When You Don’t Have all the Educational Requirements

You’ve seen a job advertised and it seems like a perfect fit for your skills and experience.  The problem is that you don’t have all of the educational requirements for the position.  What do you do?

1.  Evaluate.  Read the full job description.  Do you have all of the other requirements for the job?  Do you have experience similar to the duties listed in the position responsibilities?  Do you feel like you are ready for this job?

2.  Research.  Do a lot of positions in your industry have the same educational requirements? If so, what would it take for you to get that education?  If your education level is a barrier for you, then you may want to consider going back to school to upgrade your skills.

3.  Review.  Look through your resume and try to determine if your experience and training combined are equivalent to the required education.   Has your experience given you the knowledge that you would need for the position?  Can you speak the language of the industry?  Remember that many employers actually prefer a candidate that has more experience over a candidate that has more education.

4.  Make note.   Identify any of your skills and experience that will make you stand out among the other applicants.  What special skills do you have that might make the employer overlook the educational requirements for the position?

5.  Be honest.  Be open and up front with the employer.  Never mislead an employer about your educational qualifications.  Also, don’t apologize.  Be proud of the skills and experience that you have to offer.

(Written by:  Karen Bivand)

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