In today’s job market, savvy women need to do all that they can to make their resume stand out. Not only does this raise your chances of being noticed when the recruiter or hiring manager is flipping through resumes, but it can even bolster your career and increase your salary.
One of the best ways to pad your resume and enhance your odds of making more money is by heading back to school to get certified. Adding a technical certification to your resume lets you gain valuable experience and gives you a bargaining chip when discussing your salary. And what many women don’t realize is that many certification programs are designed for busy professionals and can be conveniently done online!
So if you want to get ahead, go back to school. We’ve rounded up some of the best certifications that will do your resume (and your bank account) some good.
1. Project Management Professional (PMP)
To gain and maintain a certificate as a project management professional, you take a 4-hour online exam with 200 multiple-choice questions. Employers will love this certification, as it will teach you how to stay organized, juggle multiple tasks, create strategies, manage people and be a leader in your workplace.
Women who have a PMP certificate earn an average of 20 percent more than women who are in the same job but don’t hold their PMP certificate, reports the Project Management Institute.
2. Commercial Driver’s License
The trucking and freight industry is projected to grow by millions of dollars in revenue every year for the next five years, and there’s a chronic shortage of commercial drivers. Depending on which trucking company you work for, you can make nearly $90,000 within three years of starting.
But even if you don’t want to drive a big semi-truck, having your commercial driver’s license opens up many opportunities in your career. For example, many businesses want women with their CDL to help with transporting customers (e.g., airport shuttle bus drivers), children (e.g., schools and daycares) or office supplies.
The CDL test covers topics like braking techniques, emergency preparedness, air brakes and cargo safety. It’s relatively easy to get this certification, but some of the questions on the multiple-choice exam can be tricky. Taking an online CDL practice test can help set you up for success.
3. Microsoft Office Specialist
Microsoft’s suite of apps, tools and office software is undisputedly indispensable in many offices regardless of your career. In fact, 80 percent of all of the Fortune 500 companies use Microsoft’s software, which will equal approximately $20 billion in business revenue by 2018.
As a certified specialist, you show potential employers that you’re an expert on the software that they use every day. This means you can help problem-solve, introduce best practices and boost productivity in your employer’s office, which in turn makes you a more attractive candidate who can demand a higher salary. In one global IT survey, women who held a Microsoft certification made $90,000 a year or more.
4. CPR Training
CPR training, which covers first aid and other lifesaving basics, is often required by jobs in nursing, medicine and safety (e.g., lifeguards, preschool teachers, etc.). But what many women don’t realize is that every workplace needs to have someone certified in CPR. This ensures the wellbeing of the entire office.
You can get this certification in a day or less through various organizations like the Red Cross. It’s an easy way to invest in the health and safety of yourself, while also making your resume stand out.