If you wonder what kind of resume you should use and what things to emphasize, this article is for you. If you have a GED, you should be using a little different resume form when you apply for a job.
Your resume should put focus on your skills, positive attitude, and experience. You should list your education at the bottom of your resume, and it should read “High School Equivalency Diploma.”
Earning your GED® credential is, of course, definitely a fantastic achievement, but there are times that you’ll get so-called “GED Stigmatized.”
There may very well be positions where a deeper understanding of math is required. However, for most jobs, that’s not the reason why people don’t get hired or even fired.
That’s mostly because they showed up too late, yelled at customers, didn’t call in sick, or just didn’t show up at all. In reality, employees should have well-developed noncognitive skills.
Herein lies the reason that your resume needs to emphasize your “soft skills.” Sure, science and math are important subject fields, but if you are friendly to coworkers and customers and reliable, you can be of great value to your potential employer.
That’s the reason why your resume, as a GED holder, should emphasize these skills, your positive traits, and your expertise. Let’s see how you should do this.
Emphasize your expertise
If you hold a GED, or even if you hold no diploma at all, your resume should be focusing on your professional experience and life skills that you’ve gained.
If your professional background isn’t strong, you may want to use a resume format that’s more functional.
Start your resume by emphasizing the skills set and any other qualifications and certifications that you have attained in the course of years, and don’t forget to include your accomplishments in those fields.
If you think your resume should include an education paragraph, you may do so at the end of your resume so the potential employer will not focus on that so much.
In that section, list your schools and the courses you followed, and the years you did so.
Focus on your positive attitude
If you really want the position you’re applying to but don’t possess enough of the required experience; you could put the focus on your attitude and the traits required for the position. This sort of skill is generally referred to as “soft skills.”
Let’s look at some highly sought-after soft skills:
- Problem-solving capabilities – Critical-thinking and problem-solving skills refer to your capacity to use facts, data, and knowledge to solve problems in an effective way. Employers are looking for employees who are functional team members and who are able to deal with problems and complexities on their own. A good employee is able to think critically and act creatively, share opinions and thoughts, apply good and productive judgment, and make sensible decisions.
- Attitude and Enthusiasm – When an employer is looking at a prospective candidate, beyond experience, training, and skills, he’s also looking for a candidate that demonstrates enthusiasm.
Employers want workers who are able to deal with assigned tasks effectively and in a cooperative and upbeat manner. In general, an employer rather provides job skills education and training to enthusiastic yet less-experienced workers than hire a person who’s perfectly qualified but who lacks enthusiasm and has a not-so-positive attitude.
- Good Communication skills – To employers, mastering communication skills in a good way is essential. Employers actually rank well-rounded communication skills among the most critical for future employees.
So when you really want that position, think of all the reasons why an employer should want to hire you. Emphasize your strengths all through your resume, and don’t pay attention to your lacking experience. Just emphasize why the employer should interview you and that you’re worth the job!
Highlight other education
When an employer wants to see your resume to see what education you had, but you’re lacking a degree, emphasize all the other education forms that shaped you. Things like training courses, workshops, seminars, or other programs, are all valuable forms of a good education.
You should include all these experiences in your resume, list what these events were all about, and when they took place (the dates).
Be sure to include also the name or title of these courses, where you attended them, and, if applicable, the sponsors of the courses.
When you are working towards passing the GED test at the moment or want to complete a course that you started some years ago while you must write your resume at this moment, include those activities.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with including education-in-progress in a resume when you apply for a job at a business.
List your school’s name, the classes or courses you’re taking, and mention also when you expect to finish your education. Nothing should stop you if you want to apply for a job, even when you’re not holding a degree or a diploma yet.
Take an additional GED practice test to see how far you are with test preparation before you report to an official GED testing center.
Don’t waste your hours if you’re not ready yet, and when you’ve passed the test, you may request a transcript or transcripts and start your college admissions and registration process.
Much of your success will depend on how you’ve written your resume, so use all the tips that are listed in this article to make yours shine.
Include free online courses for a shining resume
There are many free online courses available that can make a resume stand out. You can sparkle your resume with courses offered for free from top-notch universities like MIT, Harvard, or Yale.
Even courses offered by liberal arts schools that have no immediate relation with your line of work, or the job you’re applying for, may create an AHA effect just by putting the iconic university’s name in your resume.
Though these courses are often free, you still must earn a certificate showing that you turned in homework and passed the tests and these certificates are not free.
But still, they will impress an employer, that’s for sure. Most of these certificates will set you back under $100, and practically all schools will allow you to attend their course at no charge.
