A lot of managers feel that experience counts for more than a degree in many cases. However, because too many resumes are received to really review each one in detail, a degree becomes a way to weed people out quickly. One way to start to overcome this is to list your relevant experience first. There was a time when resumes were very standard and everyone used the same format. In this format, education is usually listed first. However, one sees a variety of styles used these days, so you want to take advantage and open with your strongest selling point, your experience.
As you list your experience, take some time and really think about your jobs and what service you provided the companies you worked for. A resume is like an advertisement to sell yourself so make sure the reader knows why the product, you, is appealing. For example, a coffee does not just smell good. It has an aroma that will invigorate your senses. So if you handled customer complaints, you might say that you were in charge of customer satisfaction and acting as a liaison between your customers and your sales staff. It is true, but definitely sounds better than answering complaint calls. You can sell your job function but never lie or exaggerate your experience.
In the education section, list any seminars or training courses that you took that an employer might find of interest. If you do not have anything to list, try to find some that you can take. This will show that you are motivated and interested in your career.
If you do not have a degree but have taken some focused courses in a specific area, list the hours of study. If you went to a local college and took some classes in Marketing, you can write: Marketing: 50 hours. Do not make anything up, but do put classes together if they are in roughly the same discipline so that you can make the hours greater. List ones separately if they have specific application to the job for which you are applying. Computer classes, in particular, are normally a good idea to detail.
If you have computer skills, create a section just for those and list every typical program that you are familiar with. You can list your degree of knowledge such as Familiar, Knowledgeable or Highly Proficient. Other Skills can be an additional section if you have ones that may be of interest to a prospective employer. Also, a section for volunteer work or other interests can generate interest. You never know when your prospective employer also has a love of martial arts and it will give you something to talk about to get to know one another in an interview.
Do not be afraid to change your resume for each position applied for. This allows you to expand on whatever employment history makes sense for each. If you have had too many jobs to list on which page, this can help you to focus on the experience that is most applicable, especially if there were some jobs that you held simultaneously.
One of the most important things to remember in how to overcome not having a degree on your resume is to write a very individualized cover letter for every position you apply to. Refer back to the advertisement you are answering and make it clear how you will be a great candidate for that position. A great cover letter can make all the difference.