Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Writing a Resume with No Education

Creating a resume is a very important step when searching for a job. Unfortunately, however, many people become discouraged when it comes to the "Education" section. If you're creating a resume and have no college degree and are not in the process of pursuing one, you need to focus on what you do have. You can't quit simply because you believe yourself to be lacking. Almost all jobs require a resume, so you must continue on. Just because you don't have a college education doesn't mean that you aren't a skilled worker with plenty to offer potential employers.

Skills-Based Resume

The best way to get over this hump is by creating a skills based resume. A skills resume differs from a regular resume because it focuses on your skills as opposed to your education.

To create a skills resume, start by making a list of the skills you possess. Some common skills that people list on their resume include communication skills, analytical skills, and computer skills, to name a few. After creating this list, branch out and think about specific jobs or tasks that you've completed where you've proved these skills. List those duties in your work experience section.

Next, fit the section into a standard resume format. For example, you will have a header, an objective, your skills section, and your work experience. If you want, you can include partially completed education, such as "Ohio State University (Columbus, OH) - Earned XX credits towards Bachelor of Arts."

Alternatives to Education

Even if you've never stepped foot on a college campus, there are other types of "education" that could prove beneficial when included on your resume. On-the-job training, certifications, online courses, seminars, and self-directed study may help you to create an impressive education section.

Volunteering may also boost your resume. Choose something you're passionate about and get involved. It also proves that you have a strong work ethic, as you're working for nothing, only to help others and gain experience.

Finally, strong references could make a mediocre resume stand out.

The Bottom Line

If you continue to have trouble regarding your resume because of your lack of education, you may want to consider getting back in school. You don't have to move into a dorm or spend 30 hours a week studying. Night classes, online courses, or at-home learning programs all provide ways to earn a degree without sacrificing much of your time. Not to mention, as soon as you begin working toward that degree or certification, you'll be able to include it on your resume with an expected graduation date.

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