Actually, it depends.
One of the best things about being an online worker is it’s not about what you finished in college. What matters are your
3) experience and
If you have the right mix of all four, then you can definitely get an online job.
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 add on 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. A college diploma still can’t compete with real work experience, skills, and the right attitude for the job and you can get those even without a college degree.
So how can you increase your chances of getting more callbacks from potential employers 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.
Your jobseeker profile should contain all the information an employer would need to make a decision on whether to hire you and how to contact you. List your:
- contact information,
- experience, and
- a portfolio of your work (if you have it).
You also need to be honest about what you can and can’t do. Sure, employers 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 any training you took on your own initiative.
Don’t forget to make sure that your jobseeker profile is verified!
Also make sure that profile is easy to read and understand. Employers and hiring managers don’t have all day to study your resume. If they can’t get the information they need at a glance, they will move on to the next applicant.
How to make your profile easier to read? Use short sentences and words that are easy to understand. Ask a friend to proofread for you to make sure that you don’t have any spelling or grammatical errors.
Build A Portfolio
It’s easy to say you have experience but it’s difficult to prove. You can show potential employers that you have the skills and experience needed for the job by having a portfolio.
A portfolio is 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 a developer, you’ll need a GitHub profile. If you’re a graphic designer, an Instagram/Pinterest/Behance account containing your design projects 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. You don’t need a college degree for that. In fact, most successful online workers are self taught and gained their skills on the job. So you can learn what you need on your own. There are thousands of free and paid resources online. All you need is the time and the discipline to learn.
For example, if you want to be a social media manager, take the time to learn Facebook marketing.
Want to be a graphic designer? Learn Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator.
Want to be a programmer? You can go to coding websites for that.
Show Your Professionalism
Most people think professionalism can only come from experience but we know this isn’t always the case. We’ve seen first time job applicants act professionally and are hired right away. We’ve seen experienced workers who find themselves jobless for months because of their unprofessional behavior.
Employers 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 on interviews, be on time and answer the questions honestly. 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. It 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 will get you hired is if you have the right attitude. 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!
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.