Are you a fresh graduate? Consider adding certifications to your resume.


04 February 2023

Are you a fresh graduate? Consider adding certifications to your resume. illustration

Why certifications on your resume are important?

We aren’t necessarily talking about college degrees that had a specialization in a technical field. The challenge you want to tackle is how you stand out from those thousands of graduates with the same degree and a same or similar specialization to yours. You want to stand out.

If you are someone like the most that we train in our Aspire Academy (email if you are interested), you are wondering what certifications you could possibly add to your resume. You could be a recent BCA graduate from a college in Pune and are wondering how to get your first interview call, from any company for any job. My suggestion is you can easily add some certifications to your resume - the more specific they are to the kind of jobs you want, the better.

Idea in Brief

If you are a fresher, do yourself a favour by adding a couple of certifications to your resume. Finding out which certifications are relevant to your career is very easy - and it is also easy to feel overwhelmed knowing that there is no consensus on the "BEST" certificate you can pursue. Having been in your shoes and having been a hiring manager myself for a long time, let me tell you one thing - Don't waste time finding out which is the BEST certification. Anything is good as long as it is relevant.

What are certifications?

If you haven't heard of certifications before, certifications are just that - you attend some training and the group that offers the training gives you a certificate at the end; and, you can mention this certificate in your resume. While there are so many certifications one can pursue by purchasing or joining a course for a fee, it is far from truth that only paid certifications are considered by employers.

There are so many free certifications one can pursue - portals like Khan Academy, MIT OCW, Google Career Certifications, AWS, Coursera, etc. - the list is endless. All you need is a bit of determination! oh, that's a strong word. Let me revise that statement - all you need is take any action! It's that simple.

If you are like many, who do not know what certifications to pursue to add to your resume, start with most common and useful ones - you cannot go wrong. i.e. the time you spent earning those certifications will not be wasted. A few subject areas to consider certifications on will include MS Excel, MS Word, MS PowerPoint, Social Media Operations, Brochure Design, and programming in any language you like - if confused, learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript. IT does not matter how long these certifications are - Anything that gives you some practical skills is good enough. The certifications can be even just 1-day long.

How many certifications to add to resume?

Well, add at least 2 in areas that are relevant to the job you are dreaming about. Again, if you aren't dreaming about any particular type of work or have no idea about certifications, start with the list I shared above. Start with learning MS Excel, Word and PowerPoint.

Also, don't forget to add any certifications you may have gained during your graduation or post graduation.

One thing you might want to keep in mind while adding certifications is, you want to be able to demonstrate that you gained at least some beginner level knowledge on the main subject the certification is about.

How does having certifications on your resume help you?

The foremost of all benefits is the improved prospects of a job. If two candidates having similar backgrounds apply for a same job, the certified candidate would certainly have the advantage. Simply put, a certification can ensure that hiring managers notice the certified candidate in a better light than the non-certified one.

Second, you are more confident when you know you didn't just toil away only applying to jobs - it is a tremendous plus on your resume when a hiring manager sees that during the time you were applying to jobs, you also efficiently utilized the time in adding a few more skills. Those two certifications you added to your resume after you graduated tells the hiring manger that you are not lazy, you are self-driven and you love learning and development.

Third, your certifications on your resume shows that you are world-aware, meaning you have the tenacity to reach out and find out what is good for you - in the hiring mangers eyes, this means you will go out of the way to solve problems if they hired you and it is a good thing for them to have someone who goes out of the way to solve problems compared to having someone who sits around asking their manger "what do I do next?".

Show that you are committed to your professional development

Personal development helps you define your personal vision and life goals more clearly. When you establish targets for yourself, it becomes easier to create a plan and work towards those objectives, resulting in a more fulfilled professional engagement. Quite simply, a happier individual is a happier professional and a happier professional is a more valuable asset to an organization, and naturally employers prefer these self-motivated, driven professionals. So, dont waste time thinking "What certifications", because you know now "Any certification is good".

Are you a fresh graduate? Consider adding certifications to your resume. illustration