These courses are known as MOOCs or Massive Open Online Courses. MOOCs are free official online academic courses, readily available upon request, and open to anyone.
MOOCs are providing flexible and affordable ways for students to acquire new skills. This is a great way to advance your professional career, and the course delivers a top-quality educational experience.
Just look at these examples:
Edx.com is a website that offers almost 2,000 courses from Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, and more top colleges. For example:
- Harvard University offers the course “CitiesX – The Past, Present, & Future of Urban Life” for free
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) offers the course “Becoming an Entrepreneur” for free
- UC Berkeley is offering the course “The Foundations of Happiness at Work” for free
- Bostin University is offering the course “The Practitioner’s Guide to Global Health” for free
- The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is offering the course “The Evolving Universe” for free
If you want to enroll in one of these free public courses, you only need to create your account on the website www.edx.org, provide answers to a few questions, and sign up for the course as a student and schedule your time arrangements.
The website asks you to register for a certificate (at a cost) but just ignore that part; for now, just start with your study.
Later on, you still can buy your certificate via email but you better first see if the learning course is right for you. See also if you meet all the requirements and check out the level to be sure you’ll attain decent scores, if applicable.
Think of your online profile
Today, an employer will search for a candidate on Google before he takes a decision on who he will interview or hire and who not. Hiring managers would like to find out if a candidate may have left out some adverse information, and they additionally would like to get a better idea of a candidate’s personality.
In case a candidate has an active Twitter and/or Facebook account, what these hiring managers or employers are seeing on these platforms will definitely influence the way they assess a candidate. You don’t want to receive a letter saying you don’t get the job, do you?
The thing is, though, that when you’re posting on Twitter or Facebook, you’re usually communicating with friends, and you might show pictures or say things that you would maybe not like your boss to see.
So clean up your Twitter or Facebook pages before getting in touch with a potential employer. You can make access restricted or delete any post that you don’t want potential employers to see.
Recent studies have shown that more than 70% of employers are using social media for screening a candidate before interviewing or hiring. So check your posts, and when you feel they might be inappropriate or questionable, you know what to do.
When they research a candidate on social platforms, employers generally will be looking for some key elements as good signs for interviewing or hiring:
- Information that’s supporting a candidate’s job qualifications (62 percent)
- Information about a candidate’s online professional persona, if at all (49 percent)
- Information on what other people post about the candidate (38 percent)
- Information about any reason whatsoever to not hire the candidate (25 percent)
And employers and hiring agencies are not stopping there! More than 70 percent are using search engines like Google and Yahoo to do research about a candidate, while that number was considerably lower a few years back.
The main reasons why a candidate’s online presence turned off employers were:
- The candidate posts inappropriate or provocative images or information: 40 percent
- The candidate posts inappropriate photos or videos while using drugs or drinking: 39 percent
- The candidate includes discriminatory comments in relation to race, religion, or gender: 33 percent
A few of the main reasons that employers hire a candidate after they checked their social platform profile and history are: the background information of a candidate supports their qualifications (37 percent); a candidate’s well-rounded communication skills (38 percent); a candidate’s professional profile and image (35 percent); a candidate’s creativity and originality (34 percent).
So what’s the conclusion? Adding the fact that you hold a GED to your resume is okay, but you really should emphasize all the other things that you’ve done or command.
Keep in mind that usually, employers will check both your educational and personal background. So don’t lie in your resume. Employers can easily the validity of your claims.
Your experience, your positive attitude, and your soft skills, all these traits are valuable and should impress any future employer. If applicable, you may also include courses from some well-known university even if you’ve just signed up for one of their free online courses.
And finally, don’t forget to take care of your online persona and before you post, think well, as there will be always someone who’s watching.
Make sure you won’t put things online that you wouldn’t like your grandma, mom, dad, best friend’s mom, uncle, or future employer to see. View everything available on the World Wide Web and use your time wisely to create great resumes.
If you learn for your high school equivalency test and aim to pass the four subtests, take also a look at this website’s free GED practice tests and video classes that cover all aspects of the GED exam.
GED (General Education Development) testing involves passing four independent modules that can be taken separately. The tests are in Mathematical Reasoning, English Language Arts (Writing and Reading combined), Science, and Social Studies.
Please contact a prep site for help, follow this website’s free video lessons and practice tests, or attend another program at a community adult learning center that provides services like GED preparation. The GED exam is for adults who lack a high school diploma. This way, they can secure a credential that’s equivalent to a common high school degree.
You can find many places that offer free personal support to acquire your high school equivalency diploma within a year. Just contact an adult learning center’s office for advice or check out our free online support on a computer.