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Do most employers automatically filter resumes submitted online using keywords to determine educational levels?

by Andre Faulkner
(Phoenix, AZ)

If so and you don't have a degree, how can you avoid being filtered out? I have more than 30 years experience in corporate communications and "some college" but no degree.

I can get around it in a cover letter or interview, but I'm afraid my resume often is automatically rejected because almost 100% of jobs I apply for specify a degree is required.

In the education section of my resume, I indicate I was in a degree program at a specific college, but are most filters set up to search for "Associate," "Bachelor," "Masters" and/or other educational designations?

ANSWER: My guess is every employer is different when it comes to how they scan and filter resumes that are submitted to them. I'm sure some do filter based on the degrees they're looking for. But do remember that employers generally ask for the ultimate in terms of credentials and experience. It's rare to get everything they want. So it is possible to get a job and not possess all the qualifications specified.

I would definitely emphasize in the cover letter why you're applying for a position they may not think you're qualified for, explaining how your years of hands-on experience make up for your lack of degree. Sell your strengths best you can.

If an employer ignores the letter and filters you out, then maybe it's not the best fit for you anyway.

You could also think about networking with some of your contacts after all your years in the business to get entree to employers who will see you based on contacts rather than what's on paper.

Good luck!

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