Q

How do I let potential employers know about research and study I've done on my own?

I currently am trying to find a entry-level job. I have a lot of training, but no certifications or experience. I also have done a lot of reading and research on my own. Besides certifications, what is best way to document my own research?
You should craft a cover letter to include with a resume that summarizes your training experience, and lists the technical skills and knowledge you've come to possess as a consequence. You should probably also provide a list of such courses taken or training attended as part of your resume as well. The key in your situation is to speak to what you know, and what you can do, as an outcome of the training you've taken. Employers want to know as much as they can about how any potential employee—but particularly entry-level employees—matches the needs of the positions for which they're interviewing candidates. If you can convincingly address how the skills and knowledge you possess matches up to a position, you will greatly increase your odds of consideration for hire. That said, those with degrees and/or certifications have to do less convincing and can lean more on their records. You must make up with motivation, clear communication, and drive what you lack by way of credentials and degrees. This is not easy, and you've chosen to follow the most difficult route into the workplace, so please also let me wish you the best of luck and results from your efforts.
This was first published in February 2005

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