How to get a good job when you don’t have a college degree

What to do when employers say they won”t hire you without a diploma.

Every year, millions if people get college degrees. This wasn’t always the case. Just a few decades age, going to college wasn’t for everyone. But today, it seems like a college degree is a must have. Especially, if you want a higher-paying job. Why? More employers than ever before are makung college diploma a key requirement to being considered for their jobs. Even with the current high unemployment rate, companies don’t seem to be bulding on this. Look through the jobs posted online and you will see degree required on more and more opportunities. So what do you do if you are looking for work, have experience but don’t have a diploma?

First, understand why online job applications are a waste of time

The technology companies use to post jobs and gather candidate applicants is designed to screen you out. Today ATS (applicant tracking systems) weed through the hundreds, sometimes rlthousands of applicants a company receives and chooses the most relevant matches. Studies shows less than 3 percent of applicants online ever get called for a job interview. Given you don’t have a degree and the employer is specifically asking for one, the odds are slim you’ll get a call. Which means, all that time you spend tediously filling out each field in the online application is most likely a waste of your time.

Then build a strategy to go around the ATS

Jusy because the job posting says it requires a college degree, doesn’t mean you can’t show them while you lack diploma, you make up for it in skills and experience. The key is to get the right decisions makers. At Work It Daily, we specifically teach job seekers how to go around the ATS in order to connect with real people. Given 80 percent of all jobs gotten today are via some form of referral the phrase “Your network is your net worth” realy applies in this situation. With that in mind here are three step to make it happen:

Step 1: Build an interview bucket list

You need to research and target your job search efforts on companies that use your particular skills and experience. Think of your most valuable assets as a worker and match them proactively to those companies that need them. The tighter the march, the easier it will be for you to get them to look past your lack of a diploma.

Step 2: Craft a compelling story

You need to show how you are connected to the mission of the employer. Companies want to hire people who care about what they do. The more you can personalize your desire to work there by speaking to the impact the company’s product or services have had on your life, the better the chances they’ll dismiss the need for the degree. Passion trumps paper.

Step 3: Find, follow and friend people who work there

Meeting and getting to know existing employee is the best way to have your personality and aptitude for job validated by an insider. If you have one or more people saying, “I met her and she’d fit in here,” the easier it will be for the hiring manager to bend their diploma rule. Reach out on social media or email to introduce yourself. Or attend some networking events where you know the employer will be represented by some staff. It’s up to you to get the relationship going.

P.S–Lying about a diploma will come back to bite you

Studies show instead of trying the three step approach above, some people opt to lie about having a degree. A word of caution here recruiters are becoming increasingly sophisticated in how they confirm data on a resume. If you claim to be a graduate and they find out you aren’t, you’ll be black listed. In my opinion it’s not worth the risk.

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