How to Demonstrate Your New Skills to a Potential Employer

Taking low-cost or free classes is a great way to gain knowledge and skills about a subject area that you may be lacking on your resume. To learn more about where to find these classes, read here.

I’ve had clients take classes on video editing, CPR, Microsoft Word, copywriting, marketing, culinary and more. After completing these classes, they feel more confident and prepared to apply for jobs.

If you have taken classes to prepare for your career change or new job, there are several ways to demonstrate your new skills to a potential employer:

Add your skills and relevant coursework to you resume-  skills

The goal of a resume is to share to a potential employer how you would bring value to their company. If a job description requires proficiency in a specific area and you’ve taken relevant courses to build that skill set, you should add them to your resume in sections such as “Relevant Coursework” or “Technical Skills”.

Create a portfolio-

If you are looking to enter a creative field like marketing, writing, culinary or photography- build a Small-Blue-Logotypeportfolio of your work. You can create an online portfolio through Weebly which is a free, easy platform to set up a website or blog. There is no better way to share your expertise with a potential employer than demonstrating your work. You can share links to your portfolio on your resume and your LinkedIn profile.

Freelance (paid and non-paid positions) – freelance-day-getty

I’ve had several clients share their new skill set through freelancing. They’ve offered their services to small businesses and nonprofits in both paid and non-paid capacities. They used their freelance work to build their resume, references and recommendations on LinkedIn.

Do your homework!

You may have to do a little research to see how other people in your industry are marketing themselves and include keywords and specific information when deciding how you want to show off your new skill set.

You may also want to get imaginative and try something new. For example, I had a friend who was seeking a product marketing position and only applied to two companies. She made a customized welcome packet for every company for which she applied and physically dropped it off to the receptionist. She received callbacks and job offers from both companies.

Do you have any other suggestions on how to market your skill set? If so, please comment below.

I Don’t Want to Go Back to College. So Don’t!

As career counselor, I often have clients who are looking to make a career transition but do not want to go back to college or graduate school. My response is, “so don’t!” So the next question is, “Well how do I get the job if I’m not qualified?”

Here’s one fact you may not know about me- I ran a website development and small business marketing company with a friend for two years.  Do I have any formal website development, social media marketing and business administration training?  No! It was all self-taught. Did my clients care that I did not have formal training? No, I never got asked a single question about my qualifications nor educational background (only requests for references). I was referred by word-of-mouth.

How did I gain that experience? Through online and low-cost in person classes.  The suggestions below offer classes in a variety of subject areas whether you need to brush up on skills or learn a whole new skill-set all together.

Here’s how:

  1. Take free or low-cost online classes. With the Internet, information is at your fingertips without having to spend thousands of dollars on a formal education. Some inexpensive options are:

    1. Skillshare– For $0-10 a month, you can take online classes from industry experts. I’ve skillshare-seen classes ranging from hand-writing to logo design. Classes range from design, photography, business, film, technology, fashion, music, gaming, culinary, DIY, writing, crafts and more.
    2. coursera– Offers free online classes moderated by instructors from top universities and educational organizations such as coursera-2074Stanford, Yale and Princeton. These are similar to taking college classes and can often be a time-investment. Participants who complete the classes will often walk away with a certificate of completion.  Any class you can imagine is likely available, ranging from social psychology to finance.
    3. CreativeLive– Offers free and paid classes by industry experts that are very hands-on logoand practical. Here’s the caveat, you either watch the class for free as it is broadcasted live or you pay for it if you missed it. Classes are organized based on the following topics: photo and video, art and design, music and audio, craft and maker, and money and life.
  2. Take free or low-cost classes in-person.

    1. SBDC or Chamber of Commerce- Your Small Business Development Center and Chamber of Commerce often has business classes ranging from QuickBooks to online marketing. These are low-cost and you can often network with professionals who may be seeking employees.
    2. Library- Have you checked out your local library? You can take free classes ranging from using Microsoft Office to learning coding.
    3. Community College Continuing Education- Colleges and universities in your area may be offering low-cost classes to the community ranging from event management certificates to basic accounting classes.

My next article will be focused on how to demonstrate the skills you learned from these classes to potential employers and how to market them.  I hope you enjoy!