Career & Coffee

Resume Writing, Job Search, Industry News and Erin’s weekly musings on all things career.

How to handle a Lack of Education on your Resume May 23, 2009

Filed under: Assessments & Education,Resume Writing — erinkennedy @ 1:29 am

I get lots of clients that are concerned about their lack of degree on their resumes. It is very common and is one area that is a sensitive spot. When beginning the process of resume writing, what to put under ‘Education’ can be daunting.

The good news is there are ways to camoflage minimal or lack of education.

If you started college but never finished, you can list the name of the school, years you attended and major. If you want to focus on some relevant coursework taken while there, list the classes. Adding any professional development courses or training always looks great on a resume and fills in the space that lack of degree left behind.

In the unusual case of no education or training at all, omit the section completely and concentrate on making sure your accomplishments stand out.

Whatever you do, don’t fabricate a degree. We’ve all seen the news and watched top execs be publicly stoned and dethroned after being “found out” that their big degrees were big lies.

Something important to consider: not every employer is looking for education… or will exclude a candidate because of lack of it. Remember: BILL GATES DROPPED OUT OF SCHOOL.

The majority of the time, employers are more interested on your contributions or accomplishments. If your work history is impressive, then you don’t have to worry about education because your accomplishments speak for themselves. You will have to portray yourself as successful WITHOUT the degree. Not all self-written resumes do the trick. That is where a resume writing service comes in. At the risk of sounding pitchy, a certified resume writer knows how to bring out your best qualities and focus on what the employer wants to see– with or without the education.

Remember how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are today. THAT is what you will sell on your resume… what you did for one company, you can do for theirs. THAT is the bottom line.

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