Low-Cost Online Learning: Add Real Value to Your Resume

Online LearningWhat do you do if your resume lacks the right education and credentials for the job you really, really want?

No worries! In today’s marketplace you can quickly add online training, seminars, and other educational resources to your resume, and many are available for little to no cost.

Where can you go for this training? Is there a difference between providers of online learning? Finally, how do you include your informal education on your resume?

Which Online Learning Can You Add to a Resume?

Let’s start by addressing the obvious: Stating that you watched a YouTube video about Web development will not improve your chances of getting an interview.

However, there is online training from credible and recognized sources, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find a lot of great online training at a low cost from the following:

You can also find excellent online classes and certification courses offered by colleges, universities, and even some corporations. Community colleges can be especially well priced.

Some online courses, such as those provided by Khan Academy, are absolutely free and offer incredibly insightful and high-quality training.

You can also list webinars and other online teaching events you have attended. For example, if you are applying for a job as a photographer’s assistant, having attended webinars hosted by a respected photographer doesn’t hurt.

How to Add Online Learning to Your Resume

Online training and webinars shouldn’t sit at the same level as your degree or formal certifications. Instead, consider creating a section for this information with a title such as “Specialized Training,” “Additional Education,” or “Professional Development.”

Make sure you include the type of online training you completed, the name of the course or webinar, the name of the instructor and/or hosting organization, and the date you completed the training.

Here is an example of this section as it would appear in your resume:

Specialized Training


   – Better Direction, Better Movies, Steven Spielberg, 2014

   – How to Make Great Movies, Pixar Animation, 2015

CreativeLive Courses

   – Movie Making and You, George Lucas, 2015

Khan Academy Courses

   – Intro to HTML/CSS: Making Webpages, 2015

A hiring manager may ask you to provide some kind of documentation that you completed the courses and/or attended the webinars. This is a good sign. It means you are being considered seriously enough to warrant checking your credentials, and that they are willing to accept online training experience.

This is where it can tricky. Most online courses provide a receipt when you purchase access, or a certificate of completion you can print out once you have finished the course.

Free online training providers may track your progress and display your completed training in a public profile you can send along to the hiring manager.

In any case, it’s important that you be honest about your online training. Signing up for a webinar does not mean you completed it, and while it might be tempting to add as many online courses as possible to your resume, you are best off listing only your most relevant, recent, and completed training.

Additional Tips

If you have online training that is more than a few years old, you should consider removing it from your resume. Online training has a much shorter shelf life than a college education. Timeliness is one of the key advantages taking these classes give you.

Try to find online learning provided by identifiable instructors who you can name in your resume. Receiving training from a nameless instructor doesn’t carry the same weight as a recognized and respected leader in the industry. Attending a webinar hosted by Steven Spielberg means more than attending one hosted by a sophomore film student.

This is one area where sites such as CreativeLive offer a distinct advantage. They provide multi-day courses led by top professionals in their respective industries.

Today, you are no longer limited by your physical location. Education and training options continue to expand and improve, so if you are struggling with landing job interviews, these training opportunities may be right for you.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at JobScan.





This entry was posted in Resumes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.