Elevate your Skills: Using online courses to stand out to an employerJan 16, 2024
Whether you’ve been away from the workforce for a couple of years, a decade, or more, polishing your skills and/or developing new ones will support your success in landing a job and excelling in your new position. Luckily, there are tremendous opportunities and new tools to grow and learn new skills online for moms who are ready to return to the workforce.
If you're not quite sure where to start or how to find reputable learning platforms but you’re ready to embrace the world of online learning, this post is for you! After reading this post, you’ll know how to assess your skill set, identify areas for growth that are aligned with your career goals, and know where to go to jumpstart your upskilling journey and job search. Let’s dive in!
Assessing your skills
If you haven’t done so already, it’s important to acknowledge the current skills that you have. It can be helpful to create a list of past education, trainings, certifications, and work/volunteer experience to start your brainstorming process. Once you’ve created this list, write down the specific skills that you developed or utilized throughout these experiences. This list will be helpful as you’re writing you’re updating your resume later on as well so it serves multiple purposes.
Don’t sell yourself short here! Really spend some time thinking about everything that you’ve accomplished and the skills you used in the process. And don’t forget about your experience as a stay-at-home mom. You’ve developed and honed many skills as you’ve managed schedules and appointments, maintained your home, managed your family’s budget, advocated for the needs of your family and children, etc. These are incredibly valuable skills that translate to the professional workplace so don’t leave these things off of your list!
BONUS: Once you’ve got a solid list going, you can use the Skills section of your LinkedIn profile to both make sure all the skills on your list are represented, and LinkedIn will propose additional skills you might be forgetting but that you have in your repertoire.
Identifying areas for growth
Once you’ve developed a list of your current skills, check out a few job descriptions for the types of positions you’d like to land. Do they list skills that you currently have or are there some skills and qualifications listed that will require some upskilling? Create a list of the skills you’ll need to polish or develop to land your target jobs.
Another great way to identify areas to upskill is to engage your network and schedule informational interviews with professionals who are working in positions that you’re targeting. In your informational interviews, ask them what types of skills and qualifications you’d need to be successful in their job and add their guidance to your list.
Once you’ve identified your areas for growth, start researching where you can gain these new skills or polish skills that you currently have but need to sharpen.
Skill development resources
There are countless resources available to learn and develop new skills so it can be difficult to know where to start. Depending on the types of skills and knowledge you’re seeking, certain platforms will be a better fit. In general, here are some resources that we’ve found to be helpful in a variety of different skill categories.
Coursera – this platform partners with more than 275 universities and companies to provide flexible, affordable, job-relevant online learning opportunities in a variety of areas including data science, health, arts & humanities, IT, business, social sciences, physical science, math & logic, computer science, personal development, and languages.
LinkedIn Learning – this professional development arm of LinkedIn provides 20,000+ courses that fall into the three main categories of business, technology, and creative. Many of their courses are targeted at learning a specific skill or software program and they provide certificates of completion to include on your LinkedIn profile.
SheCodes – this amazing resource teaches coding skills to busy women through online workshops and courses. You can be a complete beginner and learn to code with their various workshops. Use this SheCodes link for 20% off!
Skillshare – this platform provides learning opportunities in creative fields including animation, creative writing, film & video, fine art, graphic design, illustration, music, photography, and UI/UX design.
Job search resources
If it’s been a while since you’ve navigated a job search, don’t feel like you have to figure it out on your own. There are many nuances to a job search and our courses and services are designed for busy moms to save you time and help you land a position quicker.
The Complete Job Search Guide for Moms – a comprehensive online, on demand course that provides guidance for each aspect of the job search process including resumes, cover letters, job searching, LinkedIn, networking, interviewing and salary negotiation. It’s your one stop shop to make sure you have everything you need to land a great job.
Resume Roadmap for Moms – an online, on-demand resume course that provides step-by-step support for writing a resume from scratch or updating your past resume to ensure you catch a recruiters’ eye and land more job interviews.
Your Personalized Resume Review – an opportunity to have your resume reviewed by our team at Home to Hired. We provide customized feedback via a recorded 10-15 minute video that you can watch at any time and refer back to as you’re making changes to your resume.
No matter what direction you choose to go with your career and return to the workforce – have confidence in the value that you bring to the table, and your ability to learn, grow, and develop new skills when needed. So often we hear moms question their skills and second guess whether they’ll be able to land a job. We are here to remind you that you have incredible skills thanks to your experience as a stay-at-home mom (especially when it comes to learning new skills on the fly!). Your confidence in your abilities will shine as you apply and interview for job opportunities. You’ve got this – we're with you all the way!
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