Photo by Gerard Romans Camps
You’re writing your resume and you’ve come to a realisation: you will need to beef it up or you’ll never stand out from other applicants. One way is to gain more experience. But to do so, you will need a great resume to get a job… That’s when you decide that you should learn a new skill.
Then you hesitate for a moment because you’re unsure of what new skill you can learn that is advantageous to your career. And then there’s the question of how you’re going to do it. But don’t start panicking – that’s what we are here for.
There are many great skills out there that can help you impress employers, no matter which industry you’re in. And because we’re living in one of the greatest ages of technology, you can find loads of free courses on the internet. Most of these courses are designed to be idiot-proof, which is why they’re great for learning basics. If you’re looking for something more comprehensive, we recommend that you sign up for a short course in a training centre or school.
One of the biggest misconceptions about coding is that programming languages are only great for geniuses who are in the information technology industry. No matter what your job is, there is a very high chance that you’re still going to work with computers.
Learning to code is actually easier than you think it is. And thanks to the likes of websites such as Codecademy or Dash at General Assembly, you can take lessons online at your own pace for free.
The Site We Recommend: Codecademy
What we like about it is how interactive the learning process is. We felt like we were on the way to becoming the next Steve Jobs when we completed the program.
Conversational Foreign Language
Knowing another language is always useful, even outside the workplace. Your second language might be something you were struggling to grasp while in school, but online courses have changed the learning process completely.
These sites start you off on the right foot, but you should search for further learning supplements to get you more fluent.
The Site We Recommend: Duolingo
Everybody loves games. And Duolingo knows that – its lessons are crafted into a game of sorts. There are 14 languages available for English speakers, most of which are European.
Start with the basics or take the placement test to see where you stand. Each lesson has questions that you will need to answer correctly, or stand to lose a heart (or a life, like how you would in Mario Brothers). As you complete each lesson, your list of words learnt grows longer. Duolingo has algorithms that calculate when you have to practice each word to get them into your long-term memory.
Once you’ve completed a language course, you can take learning one step further by translating real articles from the internet.
Like coding, most people avoid learning how to fully utilise using Microsoft Excel because they deem it too difficult. The truth is once you’ve got the hang of macros and formulas, Excel becomes a very powerful tool that can make your work life much easier.
You can easily find videos on YouTube and all over the internet to help you become an Excel expert. And it’s one skill that employers value highly.
The Site We Recommend: Excel Exposure
Excel Exposure has everything you need to learn about Excel in one place, and it has been awarded the Microsoft MVP Award two consecutive years in a row.
Using Microsoft Excel 2010, Excel Exposure divides its lessons into different segments according to difficulty and functionality. Don’t know the basics of Excel? Check out the Beginner’s Introduction to Excel. There is even a link to download the Master Workbook which has an all-in-one cheat sheet for functions, shortcuts and examples.
The lessons are mostly video tutorials that don’t go beyond the 20 minute mark. Compared to the other sites featured in this article, Excel Exposure isn’t as interactive as the rest, but you can learn one of the most vital skills to help your career nonetheless.
Other Sites to Check Out
The web is full of free lessons. Here are a few more noteworthy sites for picking up a new skill:
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