by Darlene Zambruski, CPRW
No matter how well you prepare for a career, it’s rare when your professional or academic background perfectly matches all of the employer requested qualifications.
Despite this, there are ways to overcome perceived deficiencies in your academic history, while proving you are a good match for the position.
1. If you have some college, but lack a degree: These days most positions require, at the very least, a bachelor’s degree. However, life experience can be as important. If you ran your own business or have a stellar work history, showcase that. After all, that’s what college is preparing you for.
Equally important is specialized training. In some industries, this may be far preferred to a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts. Be certain to list the names of courses, sponsoring agency, and the dates of completion.
Last, but not least, it would be wise to list some of the coursework you took while in college, so long as it’s related to your current career goal.
2. If you have a Bachelor’s degree, but lack a Masters: Again, the hiring authority may very well consider a candidate who has real world expertise, rather than an academic degree. This is especially true if your work history had been unbroken and has shown a steady progression to positions of ever increasing authority.
Also, be sure to showcase quantified Career Accomplishments as these provide ample evidence that you are skilled in your chosen profession, and can get the job done for the new company.
3. You have a Masters, but lack a Doctorate: In some instances, a PhD will be a requirement that cannot be overlooked. However, if you are currently pursuing a PhD, and expect to receive it within the year, you might be able to convince a hiring authority to consider you for the position. Hiring managers, especially if they are interested in a candidate, are generally willing to be flexible.
4. When specialized training is required: Before passing on these positions, research what the specialized training entails. It could very well be that your experience and academics is a close match. Just be certain to make that connection in your resume and cover letter to the employer.
Another option is to consider signing up for the training course, and including that bit of information in your documents.
The key is to always showcase what you have in a way which proves to the hiring manager that you can get the job done, and do it well.