Résumé Need a Boost? Start with Non-stop Learning [797 words]

Part 1 of 2: Never Stop Learning

Does your résumé need a boost? Sometimes our day jobs provide us with all the skills, training, and challenge we need to grow in our careers. Many times, however, we find ourselves stuck in a routine that limits our growth. Other times, we just want to stand out in a sea of applicants.

Follow these tips if you want to:

  • take on additional responsibility at work
  • compete for a promotion
  • apply to your first management job
  • change careers, companies, or industries
  • enter the job market for the first time or after an extended leave

Add Certifications and Designations to Your Résumé

Industry-specific certifications

There are companies and associations that provide training for almost every industry. For example, in the insurance industry, you can boost your résumé by passing courses from a number of groups.

Professional Certifications can help establish you as an expert in your field or give you credibility in an industry.

Nearly every industry has groups like these. Simply search Google for “industry designations” or “industry certifications.” Be sure to include the name of your industry (financial services, retail, construction, etc.). Your employer may even cover the cost of books and exams.

These designations are still valuable if you work in a support function within your industry. Perhaps you work in Information Technology for agribusiness or Human Resources within the travel industry, for example. You’ll have a much better understanding of the company for which you work and the internal customers you serve. This can help you stand out when it’s time to apply for a promotion or lateral transfer within your company.

Discipline-related certifications

Whatever type of job you do, there are likely associations that provide certifications for your discipline. Most people are familiar with the Project Management Institute (PMI)’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Other certifications exist for other types of roles.

  • The International Institute of Business Analysts (IIBA) offers Certified Business Analysis Professional (CBAP) and other certifications.
  • Training Industry offers Certified Professional in Training Management and other credentials. There are many certifications for professional trainers.
  • There are several Call Center certifications.

Again, a simple Google search for certifications or designations and your job title should do the trick.

College degrees and certificates

College Degree
Consider a college certification or degree.

If you don’t have a degree, or don’t have a degree in your field, you might consider this option. Local and online colleges often have certificate programs that can be earned relatively quickly and cheaply. Degrees are easier than ever to obtain through distance learning, evening courses, or traditional campus experiences. Don’t be afraid to go back to school, even if it’s just to take one class.

Talk to recruiters and hiring managers in your profession. Do they look for advanced training certificates or post-graduate degrees? Do some research before you make a big investment.


Step up to the microphone and gain leadership skills with Toastmasters.

Toastmasters is the single best value in experiential learning. You can learn to speak in public, manage meetings, improve your listening skills, and test leadership skills. By performing various roles at weekly meetings, you also earn designations in communication and leadership that you can add to your résumé. Depending on the specific club you join, you may be able to expand your professional network as well.

Expand Skills or Experience Section of Your Résumé

Online courses

Many website offer free or inexpensive online instruction. Some let you view or audit courses for free. Some charge a monthly subscription fee or a per-course fee. Coursera, for example, will provide you with an electronic certificate for LinkedIn if you pay a modest fee and complete a course series.

Quick skill-builders

You can also subscribe to YouTube channels and Podcasts to brush up on old skills or learn new ones.

Read, read, and read some more

Books are still a great way to learn for very little out-of-pocket cost. Your local library is free. With eReaders and tablets, you can take literally thousands of books with you everywhere you go. There are numerous blog posts that can help you learn new skills. For example, you can learn about giving positive feedback, giving constructive feedback, or overcoming unconscious bias.  Translate what you learn into action. List those successful projects and initiatives among your accomplishments.

Please share with me how you’re boosting your résumé. I’d love to hear from you!

Permission to Reprint

Permission to reprint articles by Amy C. Waninger is hereby given to all print, broadcast, and electronic media, provided that the contact information at the end of each article is included in your publication.

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Permission to reprint articles by Amy C. Waninger is granted at no charge with the agreement that:

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Amy C. Waninger Author Bio

Amy C. Waninger is the Founder & CEO of Lead at Any Level, where she improves employee engagement and retention for companies that promote from within. Amy offers assessments, advisory services, and training on essential skills for inclusive leaders. She is the author of eight books. Learn more at www.LeadAtAnyLevel.com

Also available for download: profile photos, extended bios by industry



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10 responses to “Résumé Need a Boost? Start with Non-stop Learning [797 words]”
  1. […] Build new skills for your resume […]

  2. […] asked, “We’re facing serious expense pressures. How can we continue to support professional development? How can we learn on a […]

  3. […] are keen on personal growth. They want jobs that will help them develop their professional skills and […]

  4. […] way to make the most of your local campus (or an online program) is to take a class. During your studies, you’ll have a chance to collaborate and connect with people of all […]

  5. […] some questions about the open role. What level of experience is required? Which skills are most important? How large is the company, and what industry does it serve? Does the recruiter […]

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  9. […] compiling a résumé and searching for a job. If you have work experience in your field, you need strategies to stand out from other applicants. Those who are shifting focus mid-career need to focus on transferable skills […]

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