This is the second of a seven-part series on the deadliest mistakes I see people making when changing careers.

When it comes to changing careers, one of the most common mistakes I see is people not applying for jobs because they don’t think they have the right education.

Here’s the thing: your college degree or the lack thereof isn’t as important as you think it is.

Even hiring managers at Google found that education doesn’t matter as much as they thought.

In fact, they found there was no difference in performance between employees with degrees from prestigious universities and those with degrees from smaller schools.

What mattered more? Experience.

They even found that retention rates drastically improved when they stopped emphasizing where their employees received their degrees.

We’ve been led to believe that education is critical when it comes to starting a career and finding a job. Sometimes, the value of education is more in the people you meet and less in the actual degree.

This isn’t to say that education isn’t important at all.

I’m just saying, don’t be so quick to discredit yourself because you either don’t have a degree or you don’t have a degree that’s in the work you want.  

What matters more is how you can position your skills, your willingness to learn, and your relevant experience.

Earlier this year, I worked with a woman we’ll call Rebecca. She came to me for some guidance because she was unsure about how to re-enter the workforce after freelancing as a copywriter for the past few years.

She was interested in finding a full-time job as a copywriter but there was one problem: Rebecca didn’t have a college degree.

But she did have plenty of experience. So I challenged Rebecca to go for what she really wanted and apply for the copywriting positions anyway.

Together, we revamped her resume so that it focused on her copywriting, editing and marketing experience.

As a result, Rebecca had three interviews within a few weeks.

Don’t think you have the right education? I would encourage you along similar lines. Here are a couple tips.

First, when you’re looking for a job, think less about your educational background, and more about the experiences you have that qualify you or how you’re the right fit for the job even if it doesn’t look like it on paper.

Second, if you have a few years of experience and are still listing your education first on your resume, I encourage you to move it to the bottom so that your on-the-job experience is the focal point.

Remember: Your job application is all about how you package yourself and position your experiences. If you are confident that you’re the right person for the job, it will inspire confidence in the hiring manager.



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