15 Free Certifications for Your Resume

Charlotte Grainger
Charlotte Grainger

11 min read

Free certifications

The trick to landing your dream job is getting ahead of the competition. So, how can you make sure that you stand out in a sea of near-identical resumes?

To maximize your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers, your resume has to demonstrate that you’re not only qualified, but a perfect fit for the company’s team. It’s a tall order. Luckily, adding free certifications to your resume showcases your diverse talents.

Even if you aren’t job searching right now, certifications are a form of upskilling or reskilling. Learning new skills can help you at your current position or help you find new opportunities with your current employer. You might say that it’s a win-win situation. 

Of course, some jobs require that you possess certain certifications. Unfortunately, many job seekers don’t know where to go to obtain certifications, or they question the value of paying for some popular certification programs. The good news is that there are several free certification options that you can include in your resume to boost your job profile and perceived value.

Ready to get started? Here is the list of the 15 free online certifications our team of experts recommend, followed by a summary of each item.

Why it’s smart to list free certifications on your resume

Many employers rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) these days to screen incoming resumes. That ATS will scan your resume in search of specific keywords that the employer wants to see to know that you’re qualified for the job. Often, the ATS has been programmed to look for required certifications.

Unfortunately, many of those required certifications may cost you money. However, there’s no reason that those need to be the only certifications that you list — especially if you can assume that every other job candidate will possess those same credentials. Adding free certifications to your resume shows that you have gone the extra mile and undertaken additional training.

Expert Tip

Upgrade your resume for free! 

Looking for a savvy way to strengthen your existing resume? One of the best things that you can do is get further qualifications. In this guide, we will be looking at the most impressive certifications to put on a resume and how you can complete each of them for free.

Free certifications for your resume can provide a cost-effective way for you to bolster your credentials and learn a new skill. They are typically not job-specific but can provide you with a more well-rounded employee persona that enhances your appeal to employers. Below are 15 free certifications that can help capture an employer’s interest and give you a leg up on your rivals.

Upgrade your resume with these 15 free online certifications

Ready to learn something new? Contrary to what you might have heard, upskilling doesn’t have to be an overly expensive goal. By undertaking some free online certifications and adding them to your resume, you give yourself the best chance of success. Here are our top picks: 

1. FEMA Certification

FEMA certification from the Emergency Management Institute is one of the most widely-applicable free online certifications out there today. The process is relatively quick to complete and offers preparedness training that many companies will appreciate.

The course will help you to prepare for natural disasters and man-made incidents. Having this training under your belt is a surefire way to impress any hiring manager out there.

2. Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification

With online marketing a major priority for many firms, every employee should have at least a basic understanding of its principles. When it comes to free certifications in that area, the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification course is considered a real standout.

It can provide you with a better understanding of blogging, search engine optimization, online conversion analysis, social media, email marketing, and more. Consider it your basic primer for learning about digital marketing. Whether you already work in marketing or simply want to expand your skill-set, this is one of the best certifications to put on your resume.

3. WordPress Academy

Next up, one of the greatest website-oriented free certifications is the WordPress Academy program. This 30-day certification program will introduce you to WordPress if you’re new to website management. Or it can enhance your skills if you’re already an intermediate or advanced WordPress user.

Not surprisingly, employers are always on the lookout for workers who possess these now-critical skills. The course is taught by industry leaders and you can expect to gain a whole host of skills when you decide to take this free certification.

4. MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python

The Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python course is free. However, you should keep in mind that you will need to pay $75 for the certificate. However, if you want to get an introduction to computer programming and list a prestigious MIT certification on your resume, this is one of those free online certifications that may be perfect for you.

The course is only nine weeks long but it is intensive. You should be prepared to set aside around 14-16 hours every week while you are undertaking it. At the end, you will gain one of the most impressive certifications for your resume. Are you up for the challenge?

5. Alison Diploma in Project Management

Project management is a highly-valued skill across a wide range of industries. With the Diploma of Project Management Course from Alison, you can learn about project management methodology, tools, planning, design, analysis, evaluation, and much more.

This is one of the best free certifications for your resume if you want to level-up your career. You will gain the inside scoop on how to manage a project as the course takes you through every step of the system development life cycle from analysis and planning to design and evaluation.

6. Code Academy

Code Academy free certification courses can also provide a great boost to your resume. Put simply, employers are typically impressed by candidates who know how to code. They recognize the value of having an employee with programming skills on staff. The free courses include training in HTML/CSS, SQL, Java, Python, JavaScript, and more.

7. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)

Looking for something out of the ordinary? For a wider variety of useful and impressive free certifications, check out the Massive Open Online Courses from Open Culture.

These courses are offered in affiliation with some outstanding universities, and cover topics ranging from astrobiology and financial engineering to philosophy, statistics, cryptocurrency technology, the internet of things, and much more. There’s something for just about everybody.

