Hire Based on Skills
Getting Hired
Skills & Training
February 16, 2024

How To Find Companies That Hire Based On Skills

The job search can feel like wandering through a desert, thirsty and desperate for a sign of hope. You might’ve heard whispers of companies valuing skills over degrees, but where are these employers, and how do you find them? This blog will equip you with the tools to identify and reach companies that hire based on skills, not just your level of education.

Why Degrees Aren’t Always the Key:

Traditionally, a degree was the golden ticket to a good job. However, the landscape is changing! Here’s why:

  • Skills First: Many industries are facing a skills gap, meaning they desperately need qualified individuals with relevant skills to fill open jobs, regardless of academic background.
  • Experience Over Paper: Companies increasingly recognize the value of real-world experience and proven abilities over a degree or academic knowledge.
  • Accessibility & Cost: College degrees can be expensive and time-consuming, limiting opportunities for diverse talent.

Finding Your Skill-Friendly Haven:

Now, let’s navigate the desert we have found ourselves in and find companies valuing your skills:

  • Read Job Descriptions: Examine the language! If descriptions focus on “demonstrated skills”, “relevant experience”, or “ability to perform” over degree requirements, that’s a good sign.
  • Research Company Values: Dive into their website or social media. Do they promote diversity, skills-based hiring, or alternative pathways to success? These are potential supporters.
  • Seek Certifications & Bootcamps: These targeted programs can equip you with valuable skills and industry-recognized certifications, boosting your appeal.
  • Network, Network, Network: Connect with professionals in your field and attend industry events. Ask about their companies’ hiring practices and share your skills!
  • Utilize “Skills-First” Job Boards: Platforms like SkillUp, Skillful, and Guild focus on showcasing your abilities, not just your resume.

Signs of Skills-Based Hiring:

Here are some telltale signs:

  • Skills Assessments: Do they use skills tests or coding challenges instead of just relying on degrees?
  • Alternative Experience Accepted: Do they value relevant bootcamp certifications, freelance work, or self-taught skills?
  • Diverse Workforce: Is their team composed of individuals from various educational backgrounds?
  • Focus on Growth: Do they offer training programs, upskilling opportunities, and mentorship?


  • Stay Positive: Finding the right company might take time, but perseverance pays off.
  • Highlight Your Skills: Tailor your resume and cover letter to showcase relevant skills and experiences for each job you apply for. Need guidance on framing your skills? Check out this blog to learn how to frame your skills for your dream job!
  • Focus on Your Story: Craft a convincing narrative about your journey and achievements, not just your degree. You control the career story you tell.
  • Don’t Give Up: You have the talent and dedication. Keep searching, keep learning, and keep knocking on doors!

This is not to say degrees are irrelevant. They offer valuable knowledge and structure. However, your skills and experiences are equally, if not more, important in today’s market. So, dust off your compass, equip yourself with skills, and navigate the desert with confidence. The company that will hire based on skills is just around the corner, waiting to welcome you to your oasis of success.

If you’re inspired to start searching for these companies, head over to SkillUp's job board where we’ve done the work to vet companies that provide liveable wages at all experience levels, especially without degrees!

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