The simple answer is no, you don’t need to be a college graduate to work online.
The complete answer, it depends.
The great thing about being online worker is it’s not about what you finished in college, what matters are your 1) skills, 2) training, 3) experience and 4) attitude. If you have the right mix of all four, then you can definitely get an online job.
BUT, we at Onlinejobs.ph have noticed that college graduates do have a competitive advantage when it comes to finding work online for several reasons:
- colleges and universities have job fairs that give college students the experience of looking for work, from preparing a resume to answering job interview questions
- before graduating, college students undergo on-the-job training programs or internships, which they can use for their resume as part of their experience
- they can use their professors as references
These make it easier for college graduates to apply but that doesn’t necessarily mean college graduates always get the best jobs. Because in the end, a college diploma can’t compete with real work experience, skills, and the right attitude for the job.
So how can you increase your chances of getting more callbacks from potential employers, even if you don’t have a college degree?
Make A Great First Impression
First and foremost, make sure you have a great jobseeker profile and a great resume. A great jobseeker profile and resume is complete, accurate and comprehensive.
A complete jobseeker profile means it contains all the information an employer would need to make a decision on whether to hire you and how to contact you. That means listing down contact information, your skills, your experience, and a portfolio of your work (if you have it).
An accurate resume or jobseeker profile simply means being honest about what you can and can’t do. Sure, employers would prefer experienced workers; but they’re also looking for potential. You don’t have to be an expert in everything but you have to show that you’re willing to learn new things. So don’t hesitate to include in your resume the projects you started or trainings you took on your own initiative.
A comprehensive jobseeker profile or resume means that your profile is easy to read and understand. Why? Because employers and hiring managers don’t have all day to study their resume. If they can’t get the information they need at a glance from your resume, they will pass you over and hire the next applicant How to do this? Use short sentences and words that easy to understand. Ask a friend to proofread for you to make sure that you don’t have any spelling or grammar errors.
Build A Portfolio
It’s easy to say you have experience but it’s difficult to prove. One way to show potential employers that you have the skills and experience needed for the job is to build a portfolio.
A portfolio is basically a compilation of your best work, whether it’s from a paid job, volunteer work or a personal project.
So if you’re a writer, a blog can serve as your portfolio. If you’re developer, you’ll need a GitHub profile. If you’re a graphic designer, an Intagram/Pinterest/Behance account containing would work would be enough.
Invest In Yourself
Nowadays, you don’t need a degree to get a good job. What companies are looking for are people with the right skills to do the job. And to gain these skills you don’t even need to go to college. A lot of skills you actually need to work online aren’t even taught in most universities yet. But you can learn online, most of it free, on your own time and apply what you’ve learned on yourself.
Do you want to be a social media manager? Take the time to learn Facebook advertising and how to write tweets that go viral.
Want to be a graphic designer? Learn Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and other image editing apps available.
Show Your Professionalism
Most people think professionalism can only come from experience but we know this isn’t necessarily the case. We’ve seen first time job applicants act more professionally and get hired right away. We’ve seen experienced workers act entitled because of their work experience and find themselves jobless for months.
Employer appreciate professionalism, more so if it comes from newbie workers because it shows potential. These employers know that if they’re able to hire these workers early on, they basically have the first, best pick from the bunch.
How do you show your professionalism? It’s simple. Read the job posts and follow the instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Show up to interviews on time and answer the questions honestly. And when given a test task, give it your best shot.
Everyone Is Equal
On the surface, college graduates may have an advantage. But the great thing about online jobs is that it’s a great equalizer. Doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from, or whether you’re a college graduate or not. What matters is whether or not you can do the job. What’s will get you hired is if you have the right attitude to do the job. And that can only happen if you’re serious about getting a job and you’re determined to do well as an online worker.
So do you need to be a college graduate to be an online worker? Our answer is a big, fat NO!
About Julia Jasmine M. Sta Romana
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City
She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.