We felt compelled to write a short article on the degree culture we seem to find ourselves in after reading this article from the BBC on “Degree Inflation”. Now more than ever having a degree is becoming a mandatory requirement for most jobs. The fact that someone has perhaps thirty years to offer in experience and skills can be overlooked because they don’t have a degree. From speaking to a lot of job seekers in the midlife bracket it is becoming an inreasing barrier. More so as there is an increasingly challenging competitive job marketplace as so many people are being made redundant or seeking a career change.

However, if it is your dream job, you should consider applying if you have the skills, experience and passion to offer the job even if you don’t have a degree. Obviously it completely depends on the industry you are applying for e.g. Marketing Manager if you don’t have a marketing degree, Hotel Manager, if you never worked in the hospitality industry.

Check out the essential and desirable requirements in the job specification. If the only thing you haven’t got is the degree and you have the experience and skills required, you should apply.

Other important considerations are:

Highlighting your Strengths
Highlight your transferrable skills, for example if you worked in sales or teaching, you are likely be excellent at presentations and have great communication skills. Perhaps you have worked in retail or hospitality, then you will have great customer care skills.
Make sure the prospective employer understands what your have to offer, focus on your strengths not your weaknesses.
Carefully examine the job description and beside each point write down how you meet the requirements of the role including up to date examples where possible. Use examples in your personal/social life if relevant.

Emphasing your Qualifications and Training
If you don’t have a degree, create a “Training and Awards” section in your Curriculum Vitae and highlight the training you have had relevant to the role. If you work in a perhaps two key areas, split this section down into for example “administration” or “occupational training”. A lifetime of training can bring some great knowledge. Sometimes it is easy to forget the achievements, ensure you keep an up to date record of all your education and training, including a file with your certificates in chronological order.

Connecting with people in you Network
Remember to use your Linkedin network for experts in the field or employees of the companies you would like to work with. Understanding more about the culture of the company and the industry can help you to fine tune your Curriculum Vitae with the correct terminology to get you noticed. You may also like to join relevant FB groups, Linkedin groups linked to your industry of interest or professional organisations related to the job you want to do.

Researching the Mission and Values of the Company
Understanding the missions and values of the company and how you can relate your skills, knowledge and competencies, can also help you to fine tune your Curriculum Vitae to get you noticed by the employer. You can also tweak the language and terminology used based on what you find. You can mention how your values and mission relate to the company in your cover letter to show that you are a great match for the company.

Seek support
If you are stuggling with your career direction, reach out for a CV review or discovery session. Career Change Academy is here to support you on your journey and get you to where you want to be in 2021.


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