Many people often wonder what certifications are and why they need to have one. Do you really need to be certified just to prove that you are qualified for a given role? If so, where can one find free online certifications to get started? What about the work experiences? Aren’t they enough to convince potential employers that a job seeker is the right candidate?
What is a Certification?
A certification is a document awarded by accredited organizations. It validates your skills or experience. To earn it, employees must pay a fee. They should get high test scores or pass an assessment.
Earning this document is challenging and time consuming. Despite these, professionals still work on their certifications. In this way, they can be considered more qualified. They also likely have a better reputation than their peers in the same field. Therefore, employers prefer them to those who have no certifications.
Why Do Certifications Matter?
Certifications are important because they serve as proof—they show your technical know-how to some extent. If you still don’t have enough experience, certificates boost your confidence. Moreover, listing your certifications on your resume can help you stand out. They highlight your skills and expertise, and they can be used as keywords on your resume and social media profiles. In this way, your job application can be easily spotted by hiring managers.
When you have a certification, you can indirectly emphasize your good traits. For example, your efforts devoted to completing an online course can show how passionate you are. The certificate you earned can also prove that you are self-disciplined. It can also show how committed you are to your work. It manifests your competence as well. In addition, it showcases your initiative to hone your skills.
List of Free Online Certifications You Can Take
Many accredited institutions offer free online certifications by taking up and completing certain courses. While others require you to pay for a hard copy once you complete your course, here is a list of free online certifications you can check out.
1. HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification Course
As a growth platform used by well-known companies, HubSpot provides free online certifications. Through HubSpot Academy, you can learn basic knowledge about SEO, blogging, conversion analysis, reporting, and other concepts. For instance, if you complete a course in inbound marketing and earn your certificate, you can increase your chances of being hired by business owners who want to grow their business.
2. Alison’s Certification in Supervision Skills
Alison is another online learning website that offers more than 1,300 free courses with certificates. It also gives you an option to search courses by life stages depending on your current career status.
For example, if you are about to become a manager, you can earn a certification in supervision skills. This course helps you deal with issues and improve your leadership skills. It also provides strategies that can address team conflict.
3. Project Management Professional Course
Cybrary offers free and paid courses. For example, the Project Management Professional course covers topics on how you can initiate, plan, and manage a project. With this certification, you have proof that you can handle and solve problems efficiently.
4. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Certifications
The FEMA provides free online certifications for those involved in tackling emergency situations in the workplace.
5. freeCodeCamp Certifications
6. Coursera IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
As an online learning platform, Coursera matches professionals with many top-ranked schools and companies. You can create an account for free and have access to many courses and programs from which you can receive free online certifications. However, you would need to pay a fee to have unlimited access after the free trial period.
For example, you can earn a certificate in data science from IBM. Through this course, you will learn about making and accessing a database instance on cloud. You can also learn how to write basic SQL statements. You can hone your skills in data science, machine learning, Python programming, and data visualization.
7. LinkedIn Learning Certifications
In partnership with various organizations, LinkedIn Learning provides both paid and free online certifications and courses. For instance, SEO certification gives you a chance to learn directly from experts. It also offers courses in other fields like marketing, production, manufacturing, and web design.
8. Amazon Web Services (AWS) Certification
AWS serves as a cloud computing platform. It helps companies become more organized and competitive. With Amazon, you can have free digital AWS training. Thus, you can earn a free entry-level certification.
9. Google Analytics Academy
Google Analytics Academy offers free courses for beginners, advanced users, power users, and Google Analytics 360 users. It also provides courses on Data Studio and Google Tag Manager. Certifications for other tools are also available. For instance, the Advanced Google Analytics course includes four units with several topics. It helps you assess website traffic. It also offers new marketing strategies on how to increase your audience.
10. Google Ads Search Certification
As a Google-owned training platform, Skillshop helps you hone your skills in using any Google tool. For example, if you need Google Ads for your job, you can have a certification on Google Ads in search, display, video, and shopping ads. With Google Ads Search certification, you can highlight your skills in building a digital marketing and Google search strategy.
11. Web Design by Udemy
Udemy offers a certification on web design courses. These courses provide useful tips for individuals with different skill levels.
12. Massive Open Online Courses
Massive Open Online Courses offer free job training and online courses. This system offers various subjects, such as marketing, writing, and even history. In addition, it provides many free courses, such as Crisis Resource Management. It also caters some courses that require a nominal fee if you need to earn a credential.
13. edX Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
As an online course provider, edX works with more than 100 institutions. Together, they offer many certifications. For example, you can learn about Python programming, corporate finance, and American Sign Language.
Some edX certification programs are costly, while others are free. For example, you can take the course Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies. In this course, you will learn to identify smart entrepreneurial opportunities. You will also develop skills that help you solve issues in societies with emerging economies. You can complete this course in about six weeks. You can also order a verified certificate for $199 if you need one.
How to Add and List Certifications on Your Resume
Once you’ve earned your free online certifications, what’s next? Showcasing your certifications on a resume is key to standing out from a pile of resumes. Therefore, you need to know how to present them on your resume. You can follow the steps below to list your certifications:
1. Specify the title of your certification.
Under the section ‘Certifications’, indicate the full title of your certification. Ensure that the name is correctly typed. Abbreviations should also be spelled out. In this way, your potential employers can search for relevant details if they are unfamiliar with it.
2. Indicate the name of the host organization.
Specify the name of the institution that granted your certification. In this way, your hiring manager can check if it is valid. Ensure that it is spelled out and has no typo errors. If you have an online resume, you may insert a link to the association’s website. Thus, your readers can easily find it.
3. Provide the date when you earned your certification.
Indicate the date when you received your certificate. In this way, you can inform your reader about how long it has been since you earned it. The date is also relevant if your employer wants to contact the host organization to check its validity. If your certification needs renewal, list the most recent date when it was renewed.
4. List the date when you will earn your certification.
For ongoing certification courses, you can still include them on your resume. This applies to both paid and free online certifications. Having that said; be sure to provide the expected date when your certification will be awarded. Indicate as well the status or progress of your course.
5. Describe the details of your related skills.
Briefly describe the skills related to your certification if they are directly crucial to your target job. In this way, you can explain its value. You can answer any questions that your hiring manager might ask.
When to Include Certifications on Your Resume
You need to consider many factors to know if you should list both paid and free online certifications you’ve obtained. Some of them are listed below:
- Highlight your skills and expertise
- Prove your experience in your desired industry
- Show your proficiency if you have limited practical experience
- Meet the qualifications needed for a particular job, which specifically requires certification
Unfortunately, including your certifications on your resume may not be as simple as you think. For instance, if they are crucial to your target job, you must place them on the upper part of your resume. You can also include them in your summary. If not, your potential employer might miss them. If they have a supporting role in your professional career, you should make a section for all your certifications on your resume. Now, have you figured out how to include your certifications on your resume? Still lost? Fret no more! Our professional resume writers are here to guide you all the way. Contact us today and let’s get started!