25 Active Adjectives for Your Résumé

Here's How to Help Overcome HRT Reservations About Your Online Degree

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In the United States, distance learning at the college level has some advantages, but also some disadvantages that are pertinent to your ability to get the job you want with your online degree. It becomes especially important for graduates of distance learning institutions to take steps to overcome this deficit when applying for a job. Your résumé is where you'll start.

Deficits the Résumé Can Help Overcome

Employers often have some reservations about hiring graduates of online institutions — an attitude confirmed by a doctoral research study, "The Market Value of Online Degrees as a Credible Credential," as well as by reports in U.S. News and World Report, The New York Times and elsewhere.

The research study and news reports indicate that some reservations about distance learning graduates are simply the consequence of a lack of familiarity with the quality of education some online institutions offer — a reservation probably exacerbated by the well-publicized downfalls in 2016 of a few online degree institutions, especially the widely reported failure of The University of Phoenix.

Beyond general (and sometimes not fully informed) objections to online learning by corporations considering new hires, there are some recurrent specific objections expressed by HRT's in the research study and in these news report that you will need to address. These are:

  • Objections to degrees from unaccredited institutions
  • Objections to degrees from unfamiliar institutions
  • The belief that science and engineering (and some other) courses require hands-on classroom experience unavailable online
  • The absence of the kind of social experience available in bricks and mortar institutions that prepare students for corporate employment — especially experience working in teams.

How to Overcome These Deficits in Your Résumé

Here're some of the things you can do in your résumé to combat these deficits.

  • Make it easy for whoever reads your résumé to believe in the validity of your institution. There's no one right way to do this but consider footnoting the first mention of your institution with a short, but specific reference to its government accreditation. Don't simply supply the U.S. Department of Education's general website. Report concisely on the specifics of the government's accreditation of your particular institution. In no more than a sentence or two, do what you can do differentiate your institution from others of lesser repute. If your institution has some famous alums, mention one or (at most) two. ​
  • Briefly (this is the most important word to remember when drafting your résumé) point to whatever you can that establishes that while your institution may not be widely known, it's an institution that's been in business for a while and is widely respected. This might be combined with the first suggestion, above.
  • If you've had other kinds of hands-on experience, and many distance learners have, state this early in your résumé to dispel the idea that your online degree hasn't provided you with real-world experience. Make it clear you've had other experiences related to your field that are equally valid.
  • Do what you can — again, being both specific and concise — to show that you're comfortable and experienced working with others, either in some program that your online institution provides or through your life experiences.
  • Help your résumé reviewer understand your strong points by using adjectives (but not too many of them!) that point them out. Several of these also address the points raised in 1-4, above. You are:
  1. Determined
  2. Hard-working
  3. Diligent
  4. Trustworthy
  5. A team-player
  6. Motivated
  7. Reliable
  8. A self-starter
  9. Loyal
  10. Studious
  11. Attentive
  12. Conscientious
  13. Industrious
  14. Persistent
  15. Dynamic
  16. Energetic
  17. Enterprising
  18. Enthusiastic
  19. Aggressive
  20. Consistent
  21. Organized
  22. Professional
  23. Methodical
  24. Skillful
  25. Passionate