As a new grad, chances are you’ve invested plenty of time and attention to perfecting your resume. Unfortunately, so have your classmates—and your dream employer is likely sifting through hundreds of near-identical documents.
If resumes are no longer enough to get your foot in the door, how can you stand out with little real-world experience under your belt? Employers are increasingly hunting for candidates with digital badges—proof that new workers have the specific business and technical skills to hit the ground running in a new position.
But don’t let the thought of continuing education after four (or more) long years of college scare you. Online credentialing programs are the perfect fit for young professionals because they allow you to learn specific skills quickly, affordably and online. They’re the secret weapon that new grads and entry-level workers need to get ahead.
Land the Job
Chances are you have a dream job in mind. Make sure you’re seen as the perfect fit by earning and promoting digital badges to potential employers. Badges in topics like leadership and project management are relevant to most industries and fill gaps that employers typically see in new grads’ experience. To make the most of a prospective employer’s attention, you can even take courses to learn how to prepare for an interview through the University Learning Store.
Start Off Right
You’ve landed a great job—but find that you’re missing some important knowledge to work with confidence. Maybe you’re wondering how to write a business proposal, or feeling insecure about email etiquette. Credentialing programs through the University Learning Store can help you hone specific skills without wasting time on training you don’t need. All the quick online classes are offered by world-renowned universities, so you’ll get the benefits of learning from reputable faculty without the time and effort (and cost!) of a full degree program. Most courses can be completed in hours or a couple of weeks, so you can boost your skills quickly and affordably.
Market Your Skills
Once you’ve beefed up your skills, show them off to current and prospective employers. Update your LinkedIn page to reflect your digital badges. Keeping your skills current will show your superiors you’re proactive. If you’re applying for jobs, include your professional development certifications on your resume, and in interviews mention specific examples of what you’ve learned. Tell prospective employers how you’ll put your skills into practice to help the company succeed.
Keep up a pattern of life-long learning. Set aside time once a year to audit your skills and identify training needs. Make it a goal to take a few classes every year. At the University Learning Store, you can earn a certification by completing a series of related courses. Looking to show mastery of business communications? Digital badges for microcredentials such as active listening, email communication and phone communication will show you have the background to land a leadership role or make a career transition. An investment in you is an investment that always pays off!
In a competitive job market with changing expectations, it’s more important than ever to keep your skills current. Start early and revisit your skills often. The University Learning Store offers resources from respected higher ed institutions across the country—all accessible from your local coffee shop. Subscribe and be the first to know about the latest digital badges for entry-level employees.