If you don’t possess a degree, there are plenty of other ways to boost your personal profile

With all the talk about the importance and ubiquity of degrees, it is often overlooked that not everyone goes to university. Whether it’s because academia is unappealing, a job offer came up, personal reasons or enrolment in an apprenticeship, there are a number of reasons why someone may decide not to go to university. If this applies to you, you’ll be pleased to know that there are still ways to boost your CV to be appealing to employers.

If you opt to skip university, one of the best things you can do is to go travelling. The reason for this is it demonstrates world experience and a broad mind. If you are one of two candidates applying for a job, you are both desirable but you are the only one that has left the country, you are more likely to get offered the position.

The rationale is that travelling will have exposed you to new cultures, new ways of thinking, and ultimately make you a more rounded person. You can further exploit the benefit of travelling by doing casual work abroad; this can be put on your CV as work experience, as well as demonstrating a keenness to work and real adaptability by working in a foreign country.

If you can’t go travelling – or even if you do – another important thing to do is make a list of any extra-curricular activities that you have been a part of. Extra-curricular activities are excellent on CVs because they show that you are active (and proactive), committed, enjoy doing things in your time, and also demonstrate a team spirit. Whether it’s being in the school choir or playing in a pool league at the local club, they all look excellent on your CV.

Everything you have done will have given you certain experience that can be beneficial in a job, and once you have made your list you can decide your favourite activities and use that to find jobs that interest you most.

Volunteering is another thing to consider when you don’t have a paying job. Volunteer work is a very useful addition to a CV because it demonstrates that you enjoy work and aren’t just after the money. Employers know that you need money, but they want workers to be committed and enjoy the work, and volunteering showcases such traits in you. Volunteering also shows that you can work in a team.

Internships and work experience are also good options, and are particularly useful if you know what industry you want to work in but don’t have relevant qualifications. Not only do they provide you with real world experience, but they also show employers that you are able to complete the work required of you, and that often means more than a degree.

Even better, many companies will hire an intern as a paid member of staff if they demonstrate a keen ability to do the work. Internships are usually easy to get, largely because the companies do not have to pay you and can always use the extra help. To find one, the first thing to do is simply make a list of the companies you would like to work for, go to their website and see if there are internship or work experience vacancies in the jobs section. If there aren’t any, simply send an email to the highest member of staff listed, stating your desire to work within the organisation, the reasons why, and that you would appreciate being directed to the relevant person to deal with the enquiry.

So there you have it, the top things to help boost your employability if you decided not to go on to higher university. The main theme running through all of them is demonstrating keenness – do not use your time of unemployment doing nothing, otherwise no employer will want to hire you.