Generally speaking, certifications play an important role in a resume – when used right. To fully understand this, we have to first understand what a certification is.
From Google’s definition, a certification is ‘an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement.’ They are used to show that the holder is trained and competent to handle a job.
There are job-specific certifications that are almost a must if you want to grow fast in that career. Also, some certifications hold the most weight when issued by the right certifying institution.
So certifications can be important or not depending on the career path or industry of the hiring company.
Is it a Good Idea to Include Online Courses in My Resume Without a Certificate?
It’s not for the best in my opinion. Employers often do their due diligence and may ask you to submit all documents mentioned in your resume. Not being able to provide the certificate for a course or training may give the impression you lied on your resume.
So if there’s a way you can get the certificate for that course you took, you have to get it.
I understand sometimes you may not have the money to pay international shipping for a physical certificate, but you can opt for the digital certificate which is cheaper and should serve fine.
That being said, you may list the online courses without certification if you have enough space on your resume and the certificates are relevant to the job. When invited, you can explain why you don’t have the certificate.
Generally, I advise fresh graduates to create a ‘courses completed’ section on their resume. Instead of mentioning it as a certificate in your resume, mention the course as completed. Also, you can show a digital or hard copy of the records as proof of completing the course. In addition, if you’re knowledgeable about the course, no one will bother about the certificate.
How to Find the Right Certification
While this is a decision you must take yourself, note that all certifications are different. There are some you shouldn’t bother taking, while others give you an edge in your career. Here are some crucial steps to help you:
- Determine the Purpose: What do You Need It for?
Figure out why you want to take the course and what it can do for your resume and career. Many graduates are getting certified with a college education and specialized courses. You can do the same when you know the certification you need.
For some, getting a certification offers them more credibility in the workplace. This is true, especially for fresh graduates aiming for more senior roles in different industries. Being professionally credible means you mostly get considered before others.
- Research on Course Providers and Certifications
Before settling on an institute or body offering certifications, you must reflect on what it means to you and consider the programs. Doing so will help you make a balanced decision after learning about the advantages and drawbacks of the certifications.
Consider these factors before choosing.
- The cost of the course is essential. How much are you willing to spend?
- Whether the course will help you improve personally or professionally, there should be opportunities for growth or higher-level openings.
- Check out the positive and negative reviews of the course.
- Check out the institution or body’s recognition in the industry or comparison to others.
- Consider whether their courses are available online or offline.
- Will certificates be offered after the course, or will it be marked as completed?
- Consider whether the institution helps you look for a job or recommendations after completing it.
- Versatility and Career Progression
Assess the versatility of the certification you want to pursue. Doing so is essential, especially if you plan to work or currently work in an industry. That’s because it can define how your career progresses.
For example, if you have a degree in economics, you have a broad knowledge of how it works. You can also apply for various roles tied to your degree.
However, some more specialized industries and roles require a certain skill set. For such industries and functions, choosing the right type of certification is even more important. This gives you flexibility or security to move across different roles and progress based on your preferences.
- It’s all About Value
Value is everything for your career. You should only bother if the course and certification add value to you and your potential employer. Padding your resume with irrelevant certifications can be a turn-off; It’s one thing to have your resume with many certifications but employers are particular about the value you bring to their organization.
So, are certifications important on a resume? You bet they are! Professional certification is an effective way to get recognition in any industry. Also, it gives you opportunities to enjoy more success in your career.
A certification is an investment in knowledge; now, you know how to find the right ones. Ensure the institution running a certificate course guarantees value and other benefits to your career.