8. Google Ad Certification 

Google is a prestigious name — but you don’t need us to tell you that. If you want to learn about the mysteries of running successful Google Ad campaigns, here’s what you have been looking for. Gaining the Google Ads Display Certification, Google Ads Search Certification, or Google Ads Video Certification is 100% free. As if that wasn’t good enough news, all of the above take a matter of hours to complete from start to finish. You can do them all in just one (long) day.

9. Google Analytics Academy 

Staying on the subject of Google, have you heard of the company’s Analytics Academy? The free portal has a whole array of free certifications for your resume. Choose where you want to start, depending on your skill level, and then begin learning how to use Google Analytics. 

Whether you are a business manager, work in tech, or even marketing, you should find that the skills you pick up on these free courses are invaluable. When you have completed one of the courses, you will gain a certificate to let employers know that you have these unique skills. 

10. edX Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies program

While the Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies course is free to complete, you will have to pay if you want to gain the certificate at the end of it. The team at edX provides a unique business management course delivered by Harvard Business School professor Tarun Khanna. 

Throughout the course, you will learn how to identify opportunities in emerging markets, how you can evaluate the strength of these opportunities, and problems that lend themselves to entrepreneurial solutions. If you have a business-minded approach to your career and want to show hiring managers your talents, this is one of the best free certifications for your resume.

11. Free Course Photoshop Certification

Hiring managers are increasingly looking for multi-talented candidates. If you work in any creative field and want to add graphic design to your existing skill set, here’s one of the best certifications for your resume. Taking the Free Course Photoshop Certification will give you a basic understanding of how you can use the Adobe software to complete simple tasks. 

While this online course is only a couple of hours long, it is ideal for complete beginners. By following the video guide, you will quickly learn how you can use the main Photoshop features, how to design a card, how to design a simple graphic, and how you can use the editing tools.

12. Email Marketing Course by HubSpot Academy

Whether you work in marketing or want to break into the field, here’s one of the most valuable certifications to put on your resume. The Email Marketing Course from HubSpot Academy is a savvy place to start your education. You will learn how to personalize and automate email campaigns, depending on the various audiences and segmentations that you are targeting. 

However, it doesn’t start and end there. The course also walks you through the creative process, helping you to understand how you can craft compelling email copy and design your campaigns using the software. Learning how to do all of the above means that you can conceptualize, create, and run a successful email marketing campaign. 

13. The Science of Wellbeing 

If you want to live a healthier and happier life, The Science of Well-Being from Yale Online is certainly worth looking into. The free course is run by Professor Laurie Santos and delves into the idea that humans, as a species, don’t actually know what makes us happy. 

Whether you work directly with people — in Human Resources, for example — or simply want to improve your own quality of life, this may be the course for you. Including the free certification on your next resume shows the hiring manager that you are serious about self development. 

14. Excel for Beginners by Great Learning

Microsoft Excel may not be the most awe-inspiring software, but it comes in handy in a wide range of situations. If you’re looking for a way to upgrade your everyday administrative skill-set, taking a course in this program could be the answer. The Excel for Beginners from Great Learning is a good place to start whatever your existing skill-set may be. 

The course covers fundamental processes, including data analytics, data wrangling, and data visualization. You will learn essential skills, such as sorting and filtering, cell referencing, the “If-Else” condition, and so much more. If you’re looking for one of the most practical free certifications for your resume, you’ve found the perfect solution. 

15. Child Nutrition and Cooking from Stanford School of Medicine 

Do you have your sights set on a career in health and nutrition? If so, it may be worth taking a peek at the Child Nutrition and Cooking from the Stanford School of Medicine. The course is primarily focussed on the childhood obesity epidemic that has swept across the United States. While the first session highlights the breadth of the issue, further sessions look at what can be done to solve the problem. You will learn what constitutes a balanced meal, for example. 

When you have completed the course, you will be eligible to gain a free Coursera certificate. You can include these free certifications on your resume to impress the hiring manager. Showing off your nutritional know-how and culinary skills has never been easier. 


Listing free certifications on your resume can certainly bolster your odds of landing a job! This approach will help you match keywords, show your familiarity with new technology, and demonstrate your ability to learn outside of a formal education setting.

Of course, even free certifications require an investment of time. Some require as little as a month, while others may be eight or more weeks in length. Once completed, however, your certification will boost your resume and set you apart from the crowd. And that’s one of the best ways to increase your odds of getting an interview and a great job.

Once you earn them, be sure to display them proudly on your resume! Here’s how: How to List Certifications on a Resume: Examples and Tips.

Want to check how well your resume performs? Get your free resume review from our trusted experts today!

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Charlotte Grainger

Written by

Charlotte Grainger, Editor & Content Writer, Charlotte Grainger, Editor & Content Writer

Charlotte Grainger is a freelance writer living and working in Sheffield, UK. She has a passion for career development and loves sharing tips and advice. Follow her on Twitter

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