There are so many free resources online that can truly bring an edge to your job search, and if you’re smart about your use of time, you can really get a leg up and improve your soft skills.
If you have down time between writing cover letters and applying to jobs, or if you’re currently unemployed and looking for a constructive way to fill your day, you should take advantage of the opportunity to give yourself a competitive advantage over other candidates. These free courses will do just that.
6 Free Online Courses on Coursera to Boost Your Career Skills
HOW TO ACE AN INTERVIEW, EVEN WHEN YOU’RE REALLY NERVOUS
Take - Introduction to Public Speaking
This 18-hour course is an intense one, but you’ll be so, so glad you took it. After all - public speaking skills are hugely applicable to interviewing when you’ll likely be put on the spot to sell yourself, and to answer tough questions. This course teaches immensely useful oral communication skills that strengthen your interview skills and help you later on in your career when you need to make presentations or speak during meetings.
HOW TO GET BETTER AT WRITING
Take - High-impact Business Writing
No matter your field or level of expertise, strong writing skills will always give you an advantage as a job candidate, and in your career. You need to write well to craft a strong cover letter, communicate effectively with co-workers and clients, write engaging emails, write compelling presentations, and so much more. Coursera’s High-impact Business Writing is a four to eight-hour course that is 100% worth it.
HOW TO NEGOTIATE A SALE, SALARY OR RAISE
Take - Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
Negotiation will be a part of every aspect of your career - from answering tricky questions in an interview, to negotiating a job offer or a raise, to making deals with clients and colleagues. This course teaches a tangible, a multi-purpose strategy that you can use for all three - and in many more situations, too.
HOW TO MAKE TOUGH DECISIONS AT WORK
Take - Effective Problem-Solving and Decision Making
Conflicts are inevitable in the workplace, and managers appreciate employees who approach issues in an intelligent, intentional manner. This four to eight hour course will show you how to assess problems, evaluate solutions and anticipate risks, using real case studies so you can gain a sense of real-life situations you might encounter in your own career.
HOW TO UNDERSTAND YOUR COMPANY’S FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING
Take - Finance for Non-Finance Professionals
Even if you aren’t in finance, having a basic understanding of your company’s financial strategy is extremely helpful. Not only will it provide you with a comprehension of how your role interacts with the organization’s larger goals, but it will also inform your own decisions, both personal and professional.
HOW TO BE HAPPY AT WORK
Take - A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
Your satisfaction in your personal life and your contentment in your career are interdependent. If you are unhappy in general, a negative mood will likely have a negative effect on your performance at work. If you hate your job, you’ll probably be miserable even when you’re not actually working. This course might not seem so relevant to your career, but, it will certainly help you obtain a positive work-life balance and cheer up your prospects even if you’re in the midst of a dreary job search.
Add Your Courses to Your Resume and LinkedIn
Be sure to add the most relevant courses you have taken to your LinkedIn profile and your resume. You'll have more skills to add to both, and taking classes shows that you're moving your career forward and boosting your expertise.
By Alison Doyle
Job Searching Expert