An illustration of a full resume to accompany an article about taking online courses to boost your resume.
Taking these online courses can fill up your resume with skills valued by admissions officers and employers. (Illustration by Katelyn McManis, Columbia College Chicago)

The Best Online Courses To Boost Your Resume and Why You Should Take Them

Invaluable skills such as software proficiency, foreign languages and coding can all be learned online — and will make your application stand out to universities and employers.

College /// Screens x
An illustration of a full resume to accompany an article about taking online courses to boost your resume.

Invaluable skills such as software proficiency, foreign languages and coding can all be learned online — and will make your application stand out to universities and employers.

Crafting a presentable and full resume for colleges, internships and job opportunities is an important and often challenging milestone for students. However, there are many online courses and resources available to boost your written accomplishments. In today’s high schools, the goal is often to do as much as you can to fill the blank space, regardless of your interests and the applicability to your intended career path. Often, students’ resumes become overrun with irrelevant and inapplicable “skills” that do not push them to the top of hiring or admissions pools. Regardless of where you are in your academic career, these online courses can help show your many qualifications and bring your resume to its fullest potential.

1. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn offers a wide array of online courses that are easily applicable to any resume. Available to those enrolled in LinkedIn through an organization such as a university or through a LinkedIn Learning subscription, the program offers specialized instruction in the subjects that are most applicable to your job search. LinkedIn uses data from your profile and job search criteria to curate a profile of courses that will benefit you most. Moreover, at the completion of each course, you receive a Certificate of Completion that further validates your knowledge of the subject. Some of the most common online courses offered through LinkedIn are:

Microsoft Excel

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the tons of information in a spreadsheet? LinkedIn Learning’s online courses in Excel range from coverage of the basics to some of the most niche techniques and tricks needed to use the program successfully. Specialized courses include Business Analytics, Supply Chain Analytics, Corporate Finance for Professionals and more.

Microsoft PowerPoint

Want to make beautiful PowerPoint presentations to amaze your class or employers? Try LinkedIn Learning’s PowerPoint courses to help. Online courses in PowerPoint, like Excel, offer multiple lessons to specialize in the different components of the program and how to use them to their fullest potential.

Python

Python is a high-level programming language used by many companies around the world. LinkedIn Learning provides several online courses to master Python, both in its independent functions and its integration with other platforms such as Microsoft Excel.

Marketing

LinkedIn offers a variety of courses related to marketing and how using it effectively can grow your brand and your success in the professional world. Many of their courses specialize in social media marketing, a skill that is becoming more and more applicable by the day.

General Advancement Courses

LinkedIn offers many general advancement courses, along with those of specialized programs, to help with organization, productivity and personal growth. These courses, while not designed for a specific career path, are extremely helpful for any student looking to work on themselves and their abilities. Some of the most popular topics include “Unlocking Your Potential,” “Success Habits” and “Self-Compassion.”

A LinkedIn Learning subscription costs $29.99 per month for a monthly subscription or $19.99 per month for an annual subscription. Both subscriptions include the option for a one-month free trial. If you already have a LinkedIn Premium account (highly recommended!), you will have access to all that LinkedIn Learning has to offer for free.

2. Language Learning

Learning a new language can seem daunting, but there are many online courses that make it fun and easy. A variety of apps and websites provide affordable, guided study plans and courses to help you with your language learning endeavors.

Duolingo

This language learning app could be mistaken for a game because it is so fun! Developers created Duolingo, which offers courses in more than 20 languages, to inspire students of all ages to take on a new language. Duolingo uses “gamification” to entice its users to keep learning and not put their devices down. It doesn’t just focus on monotonous grammar; there are many different categories in each lesson that allow users to learn essential vocabulary for speaking conversationally.

The original Duolingo is free to all learners. However, they also offer Duolingo Plus, an ad-free experience that allows access to offline lessons, too. Duolingo has many different subscription options to fit the needs of all students choosing this path. A one-month subscription costs $9.99 per month, a six-month subscription costs $7.99 per month, and a one-year subscription costs $6.99 per month. If you are a student, you are eligible for a student account that only costs $3.49 per month for unlimited courses.

Babbel

Though its animations are less colorful and exciting, Babbel is another app that makes language learning through an online course easy and accessible. This app is better for a deeper understanding of the language on both a conversational and grammatical level, while still integrating interesting activities and lesson plans.

Babbel’s monthly subscription starts at $12.95 per month and decreases with several monthly subscription packs (three, six and 12 months for $26.85, $44.70 and $83.40, respectively.) This is more expensive than Duolingo, but it is a great option for users who want more in-depth instruction.

Spotify

If you’re looking for a totally free option to learn a new language, Spotify has many online courses in their podcast section. Simply search for the language you want to learn on the app and a list of podcasts will show up. This is a great way to learn if you are often on the go, whether it be in the car, on a plane or even at work. Because it is just audio, there is no “gamification” and most of the comprehension is achieved through recitation and audio.

A standard Spotify membership is free for all users. You can purchase a Spotify Premium membership starting at $9.99 per month for ad-free and offline listening. They offer student and family plans, too, costing $4.99 and $14.99 respectively.

3. Codecademy

Coding has quickly taken over the professional world and is a more than valuable skill to add to your resume. Knowing where to start with coding seems difficult, especially if you have never attempted it before. However, Codecademy is a great way to fix that. Codecademy offers online courses for all aspects of coding, from building a website to data analytics, and in all topics, they have you covered and will help with every step of the process. In their courses, you will be coding and creating stunning projects within minutes, and you will receive valuable feedback on how you can improve your work.

Codecademy costs $19.99 per month following an initial 7-day free trial, which gives you access to everything that Codecademy has to offer.

Building your resume can seem difficult at first, but with a little bit of time and determination, it is possible. Check out any of these options to help you in your resume journey!

Writer Profile

Kelsie Westmoreland

Washington and Lee University
Business Administration and Art History

Some of my favorite things include reading any YA novel I can get my hands on, practicing or watching ballet, baking (the more chocolate, the better!) and exercising!

Leave a Reply