From working whilst you study to fitting family life around your education. There are many benefits to choosing to study online and it’s no wonder e-learning has quickly risen in popularity. For most students, it’s a practical way of gaining new skills, without being restricted by time or location. Not only that, but those who do choose online learning, show that they are actively committed to improving their skills.
One of the top qualities employers look for is a willingness to learn. It shows that you’re ambitious and that you take your career seriously. Employers are always seeking employees who can prove they are adaptable. It tells them that this employee has the potential to progress further within their company.
So what happens next after studying an online course? You’ve invested the time, you’ve studied hard, so what now?
You need to sell yourself. Marketing your new-found skills correctly is key to showing employers you mean business, and it all starts with your resume.
Sell your skills like a pro
What you’ve studied online needs to sound attractive to employers. It needs to tell them that you’re hard-working and that you can work autonomously. So write it down! Mention what you’ve learnt in your cover letter and include the skills you gained from it.
Whether it was organisational or time management skills, or the ability to achieve deadlines, employers need to know how it makes you a better employee. Did studying online improve your research or writing skills?
E-learning shows you are someone who is comfortable with using technology and navigating your way online, and it’s also a great example of CPD. Especially if it’s been a long time since you left traditional education, an online course can instantly boost your job prospects.
Take advantage of learning a specialised subject. E-learning offers a much wider range of subjects and skills to learn than conventional colleges and high schools. Whether you are an accredited mindfulness coach or an expert in dropshipping, chances are not many people will be able to say they’ve studied these subjects in-depth. That’s where it’s your time to shine!
Prove you really did it
You should always include the full name of your course and where you accessed it. Just like any other qualification, employers will check your educational experience for credibility. By not clearly stating the name of your course and where you learnt it from, you’re telling employers that what you studied online isn’t worth mentioning.
So be prepared to prove it. Keep your online certificates or your emails of confirmation of study safe, as proof you really did the course you say you did. Don’t be afraid to contact your learning provider for an academic reference if needed. Consider including a link to your course provider’s website on your resume, which allows employers to seek out further information if they want to know more.
Build a strong ePortfolio
An ePortfolio is a digital portfolio of your online studies. View it as being similar to a digital schoolbook. It should contain any coursework or other content you believe is both relevant to your specific subject and shows off your best work. Think of what potential employers will want to see. Let’s say you’re studying graphic design or web development, an ePortfolio is a great space to include some examples of websites you’ve created or to showcase your creative skills.
Share your ePortfolio with employers by using an application like Dropbox, which allows you to easily share links to your files. Similarly, Google Sites allows the creation of an online portfolio with customisable fonts, colours and themes.
What if your subject is more practical, like 3D Modelling or Zumba? You can still utilise an ePortfolio using photos, videos and audio files instead. Using packages like Adobe Portfolio or Viewbook, which is purely dedicated to creating online portfolios for photographers, are ideal for those in need of more visual ePortfolios.
A personal website is another alternative. Building one is a lot simpler than you might think as well, thanks to sites like Square Space, Weebly and Wix, which are all incredibly user-friendly, even for beginners.
After going through all this effort to create your ePortfolio, it’s important you mention it to potential employers. Write about your portfolio in your cover letter and offer the opportunity to share it with employers if they’re interested. Not only will this make your application stand out amongst the rest, it’s further proof of the quality and aptitude of your skills. It also shows you’re someone who is invested in continually developing themselves, which is a huge plus.
Remember, when it comes to finding the right employee, employers will always favour someone who is motivated to improve over someone who isn’t.
Be proud of what you’ve accomplished
Independent study takes commitment and dedication, especially if you’re undertaking online learning in your spare time. See it as a long-term investment in your career. It’s definitely something to be proud of and worth mentioning. So use it to enhance your resume and really set yourself apart from other job seekers.
What have you studied through e-learning recently that you can impress employers with?
I am a freelance writer, specialising in creating content centred around e-learning and the use of digital technology to enhance education. I have a number of years of experience working as a copywriter and content creation manager for the leading UK examining board, as well as within marketing for a top university. I also have an educational background in Business and Marketing. Having witnessed first-hand how online learning has directly impacted and excelled my own career, I am passionate about breaking down the barriers towards e-learning so that more students like me can benefit from studying online.