African American woman taking an online course.

How to Use Online Courses in Your Job Search

African American woman participating in online learning

Online courses have gained credibility and these credentials are becoming a valuable tool in your job search. Their popularity is already obvious. In less than two years, two of the largest providers of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have garnered more than 7 million unique users.

All you need is an internet connection and personal motivation to sign up and start studying. Browse online to see how the quality and quantity of distance learning has risen in recent years. Then, capitalize on these strategies to get ahead of the curve and show employers how savvy and competent you are.

Including Online Courses in Your Resume

  1. Enhance your keywords. Make your resume stand out when you’re applying for positions online. Include course titles and explanations that coincide with the job description of your desired position. Using the appropriate keywords will increase the chances of your being identified as a match by applicant tracking software systems.
  1. Check on the sponsor. Taking courses offered by prestigious universities and well-known organizations provides similar benefits. Check out places like Stanford Online or edX started by Harvard and MIT.
  1. Customize your application. All learning is good, but coursework closely related to your chosen field is best. Tailor your job application, resume, and cover letter to each job opening.
  1. Stress accomplishments. Companies are looking for candidates who can make an immediate contribution. In addition to your education, talk about your career achievements and provide work samples.

Other Tips for Using Online Courses in Your Job Search

  • Regard online courses as a supplement. Traditional degrees are mandatory for many professions. Be realistic about your qualifications.
  • Research local options. On-campus education still carries more weight and prestige than online options. Check out community colleges, local universities, and continuing education programs as well.
  • Strengthen your social media profiles. List your online learning on LinkedIn and other sites. All networking efforts help.
  • Consider releasing your information. Recruiters for some companies are now purchasing the names of high-performing students from Coursera. You may want to opt in.
  • Complete the program. Online courses have extremely high dropout rates. Just by fulfilling all the requirements of an online class, you’ll demonstrate how well you can manage time and pursue your goals.
  • Take a new direction. Online courses are an affordable way to explore different subjects. If you’re working in a struggling industry, consider taking courses in a line of work where hiring trends are on the rise instead.
  • Check out corporate training. Companies are starting to advertise their own MOOCs to the public. It’s a way for them to lower their hiring costs while enabling you to make valuable connections and obtain necessary training.
  • Participate in discussion forums and use other communication tools. Staying active will help you learn more about the subject matter and get to know your professors and fellow students. You may be able to get additional references and job leads while you take online classes with people from around the world.
  • Use a variety of job hunting methods. Studies show that candidates who use multiple approaches to finding employment enjoy the highest success rates. While you’re studying online, remember to network, attend your job club, visit job boards, go to job fairs, and continue all of your other professional activities.

Advance your career by taking advantage of the growing opportunities in online education. Many of them are free! It’s one more way to make yourself desirable to potential employers while you expand your skills and knowledge base.

If you want more secrets to professional success, you can:

  1. Subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch quick tips to help your job search or make yourself promotable.
  2. Join my private Successfully Ever After Facebook Group for trainings and information designed for success-seekers.
  3. Join my membership site to fast track your job search ( or your promotion timetable (
  4. Work with me privately. Together, we’ll craft a personal career brand that will grow with you throughout your career and set you up for a lifetime of career success.

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