8 CV skills that don't require a degree

We get tips from an expert, proving you don’t need a degree to have a top CV.


Whether you failed get the grades or didn’t think university was the right fit for you, there’s no reason for this to hold you back when it comes to employment. While a degree can sometimes be a requirement for a job, there are plenty of careers and jobs available for those without a degree.

What’s more, many recruiters are looking for specific skills rather than academic achievements. These are many valuable skills you can pick up in schools, sports clubs and through your hobbies. Furthermore, these skills are often transferable, meaning they can help propel your career in any direction you wish to take.

So what CV skills do you already have that don’t require a degree?


Great communication is vital across a vast majority of workplaces. Communication is so much more than what you say. It involves listening, having an open mind to ideas, being respectful, utilising and understanding non-verbal communication and being able to receive and deliver feedback.

Communication is needed in a range of formats, from face-to-face to social media. You can demonstrate your communication skills through any presentations you completed at school, your experience as a captain or perhaps via social media through any blogs or vlogs you contribute to.


Teamwork is another essential skill that doesn’t require a degree, but which recruiters will be looking for. Even if you feel that you work best independently, it’s still essential to demonstrate teamwork. To demonstrate teamwork on your CV, think of times where you’ve had to collaborate or contribute to a bigger goal. This could have been in a sports team or perhaps helping out with your local theatre group or school play.


Critical thinking and problem-solving are essential life skills that are an excellent addition to a CV. The best way to demonstrate problem-solving when writing your CV is to come up with a time where there has been a challenge and describe how you overcame the problem.


Being able to show up on time shows a great work ethic and professionalism that recruiters will need to see on your CV. You can showcase your punctuality through your school-attendance record, or by making sure you apply before the deadline stated on the job advert, or by citing a time when you had to ensure everything was ready before an event.


Critical thinking and problem-solving are essential life skills that are an excellent addition to a CV. The best way to demonstrate problem-solving when writing your CV is to come up with a time where there has been a challenge and describe how you overcame the problem.

For example, you may have had a fundraising target to reach or had to deal with a group project when other members of your team weren’t helping. Make sure to cite your specific involvement in overcoming the problem. Use ‘I’ not ‘we’.

Conflict resolution

To demonstrate excellent conflict-resolution skills, you’ll need to prove your open-mindedness and interpersonal skills. Think about a time when you’ve been in a disagreement about how to conduct a task at school or in a group activity. How did you help everyone to come together and work as a team?


Recruiters will be looking for candidates who are organised, can manage their time and think strategically. Consider how you can showcase both physical organisation in terms of managing events or multitasking. This may have happened during your exams when you had multiple exams on the same day or were also playing sports while studying.

You can also think about mental organisation. For example, taking notes, seeing problems before they arise and developing strategies to overcome potential problems.


An ability to help with different tasks will be needed in fast-paced and varied roles. You can showcase your versatility on your CV by talking about doing something outside of your comfort zone or trying a new skill. Aspects such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award or taking part in a charity event where you had to do something new and different can demonstrate adaptability.


Finally, recruiters will want to see that you’re a self-starter and have the motivation to complete every task to the best of your ability. The best way to demonstrate motivation is through any volunteering, internships or work experience where you had a motivation besides getting paid, such as learning more about a craft or helping a worthwhile cause.

Andrew Fennell is the writer for UK Assignyourwriter and founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites such as Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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