Can an Experienced Executive With No Degree Get Past the ATS?

How can a job seeker with many years of experience, but no degree, get a resume through the screening process and have the opportunity for a face-to-face interview when the job posting says a degree is required?

Ann-Z-newAfter 24 years of recruiting, I don’t think I have had more than a dozen of hiring managers that were truly adamant on candidates having a degree to the point that they were willing to by-pass a strong candidate and consider years of experience as a viable alternative to a four year degree. I presume at certain lower levels it may be a screening tool, but at the Director level and higher that we work at, you should be able to switch out education with experience if you can show a solid documentable record of success.

As always, at the executive level it is best to network your way to your next job. You don’t want to rely on job boards. They tends to give a false sense of productivity. They are best used for research, to get a sense of the jobs offered at a given point in time and the keywords you’ll want to be use in your own resume. But without a degree, if you have the work experience and someone the hiring company trusts vouching for you, you have a shot at the job. It comes down to the strength of your network.


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Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

Ann Zaslow-Rethaber

A recruiter since 1996, Ann Zaslow-Rethaber is the president of International Search Consultants, a global executive recruiting firm launched in 1999.

ISC has become one of the country’s most reputable search firms, earning more recommendations on Linked In than any other 3rd party recruiting agency in the entire country. With a team of 15 talented recruiters, utilizing the very best high- tech tools available, ISC can produce highly qualified candidates for companies with hi-volume recruiting needs.

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