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7 Websites That Offer Free Courses to Improve Your Skill Set for a Higher Paying Job

Creating an impressive resume can be an intimidating experience. No matter what position you're applying for, your interview will put you and your knowledge in the spotlight. Adding to the typical job search challenges, hundreds of employees displaced by the pandemic are returning to the workforce, as well. Denver ranked as the tenth most educated city in the country in 2019. If your education doesn't match that of your peers, how can you hope to compete?

The answer is surprisingly simple: increase your skill set. There are a variety of skills that make employees indispensable in many industries, and the best part is you can do it for free. These websites offer free courses that improve your skill sets in different areas that will make you eligible for a higher-paying job.

Marketing is a part of practically every position within any company. Now more than ever, businesses need employees who are fluent with online advertising techniques and providing valuable content for target customers. From email and Excel to social media and management, HubSpot offers a variety of free courses for success in the business world. With hundreds of topics and globally recognized certifications, HubSpot deserves a place on your resume.

2. Skillshop From Google

Computer use is a necessity in every industry. You may be comfortable using Google search on your phone or laptop at home. But many employees are completely unaware of the ways other Google tools can help businesses thrive. Skillshop is a training platform owned by Google to help you master any Google tool and develop skills you can use right away.

Coding is the language of computers. So understanding how to code makes you a valuable employee in any industry. The ability to code provides you with valuable knowledge about building and updating websites, computer science, and data analysis.

Codeacademy is beginner-friendly, with an option to list why you want to learn code for assistance in where to start. Their free courses allow students to learn by doing, so you can immediately jump into code writing and receive instant feedback. Also, real-world projects and individualized quizzes keep you on the right track and test your knowledge as you go.

Fluency in more than one language is a skill needed in practically all companies in every industry. The need for translators and interpreters in Denver is growing faster than employers can keep up.

Duolingo provides eager learners with a variety of languages to learn completely free of charge. Instead of a typical learning atmosphere, Duolingo teaches students with bite-sized lessons that feel like a game followed by rewards as you unlock new levels. Students learn at their own pace with Duolingo, and the website claims that 34 hours of learning is equal to 1 university semester of language courses.

If you want to line up all your free courses in one convenient spot, then Udemy offers thousands of courses that are completely free. Udemy is the biggest online courses platform where you can find the widest variety of courses. Resume courses and videos are also available. Free courses from Udemy are updated regularly and fall under these categories:

  • All Development

  • Business

  • IT and Software

  • Office Productivity

  • Personal Development

  • Design

  • Marketing

  • Lifestyle

  • Photography

  • Health and Fitness

  • Music

  • Academics

  • Language

  • Test Prep

Like Udemy, Alison offers a great deal of free learning all in one convenient spot. Over 3,000 courses are available, and each includes a self-paced interactive experience. Courses at Alison are divided into the following categories:

  • IT

  • Language

  • Health

  • Teaching and Academics

  • Personal Development

  • Business

  • Sales and Marketing

  • Management

  • Engineering and Construction

Alison also includes a Courses for Jobs section that includes career skills guidance for every life stage and advice for finding courses for specific jobs. A free resume and cover letter prep course is also available.

If you need a course that fully prepares you for the job search process, edX offers a thorough course to guide job seekers, from resume through interview. While the course is designed to be worked on two hours a week for four weeks, you can work at your own pace. The course is free as long as you don't need a certificate and covers the following subjects:

  • How to construct eye-catching resumes

  • How to create and maintain professional profiles on professional social networks like LinkedIn

  • Customizing your resume for different opportunities

  • How to prepare and excel in your interview

  • How to follow up with interviewers and hiring managers

  • And more

How to Include Your Certificates and Skills on Your Resume

After you've worked so hard to prepare yourself to stand out in the job market, it can be difficult to figure out exactly how to share your newfound skills. Both hard and soft skills provide employers with reasons to hire you instead of the competition, so be sure to include them in your resume. Take these steps to professionally showcase your certificates and skills.

1. Choose Credits Related to the Position You're Applying For

If you're applying for multiple positions, then this is where you customize your resume. Remember, your goal is to provide the interviewer with reasons to hire you for a specific position. Thoroughly read the job description and any added information about the company's culture for clues about which skills provide the most value. Instead of listing all courses and certificates, only list those that apply to the position.

2. Decide How to List Certificates and Skills

Including your skills in your resume can be accomplished in a few different ways. For instance, if the courses go along with your professional accomplishments in the past, you can weave them into the professional section alongside your previous work experience. Courses that complement education from a college or university can be included in your education. Additionally, you can create a Skills and Certifications section in your resume to list your accomplishments.

3. List Online Courses Professionally

You want your courses to look professional instead of giving your potential employer the impression that your skills come from a random YouTube channel. Begin by listing the full professional name of the course. If you received a certificate, then use the exact title listed on your certificate. Once you have the title of your course, it's time to list the source of your education. Instead of using the name of the website hosting the course, list the name of the backing institution (Harvard University, Penn State, Georgia Tech) for a polished resume that shows the credibility of your certification.

While creating a resume is a challenging job, there are ways you can prepare. Building your skill set for available opportunities can help you increase your confidence and prepare you to stand out in a crowd of job seekers.

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