How to Use Online Courses in Your Job Search

As online courses gain credibility, these credentials are becoming a valuable tool in your job search. Their popularity is already obvious. In under 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 resources to get ahead of the curve and show employers how savvy and competent you are. 

Include Online Courses on 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 applicanttracking software systems.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Tips for Using Online Courses in Your Job Search

  1. Regard online courses as a supplement. Traditional degrees are mandatory for many professions. Be realistic about your qualifications.
  2. 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.
  3. Strengthen your socialmedia profiles. List your online learning on LinkedIn and other sites. All networking efforts help.
  4. 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.
  5. Complete the program. Online courses have extremely high dropout rates. Just fulfill all the requirements of an online class.  Demonstrate how well you can manage time and pursue your goals.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.  It also enables you to make valuable connections and obtain the necessary training. 
  8. Participate in discussion forums and use other communication tools. Staying active will help you learn more about the subject matter.  It also helps you to get to know your professors and fellow students. You may be able to get additional references and job leads.  Also, you can take online classes with people from around the world.
  9. Use a variety of jobhunting 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.  Continue all of your other professional activities as well.


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.  You can also expand your skills and knowledge base.