Table of Contents
- How To Present Your Online Degree to Employers
- How To List Your Online Degree on Your Resume
- Prepare for Your Interview
The number of students pursuing an online degree is increasing daily. The online option allows students to continue work and take care of other family responsibilities while working towards their dream careers.
However, there is a stigma surrounding online degrees suggesting that they are “less credible” than traditional degrees earned in brick-and-mortar institutions. Is that really the case? Absolutely not! An online degree carries the same value as a traditional one as long as it comes from an accredited university.
Employers care that you have the necessary skills and education for the opening, whether your degree is online or traditional. Hence, knowing how to craft an effective resume that will boost your chances of getting a job is essential.
Luckily, this guide will help you decide how to present your online degree to employers, how to list your online degree on your resume, and what you need to know before the job interview.
How To Present Your Online Degree to Employers
Among the first things a potential employer will do is review your resume and cover letter. And, as the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make the first impression. Therefore, use your resume to leave a positive image on your recruiter and to secure a job interview.
Here are two ways you can present your online degree on your resume.
Option 1: Mention “online”
You can choose to be direct and mention that you hold an online degree. Doing so will allow you to expand more on the specific skills you gained through the online program. Additionally, when mentioning your online degree, you have the opportunity to clear out any misconceptions or alleviate any concerns the recruiter may have in the cover letter.
The downside of specifying your online degree is that some employers may not be informed of the advancements that remote learning has made and might not take you seriously. While many employers are embracing online degrees, there will always be skeptical employers who do not.
Option 2: Omit “online”
Many might want to skip the process of having to possibly educate their potential employers about the merits of online education; hence, they might decide to omit the “online” part. Without this identifier on your resume, you may altogether skip the topic of how you got your degree. Employers usually run a background check on your degree to verify it without investigating any further in which way you earned it.
Nonetheless, we never advise that you lie during this process. If you cannot avoid the subject without twisting the truth, we suggest you be honest.
How To List Your Online Degree on Your Resume
It can take time to choose how to present your online degree. Your choice will be influenced by several variables, including the degree you have, the institution you attended, the industry you want to work in, and the job you are applying for.
Option 1: Mentioning “online”
If you choose to implement Option 1 and fully disclose your online education on your resume, you will need to include these three elements under the “education” portion of your resume:
- Activities and Education
- Academic Honors
- Organizations and Activities
Additionally, list remarkable achievements and extensive volunteer or leadership roles that separate you from other students enrolled in online degree programs. Remember to note when you helped teachers with online meetings or participated in online group projects. This demonstrates to potential employers that you have more technical fluency than you would have received from many traditional schools, thanks to your online education.
Option 2: Omitting “online”
If you avoid mentioning the “online” degree, you should use the standard format for listing a degree. Including the degree on your CV can still help you stand out from other similarly qualified candidates because hiring managers respect people with excellent educational histories.
So, here is what you need to mention:
[Year – Year] [University Name, City, State] [Degree Type] in [Subject]
Include the following optional information if you lack job experience and want to offer more information about your degree:
- GPA (if 3.5 or higher) (if 3.5 or above)
- Honors (if appropriate) (if applicable)
- Relevant academic work
Prepare for Your Interview
Getting the call for an interview is a fantastic indication that a potential employer is interested in you or intrigued to learn more about how you might fit into their organization. Use this time to present yourself, your skills, and what makes you the best candidate for the job.
Present the unique skills you developed
This is your chance to make a great first impression and the ideal chance to highlight your qualifications as a candidate with an online degree. Plan to emphasize the advantages of your online education throughout the interview. Recruiters care about the projects you worked on, the times you applied your skills, and the personal connections you created.
Self-discipline and responsibility for your own learning
The flexibility an online degree provides people with hectic schedules is one of the reasons why many enroll in an online adult learning program. Show the recruiter how you may have been working more than the average college student because you had to learn how to combine work and school on your own.
You have been in charge of your education in an online program. These programs require you to be a driven self-starter, precisely what most businesses are looking for in a candidate.
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Proficiency in the use of technology
COVID-19 drove numerous businesses to adopt digital and remote labor. Companies have forced staff to be flexible and adapt to a new way of working, whether it be through Zoom calls or new software.
Therefore, obtaining your degree online has already given you the skills necessary to operate remotely and with technology. You have a clear advantage over other applicants because online education needs students to be at ease using a variety of applications and communication channels.
Improved multitasking skills
A non-traditional student frequently has obligations outside school and homework. Only the best multitaskers can successfully juggle adult learning online and for the rest of their lives.
Your ability to multitask in demanding situations shows your ability to complete college online. And since the number of people able to multitask is quite small, you will definitely stand out.
Resolve any potential misconceptions
Clear up any potential misunderstandings before they impact your chances of establishing a positive impression, no matter which option you follow when discussing your online degree. Try to think about any concerns an employer might have regarding your degree and how you can directly address them.
For example, an employer can be reluctant to hire you because they believe your online degree is of a poor caliber, which is one of the reasons. It’s critical to convey to your employer how properly accredited your college is.
Additionally, soft skills are required for several job pathways. An employer can be concerned if they learn that you are a non-traditional student with an online degree if you still need to hone your teamwork and interpersonal skills.
You know that enrolling in online courses does not force you to live an isolated life. You’ll have acquired the same socialization skills as you would in a traditional classroom. Numerous communication channels, including chat, email, video, and others, are available to students enrolled in online courses. Clarifying these will aid in pushing forward the employment process.
A company isn’t just concerned with your education. Although it could be a crucial component of your application, your future employer is mainly interested in a well-rounded person.
Make sure to emphasize all the qualities that make you a standout applicant, such as your prior employment, volunteering, and other achievements. Talk about your skills and how you’re still learning. Describe how your education has improved your past experiences, not make them less valuable.
Be confident in your choice of education! An enormous accomplishment, earning your degree online requires a lot of work. Even though there may be some skeptics who don’t see the value of online education, you are still a good candidate with relevant abilities.
Whether you obtain the job will depend on how you present yourself and your education (especially if you lack experience). Either emphasize your online education or avoid bringing it up. Whichever option you select, keep in mind that companies look for candidates who align with their company’s values and beliefs and that education is not the only factor being considered.