Certifications are a quick way to gain skills that will boost your resume and raise your value as a job candidate. While not all certification programs are free, there are several reputable certifications that won’t take up too much time or money. Here are eight carefully-vetted free online certifications we recommend.
#1: Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification Course
The HubSpot Inbound Marketing Certification Course teaches you the basics of SEO, blogging, conversion analysis, and reporting, among other concepts. A course in inbound marketing can make you appealing to startups and entrepreneurs interested in hiring someone who can help them grow their businesses.
This is an especially valuable online certification since HubSpot is one of the most popular platforms in digital marketing. The course takes five hours to complete and includes 10 lessons:
- Inbound Marketing Fundamentals
- Planning a Long-Term Content Strategy
- Creating a Blog Post
- Creating Topic Clusters and Pillar Pages
- Understanding Social Media Promotion
- Developing a Conversational Growth Strategy
- Understanding Conversion Strategy
- Understanding Lead Nurturing
- Aligning Your Marketing With Sales
- Applying a Customer Marketing Approach
Once you finish these lessons, you’ll take a one-hour exam. Then—voila—you’ve completed one of the most valuable free certification courses!
Bonus: Marketers looking for more cheap certifications can also check out Google Digital Garage for digital certification in search engines and social media, as well as Google’s Academy for Ads to get Adword certified.
#2 LinkedIn Learning Certifications
LinkedIn Learning has partnered with organizations to provide certifications and courses online. While not all of the courses are free, many of them are—like this one by Danny Sullivan on SEO. This certification provides you the opportunity to learn directly from the best in the field you’re aiming to conquer.
From marketing to product and manufacturing to web design, whatever it is you want to become skilled in, LinkedIn Learning has you covered. In fact, you can secure an online certification from more than 16,000 expert-led classes.
Note: There’s no way to filter free courses in LinkedIn Learning, but if you take the time to search for them, it’ll be well worth it.
#3 Project Management Professional (PMP) Course
Cybrary provides tons of free and paid courses on different topics. The Project Management Professional (PMP) course teaches you how to initiate, plan and manage any project and takes just over five hours to complete. It is a globally recognized, free certification that will help you get your foot in the door whether you work in Project Management or not.
Project Management is a great skill for anyone to have because it shows hiring managers that you can take charge and solve problems. But it’s especially useful for engineers, healthcare professionals, financial professionals, and more.
#4: Code Camp Free Certifications
Earn quick certifications you can add to your resume. And when you’re ready, gain free experience by working on open source projects used by nonprofits. Geared toward beginners, this free certification walks you through each “challenge” in a step-by-step manner.
#5: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
If you want to find free job training, a MOOC from a well-respected university might fit your bill. The open online course system offers a range of subjects, from marketing to writing to history. There are many free certifications you can secure, such as Crisis Management: Proseminar in Public Relations. But if your goal is to earn a credential, some courses do require a nominal fee.
Now more than ever, skills that relate to your industry are a necessary component in your resume. Certifications help back up your skills for a true ATS-friendly resume.
#6: AWS Certification
Amazon offers free digital AWS training as well as a free entry-level certification. Just sign up with the link above using your Amazon login info.
Amazon Web Services is a cloud computing platform that many industries and companies of all different sizes use. Cloud computing helps make companies more organized and more competitive. Getting AWS certified will make applicants more desirable job candidates.
Jobscan uses AI and machine learning to identify the most important skills for the job. To get an idea of which certifications would benefit your job search the most, try running your resume and an interesting job posting through Jobscan.
#7: Google Analytics Academy
Google Analytics Academy hosts free courses for all levels. There is a course for beginners, advanced users, power users, Google Analytics 360 users as well as courses on using Data Studio and Google Tag Manager. Each course is quick and can be viewed at any time.
Google Analytics is a program used by most companies to measure site metrics and other user data. Whether you work in content, product, engineering, or just want to learn more about how companies measure progress, getting to know Google Analytics will benefit you.
If you’re just starting out, the Beginner’s Course covers the following units:
- Introducing Google Analytics
- The Google Analytics Interface
- Basic Reports
- Basic Campaign and Conversion Tracking
#8: Web Design by Udemy
Interested in learning more about web design? Web Design for Web Developers: Build Beautiful Websites! by Udemy is a good place to start. It only takes two and a half hours to complete and is packed with tips for beginners. More than 460400 students have worked their way through this course, which includes 19 lectures.
You’ll also get access to a free course e-book that you can reference whenever you need a refresher.
How to List Certifications on a Resume
Now that you know which certifications to include in your resume, let’s talk about how to list and format them correctly.
Create a Designated Section
Create a section specifically for your certifications at the very bottom of your resume. You can call it “Certifications,” “Professional Training,” or “Courses.” This way, your hard-earned certifications will be easy to spot, since hiring managers typically only spend a couple of seconds skimming each resume.
List Certifications in Reverse Chronological Order
Just like your work experience section of your resume, your certifications sections should include dates. You can put the dates in parentheses and organize them in reverse chronological order, with your most recent course taken at the top.
Dates, and the order in which you list them, ensure that all information is parsed correctly by applicant tracking systems.
Bold Important Details
Bold font can be used to highlight important details, like the name of a highly-distinguished certification program or a follow-up project you completed as an additional component of the certification.
Here’s an example of how your certifications section should look:
Take a look at our free ATS-friendly resume templates to help you construct your own resume.
And if you need help ensuring your resume—and the certifications on it—match the job description you’re applying for, copy and paste both into our optimization tool below!
This article was originally published on December 1, 2016. It was updated on September 6, 2019, and again on April 2, 2021.
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