To maximize your chances of getting noticed by hiring managers, you need a resume that elevates you above the crowd. Your resume should demonstrate that you’re not only qualified, but a perfect fit for the company’s team. Free certifications are a great way to enhance your resume, showcase your talent and qualifications, and stay within your budget.
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. Many experts recommend summer as a good time to pick up a new certification (or two!).
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.
Here is the list of the seven free certification programs our team of experts recommend, followed by a summary of each item.
Why free certifications matter
Many employers rely on applicant tracking systems 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. Many times, 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. Try out some of these free certifications to prove you're more qualified than other candidates!
Free certifications can provide a cost-effective way for you to bolster your credentials. 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 seven free certifications that can help capture an employer’s interest and give you a leg up on your rivals.
Upgrade your resume with these 7 free certifications
1. FEMA Certification
FEMA certification from the Emergency Management Institute is one of the most widely-applicable free certifications out there today. The process is relatively quick to complete and offers preparedness training that many companies will appreciate.
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, and more. Consider it your basic primer for learning about online marketing.
3. WordPress Academy
One of the best 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.
4. MIT’s Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python
The Introduction to Computer Science and Programming Using Python course is free, but 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 certifications that may be perfect for you.
5. Alison Diploma in Project Management
Obviously, 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.
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, and more.
7. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
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, much more. There’s something for just about everybody!
Listing free certifications on your resume can bolster your odds of landing a job! It 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.
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The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.