Words by: Katie Marrin
Photo by: Christina Morilla for Pexels.
“We loved you and your application and interview were really impressive, but we went with someone else who just had a little bit more experience than you.”
I’m sure these words will be as familiar to every other recent grad as they are to me – whilst I’m now in my second full time job post-university, this was the frustrating phrase that I continued to hear after every interview or application.
Then there’s the old age question – if nobody will hire me, how can I get more experience? It’s a vicious circle.
With work experience currently being incredibly difficult to secure due to COVID, there’s never been a better time to embrace the world of online courses – I LOVE an online course, so here are my recommendations for free/cheap online courses to help your CV stand out from the crowd.
I cannot recommend this course enough – even if you’re not pursuing a marketing career, the world is evolving into a digital environment so having strong digital knowledge and skills can only serve you well.
This course covers everything from social media to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and selling products online, so there will definitely be skills that you can take from this qualification that will apply to most sectors and professions. Plus, it’s a Google certification, so that’s pretty impressive in itself.
The course itself is pretty hefty, and it ends with an exam, but it will be worth the effort.
Introducing British Sign Language – Pay What You Can
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, British Sign who run this course have reduced their usual fee of £25 to a ‘Pay What You Can’ system, so there’s never been a better time to learn sign language.
The course is fully online and allows you to learn at your own pace with several modules and assessments throughout to cement your knowledge. This course will be a fantastic thing to help you stand out – very few people can use sign language, so it’s a unique and useful skill in a world that is looking to enhance its accessibility awareness.
Achieving this course shows you are thoughtful, inclusive, committed and a great communicator. Plus you have a year to complete the course, so what is there to lose?
Google Analytics Academy – FREE
Another fantastic course from Google, this analytics focused certification is a must for your online course list. Most companies have a website, which means most of them have analytics – knowing how to read and understand those analytics, even if it’s not provided by Google, could be critical to your value and progression within a company.
With multiple levels of complexity, these courses allow for continual progress and make for an impressive addition to your skillset.
Another course that showcases your connection to the digital world, this certification from HubSpot covers a range of social media marketing tools.
From video marketing to inbound content strategies, if you’re looking to get specific with socials, then this is the course for you. Many people claim to understand social media because they use it every day, but this will set you aside from the crowd with an understanding that goes deeper than the social media surface.
ALISON Courses – FREE (Paid Certificates)
This recommendation comes in the form of a full website rather than a specific course.
From customer service and supply management to mental health and tourism, the breadth of subjects on offer here is astounding. If you’re looking for something specific within your area of interest, it’s likely that ALISON will have it.
Perhaps most notable is their Microsoft certifications across the Microsoft Office suite – many job descriptions specify a requirement for Microsoft Suite competency, so this give you a chance to prove your skills to hiring managers.
All of these courses are fantastic opportunities, but it’s important to remember that you should only complete online courses that will actually benefit you and boost your CV. Recruiters will not be impressed by a long list of online courses that are random and irrelevant – so be selective, and find online courses that match job description skills for the roles you’re looking for. In this way, you should you’re independent, committed, passionate, and willing to learn and develop – that’s a quality you can’t learn or buy.