Your previous education is one of the most important assets in your job search. It can be difficult to explain how a degree earned in your home country meets an employer’s education requirements.
How can you be sure a potential employer understands your educational qualifications and how it meets the requirements for a job? If you want your education to work to your advantage, you should make it easy for the employer to understand your foreign credentials. The best and most objective way to do this is to obtain a credential evaluation from a reputable credential evaluation agency.
What Are the Benefits of a Credential Evaluation?
A credential evaluation provides a U.S. or Canadian equivalency for your foreign education. This means that an employer who is unfamiliar with foreign credentials and institutions can understand your background—and you can compete fairly for jobs with other candidates. Even if you have interrupted your post-secondary studies, a high school equivalency may qualify you for an entry-level job that could lead to different opportunities. Having a credential evaluation gives you and potential employers confidence that you meet the job requirements even if you have a foreign degree.
How Do I Obtain a Credential Evaluation?
Ask potential employers if they have guidelines for foreign-educated applicants. Some employers may already ask applicants for a credential evaluation. A basic or general credential evaluation is usually sufficient for employment purposes. Employers don’t typically need to see transcripts or grades.
If there are no guidelines, or if you are not yet focused on a specific employer, you can obtain a credential evaluation from an agency accredited by the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).
World Education Services (WES), a member of NACES, offers credential evaluations that verify and evaluate high school and post-secondary credentials from more than 150 countries. You can also learn the U.S. equivalency of your foreign education by using the free Degree Equivalency Tool from WES.
How Can I Use My Credential in My Job Search?
With a credential evaluation, you will know what jobs you are qualified for based on the degree equivalency statement on the report. Evaluate job ads with your evaluation in mind. For example, if you have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree, you might be overqualified for a job that requires only a high school diploma. Now you can judge with confidence which employers will likely value your credentials and invest your time in the best prospects.
You may also add your evaluation to your résumé and cover letter. Mention that you have your foreign education verified and evaluated and that you meet the education requirements of the job. You can even include the U.S. degree equivalency in the education section of your resume, next to your degree.
When you have a job interview, you can speak about your foreign education with confidence. Bring a copy of your evaluation to show the interviewer. Don’t forget to highlight your language skills and international experience as well.
If offered employment, ask if you should have your official report sent directly by the credential evaluation agency to the employer.