Land Your Dream Job Without the Credentials

Looking for a job is frustrating and it often drains your energy. You search through the job postings on your favourite online career websites and find some that pique your interest. You then read through the posting, only to find that the job qualifications call for a degree or certification you don't have, and your excitement over finding what appears to be the perfect job dwindles.

Unless you plan to be a doctor, a NASA engineer, or an attorney, there are few careers that require you to take many years of college to land a job. In some cases, you can find backdoor entries into the job of your dreams if you have a well-thought-out strategy.

Who You Know

As the old saying goes: "Sometimes it is not what you know, but who you know." This saying still holds true in many companies today and could be your way into the job you want. Take an inventory of all of your friends and family, and see if there is anyone who works for a company you'd like to work for. These are the people who already have their feet through the door and can put in a good word for you, or get you in direct contact with the hiring manager. While you are considering your master list of people to contact, don't forget about old acquaintances and network connections. The more people you have saying good things about you, the more likely you are to find the perfect job.

Start At the Bottom

In order to land the job of your dreams or to work for your dream company, consider starting at the bottom and working your way up. If your dream is to work as a marketing expert for Macy's, but you don't have the proper credentials, start out as a cashier. You can have employment within the company, learn what you need to know, and work your way up to the job you want.

Some companies will even substitute years of experience for college degrees, as long as your resume demonstrates your skills and shows you have worked in a similar industry. If you aspire to be a writer or editor for a major magazine, start by being a freelance writer and build your portfolio. There are many self-taught professionals out there; you just have to play the part.

Find a Mentor

A good mentor is one of the most important people to have in your professional life. This is a person who is already an expert in your field of interest and can provide you with vital information and guidance. A mentor is someone you watch and learn from. and someone you can consider a friend. Your mentor will help you find out where the jobs are in the career field you want to enter, and will probably have connections to help get your foot in the door.

Be Honest

Make sure you are always honest with your resume because you can be fired if your employer finds out about falsified documents. If there is a job you want, but don't have all of the credentials for it, apply anyway and provide a heartfelt cover letter. In your cover letter, highlight all the skills you have that pertain to the job. A cover letter is also the perfect place to discuss your passion for the job and your commitment to being successful if you were selected. Hiring managers are people too, and you may just strike a chord that will convince them you are the right person for the job.

Next time you log in to your favourite job search engine, don't get frustrated when you find a job that you want but don't have all of the credentials listed on the qualifications section. Be creative in your search for a new career and utilise the resources that you have at your fingertips. When you think outside of the box, you will be well on your way to landing the job of your dreams.