The importance of staying trained on the most up-to-date skills and procedures is important for all sectors, no matter if you’re employed or not. But what’s the best way to make your resume stand out above everyone else’s?
Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, are just what they sound like: huge courses that thousands of people take at their leisure. They’re rising in popularity and offer a cheap, easy way to become educated without having to attend crowded lecture halls or shell out for expensive textbooks. Even high-profile schools, like Harvard, Stanford and MIT, offer MOOCs.
How to Use It
MOOCs’ Achilles Heel is its sheer size. With so many people availing themselves of it, it’s impossible to keep track of them—including who’s the actual author behind the work, a problem especially tricky to handle with elite universities, as everyone would love to have a certificate from Yale. Take the time to choose a MOOC that results in an ID Verified Certificate of Achievement. It’ll take a bit of time and uploading, but the proof is worth it.
Expert industry speakers regularly share their knowledge and tips on how to succeed in a particular field, and can be as broad as “Workplace Communication” or as narrow as “Ethics of Swiss Offshore Banking in the 21st century.” They’re a handy way to both gather current information and make valuable networking connections.
How to Use It
Always show up in smart clothes, a stack of business cards, and about a dozen copies of crisp, up-to-date resumes. Take notes and ask questions. Introduce yourself to those around you. And always be asking yourself how you can apply what you’ve learned to various job situations. Seminars are theoretically-based training tools, but they’re only as good as the effort you put into them.
Sort of like seminars, workshops take a more practical, hands-on approach with more interaction. You’ll learn concrete tips on how to get back into the workplace (if you’re unemployed) or how to excel (if you’re employed), with workshops available for just about every aspect of employment.
How to Use It
First, decide what exactly you need to workshop on. Is it to build a better resume, or to use a good one more effectively? Do you freeze up during interviews, or have no idea how to even get to that stage? Once you’ve identified that, find workshops in your city that address what you’re looking for, and use the same method as you would for seminars. And no matter how much you may think you might not need a workshop, remember that any education is better than none. Even if the workshop didn’t end up a fit, you’re already a step ahead in knowing what to cross off the list for next time.
No matter which option you choose, there's always one that'll help you make yourself stand heads and shoulders above other colleagues and applicants.