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11 Tips On Getting Hired Without A Degree

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Getting a job without a degree is not impossible, in fact it’s probably a lot easier than you might imagine. Here are 11 tips from industry leaders on how to go about getting hired without a degree.

#1 Professionality and Passion

No one wants to work with a gloomy and impersonal slob who hates their occupation. Maintain professionality, send positive emails, sending polite emails to thank your prospective employers for the opportunity to interview, etc. Even if you don't particularly love the job you are applying to, act like it.

People who love their jobs usually work harder, so this is an imperative quality to display during an interview and on your application. This may be where other applicants are lacking, so that is your time to shine.

Contributors: Victoria Den Bleyker from Social Motion Films

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  1. #1 Professionality and Passion is sooo important, I’ve learned that being a pro-people-person can bring you further so much than your resume. It shows that you are more than a piece of paper lol.

  2. Professionality and Passion, #1, very necessary to succeed. Can’t tell you how many people I’ve interviewed with all the necessary qualifications, but were absolutely mundane. It’s nice when people care, and simple as it may be, just put the effort in.

  3. #8 is very accurate. Confidence is key. Hiring Managers aren’t just looking at facts on a page, but are also looking personality. Fundamentally, they are looking for reasons you stand out.

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#2 Show Your Other Qualifications

We also strongly encourage every candidate to strengthen the Skills/Training/Certification section of their resume. Showing a number of relevant certifications, especially in tech fields, will also compensate for the lack of a degree.

Contributors: Patrick Lynch president of CMP

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#3 Join Business Meetups

Probably the easiest way to meet employers is simply to visit Meetup.com and join groups where people exchange leads. These groups, haunted mostly by business owners actively building their businesses, are a great place to find people who need help doing everything from running ads online to prepping houses they want to sell. When you meet people face to face in the right context they learn to like you and whether or not you have a degree becomes far less important.

Contributors: Nancy Fulton from Nancy Fulton Meetups

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#4 Start a Business and Hire Yourself

You don't need a degree to start a business, you just need to be good at doing something people need to have done. It's much easier to get paid $50 a month by a hundred families than it is to get a $6K a month job. Starting a business isn't difficult and it doesn't take long if you focus on providing a simple, easy to understand, service to people who desperately need it. Profitable dog walking, errand running, car washing, and appointment setting services get started every month by people just like you.

Contributors: Nancy Fulton from Nancy Fulton Meetups

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#5 Focus On Your Accomplishments

All bosses want employees who will offer up solutions to ongoing problems and go above and to get the job done. When you can point to real life measurable examples of your skill in achieving goals, in introducing innovation, and in adding to the bottom line, you will distinguish yourself from all the other candidates...regardless as to whether they have better academic credentials. A degree has diminishing returns over time compared to colleagues who may or may not have graduated but who are making a difference. Just make sure your pitch and your resume highlight these successes.

Contributors: Roy Cohen from Career Coach NY

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#6 Offer Your Services for Free

Besides having an internship, you can reach out to local businesses or brands online to offer them your services. For example, if you always had a passion for graphic designing and are self taught, then email or if local go to their business and ask if they need a logo, or website graphic design. You can do for a few businesses and build a portfolio, and references.

Contributors: Aileen Saldana from XO Creatives

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#7 Send Your Resume To A Manager Or A CEO Directly

Another thing that can help you stand out and get you closer to a new job is sending your resume straight to the person that is leading the team you'd like to join. For example, if it's a marketing position you're applying for, find the name of the Marketing Manager and send your resume directly to them. You can easily find them on LinkedIn, check Twitter or other social media to find their email. You can also try contacting them on LinkedIn itself. In your email/message it's important to write why you believe you're the perfect candidate.

Contributors: Tatiana Rehmova from Enhancv

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#8 Reach Out to Your Existing Network

A lot of times, people who can hire you are people you already know. Ask your family and friends, and post on your social media that you are looking for work. If they aren't looking, they might know someone who might be interested.

Contributors: Aileen Saldana from XO Creatives

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#9 Be Confident

So now what happens when you land the interview, or get the chance to speak to someone that can offer you a position.

A lot of similar questions for each interview I got were, you studied Sociology, why are you applying for this position? or my favorite, our applicants all have Bachelors degrees in the related field, tell us why we should hire you? I didn't let the question phase me, and in fact, I was excited to tell them why I would be a better candidate than the other Bachelor holders. And the reason I was so confident is because I had the experience, and the work to show for it so when they asked me any questions about Marketing or PR so they could clearly see I knew what I was talking about and I knew how to do the position.

Contributors: Aileen Saldana from XO Creatives

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#10 Sell Yourself

Take an inventory of all successes and achievements. Be sure to quantify them (e.g., use numbers, percentages, good guesstimates, etc.).

Contributors: Jeannette Seibly from SeibCoΒ author ofΒ It's Time to Brag!

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#11 Have a Killer (Targeted) Resume

With so many online applications being screened by software first, a very strong resume with the right keywords and showcasing your quantifiable contributions to past employers or organizations may just do the trick. If you're a good fit for the job, then that should shine through in your resume and your online application (which should come from your resume). If you can make it to a human reviewer, they may just make an exception if you can help them understand how you are the perfect solution to their current problem. Make sure you update your resume for each job using a generic resume for all applications is a kiss of death for a candidate today, with or without a college degree!

Contributors: Scot A. Hulshizer from The Resume Expert

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