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How Do I Write My Resume if I Don’t Have a Degree?

by Heather Rothbauer-Wanish, Freelance Writer on January 7th, 2013

For many people, highlighting their college degree(s) and education is a defining point on their resume. While this certainly can be important, it does not apply to everyone. For instance, what if you have worked in the same industry for many years and don’t have the ‘official’ college degree? In that instance, how do you make your resume stand out? There are several tips for ensuring your information still stands out—even if you don’t have the desired degree.

First, put your education listing toward the end of your resume. List all of your experience first, emphasizing your accomplishments and expertise. This will allow the reader to digest all of your qualifications, skills, and abilities.

Second, list any education you have completed. If you completed several semesters of your Marketing degree, but didn’t finish it, then list that on your resume. Say something similar to the following: “Completed 56 credits of Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing.” Or, you could say: “Took the following courses at XYZ University: Principles of Marketing, Sales Management, and Customer Service Strategies.” Rather than emphasize the fact that you have not completed education, these statements are positive and show that you have worked to gain additional knowledge.

Next, be sure to highlight any training that you have completed, even if it is not affiliated with a school. Have you taken courses and seminars through continuing education programs? Has your workplace sponsored your attendance at a workshop? Then, be sure to list that information under the “Education and Training” section.

Finally, even if you lack the stated educational level, apply to the job. The hiring manager may want to hire someone that can start immediately with little to no training. Your years of experience may help balance out a lack of formal education.

Writing your resume is all about accentuating your positives. Use that mindset when making your resume; emphasize experience, accomplishments, and skills. This will help your information get noticed by decision makers within the organization.

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