How many times have you scrolled through ads for your dream job and wished you had the qualifications to match your goals? Using our top tips on cleverly navigating the educational demands of a new job posting you might just get that dream job after all…it’s always worth a shot, right? Read on to find out how you could be landing degree level jobs even if you don’t meet the brief…
You’ve decided on Your Dream Career…
No matter what stage you are in life you have some sort of idea of what you want to work towards. If not, then it is time to sit down and plan some goals. Pop over to Mind Tools and study up on SMART goals before you go any further… we’ll be here when you are done…
For everyone else: you may be on the bottom rung of the ladder. You may be fresh out of school. You may be slowly working towards a dream job that you have been baby-stepping your way to since you left College – but whatever your situation the rules of our top tips are the same. Without further ado let’s get stuck in and find out how you can land that degree level job without the necessary paperwork.
Landing Your Dream Job without Qualifications: Our Top Tips
Rule Number 1: If you don’t try, you don’t succeed.
This might sound basic but it’s true; without trying you won’t do anything. Even an application you completed in ten minutes on your lunch break is better than an application you didn’t complete at all. Without putting in the work you won’t get anywhere – so get your CV up-to-date with all your special skills, whatever education you do have and any relevant experience you may have for the role.
Rule Number 2: Take Steps in The Right Direction
Get in the know. What does that mean? Well the absolute trump card up your sleeve is experience. If you have experience in a similar role then fantastic – but if not you will have to go out and earn some. The best way to do this is by finding a charitable organization that will let you perform a similar role for them out of your own time for a few months. You can then add this experience to your CV and there you have it… experience earned out-with the workplace that might just earn you your dream job.
A second way to take steps towards landing the degree level job without an actual degree is to get to know someone in the company… time for a little social media stalking. LinkedIn is the best resource for finding employees of a similar firm and finding ways to catch moments of their time. You’d be surprised how far someone recognizing your name on a CV can go towards building your career success!
Rule Number 3: Play To Your Strengths
Everyone is good at something. Not everyone is good at communicating that something by way of their CV. No matter how good you think your CV is it can probably be a little better. You should review it before you send it to make sure it is up to date, correct, and that it makes the most of particular skills that the job in question wants from you. If you want to land that degree level job you need to convince the employer that you are able to fill the role equally as well as someone more qualified – but if they think you are able to do it better because of a particular set of skills you have then you may be in with more than a snowball’s chance.
If you are the shy type then resume writing can be especially difficult. See this article from the Balance, Careers, for tips on how to make the most of your strengths in both your resume and in job applications.
Rule Number 4: Why Focus on the Degree?
There’s no need to focus on the fact that you don’t have a degree – but don’t deny it in the interview. Landing that interview is the key here, and making the most of what education you do have can speak volumes on your behalf.
For example, the ‘education’ section of your resume can include any awards or achievements you have earned outside or inside of the workplace. Been employee of the month? Put it in there. Ran a marathon? On the CV it goes… training programs also count, as do any skills you have learned through voluntary work or charitable programs. Your end of school grades, any first aid training, fire safety or emergency training you have completed is a big bonus… and whether or not you own your own vehicle is often enough to sell you the interview over another candidate of similar experience who cannot drive.
Re-examine your idea of what makes a skill a skill. Do you have interesting hobbies? Mention them. Make it interesting to read. Make them want to invite you for an interview just so they can meet you… the power to do so all lies in that one little piece of paper.
That Doesn’t Mean Education Isn’t Important
Not having an education doesn’t have to hold you back from your career, but that doesn’t mean that getting an education isn’t important because it is. It’s not just about the knowledge that you obtain from school, it’s also about the networking connections that you can make as well as help finding a job after school. There are so many reasons why it can be a great idea to invest in an education.
At the End of the Day: Experience is just as important as Education
All you need to do is prove to that employer that you have the experience and skills necessary to take on the role they are offering. Every piece of information you send them from the moment you apply should be geared towards the same goal that they have. They want to find someone for the role otherwise they wouldn’t be advertising. They want you to walk into the interview room and be that person, because searching for that person is tiring, expensive and takes away valuable productivity time that could be spent making them money.
The final step is simply to turn up to the interview and believe within yourself that you are the right person to be there. If you believe it hard enough, so will they… whether you have a degree level qualification or not.