying for – not just what the duties are, but what the goals will be; tailor your resume to show your skills and knowledge that allows you to achieve these goals.
By populating your resume with impressive information identifying why you’ll be good at the job, your lack of education is overshadowed. We would even recommend omitting an education section altogether (it can easily be overlooked or forgotten by a recruiter) – you can instead rely purely on your experience.
The writing part can be tricky, but we offer a professional resume writing service that can take this part off your plate – find out about us or call direct at 1866-706-0973 to discuss your specific situation. Alternatively, send us an email [email protected]
We understand that not all careers are the same, and our advice isn’t universal. In some cases, the hiring company simply will not consider applications that do not possess the necessary educational entry requirements. But this still doesn’t mean there’s no way to get your foot in the door.
HOW TO BYPASS THE HR DEPARTMENT
If you’re dead-set on landing a specific job, and you honestly possess the skills and understanding to perform that job well, then it’s possible to bypass the HR departments that not only lay down strict application policies but also enforce them so stringently.
One way to do this is to utilize sites like LinkedIn to identify the key managers and directors that you’ll be potentially working under. Investigate any senior company leaders or decision makers, find out what they do and where they go, then connect with them directly. Attending the same conferences or events provide opportunities to make contact. It’s key that this process is well executed and that you don’t appear to be stalking anyone!
Business is business however; professionals are used to the “networking” world and this method of pursuing specific senior individuals to get a foot in the door is well known to work. Your dedication and commitment to pursuing the job can actually work to represent your commitment to the company, and a dedicated work ethic that may just be worth granting an interview. Good luck!
A professionally written resume increases your chances of interview by 40%. Don’t waste any more job opportunities, get a free consultation with a resume expert today: (toll free) 1866-706-0973