Skills you can learn online for free right now to improve your resume

Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesTaking an online class with a friend will hold you accountable.
  • It’s always a good idea to keep your resume updated and relevant.
  • Free courses for skills such as coding, foreign languages, and photography are available to complete online for free right now.
  • Certifications that could also boost your resume, like Google Analytics certifications and first aid training, are also available.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

If you are looking to improve yourself or your job prospects, or you’d simply like to master a new skill, the internet is your best friend right now.

With stay-at-home orders in place across the country, many companies, colleges, and websites are offering courses online for free. Instead of letting your resume sit untouched, there’s a multitude of ways to enhance it.

Here are technical and soft skills you can learn online for free right now.


Learning how to program and code might seem intimidating, but self-paced online courses make for an easy introduction.

Kirill KukhmarTASS via Getty ImagesLearning to code at your own pace makes it far less intimidating.

Among free online coding resources is Codecademy, which is even offering scholarships for students affected by COVID-19. The site organizes courses by career path, allowing users to master the exact skills needed for specific careers.

Coursera, EdX,Udemy, GitHub, and Khan Academy also have a number of free programs, with some even featuring Ivy League courses.

If you are looking for a certification, there’s also Code Camp, which not only teaches you coding, but prepares you for interviews with talking points and methods to speak on what you’ve learned online.

Once you feel comfortable, you can even put your skills to good use by volunteering to work on open source code projects used by nonprofits.


You can also start learning a language for free online through companies like Rosetta Stone and Duolingo.

REUTERS/Albert GeaPracticing for an hour a day can do wonders.

According to employment website Indeed, proficiency in multiple languages is “valuable in a multi-cultural business environment because you have a higher likelihood to form relationships with clients or co-workers.”

One free website with an app is Duolingo, which teaches languages in a game-like manner, rewarding you with points. Rosetta Stone, which usually charges a fee, is also offering a free three-month subscription right now.

Other websites include Open Culture, Busuu, and Coursera, which all have free options and different levels of courses that you can take at your own pace.

There are other ways to improve your language skills beyond apps and websites. If you are practicing Spanish, for example, try listening to popular reggaeton music, reading a novel in Spanish, or watching a telenovela.


If you want to get creative, there are free online courses for graphic design …

Rawpixel.com/ShutterstockGraphic design is a great skill to have in every industry.

Udemy offers plenty of free graphic design courses, where you can gain an introduction to Adobe Photoshop, colour theory, and making logos and thumbnails, among other skills.

Photoshop has a seven-day free trial, which can be paired with its abundance of tutorials available for free.


… or you can become a master at video editing.

ShutterstockYou can even learn iMovie from your iPhone.

iMovie provides a solid introduction to video editing, and it’s free if you own an Apple computer. Look online for iMovie tutorials and step-by-step walkthroughs, or, you can follow along with Apple’s online guides.

Udemy also has a variety of free courses for beginners.

Final Cut Pro is also offering 90 days for free right now.

If you don’t have a Mac, Lightworks is another video-editing software you can learn for free. Lightworks is more technical than iMovie, but there is an abundance of tutorials available on YouTube that will help guide you through.

For more advanced learning, try out Avid Media Composer First or DaVinci Resolve.


You can learn photography skills through Nikon’s online school.

Until April 30, Nikon is providing all of its online learning courses for free. Classes range from learning how to use your camera to shooting music videos. The majority of the courses are taught by professional photographers or prestigious artists in the photography and film world.


Having a handle on basic first aid skills could be helpful in a multitude of workplaces.

John P. Fleenor/Fox/Universal Television/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty ImagesThe Heimlich manoeuvre.

Many restaurants, stores, and businesses within other industries don’t require these skills of their employees upon hiring, but having them on your resume could make you stand out.

There is an abundance of information and videos online walking you step-by-step through mastering the Heimlich manoeuvre, an important skill for whenever someone is choking.

You can also get CPR and Basic First Aid certified online through self-paced courses.


Public speaking is a common fear, but powerful figures across all industries are offering their advice online for free.

Luis Alvarez/Getty ImagesPublic speaking can be learned with time and practice.

Even if you look great on paper, it’s important to master your speaking skills so you can sell yourself in an interview. Luckily, there are endless resources available for free online to help you hone your public speaking skills and elevate your confidence.

Start with tips from an expert. Marjorie North runs a private practice specializing in public speaking and executive communication skills, and has her 10 best tips available online for free.

Simon Sinek, a self-described introvert, has one of the most-watched TedTalks of all time, and also has his tips available to master. There are even TedTalks you can watch on public speaking, where you can simultaneously learn skills while watching them in action.


Master a new skill like design thinking, a creative approach to problem-solving.

Pat Greenhouse/The Boston Globe via Getty ImagesThe Ideo office in Cambridge.

Ideo, a prominent global design firm (known for creating the first Apple mouse), emphasises the incorporation of a design thinking skillset across industries. Companies such as McKinsey are prioritising design thinking when consulting for a client, so having these skills on your resume can catch a hiring manager’s eye.

Ideo has free design thinking resources, including videos, articles, and step-by-step sessions guided by Ideo’s staff.

There are additional resources online to help hone your skills.Coursera offers courses including “Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators” taught by UPenn.

EdX also has free online courses, including some taught by major companies like Microsoft.

You can find plenty of workshops, webinars, and TedTalks on YouTube about design thinking and how it works in real-life situations.


More broadly, if you are looking to learn a new subject or brush up on an old topic, there are hundreds of online courses available for free right now, even from Ivy League schools.

Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty ImagesTaking an online class with a friend is even more fun.

EdX is offering more than 140 Harvard courses to the public, among hundreds of other courses. According to Business Insider, “edX counts many of the world’s top universities – including Berkeley, MIT, Cornell, Dartmouth, Princeton, Georgia Tech, and the University of Chicago – among its participating institutions.”

If you are interested in learning about productivity and happiness, Yale is also offering its most popular course ever, “The Science of Well-Being,” for free right now on Coursera.

Other organisations and companies are offering more focused training. For example, the Good Food Institute recently created the world’s first college course on plant-based meat and is offering a self-paced six-week introductory course.

If you are overwhelmed by the number of options, ClassCentral.com can help you navigate them. Users can search by interest, subject, start date, and language. From there, the site will direct you to where the course is taught, where you can read more in-depth information about the course, professor, and institution.


You can also earn a range of certifications online, which you can use as leverage during job hunting and even when negotiating a salary.

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty ImagesGoogle Analytics.

Depending on which industry you are interested in, there may be certifications you can receive online for free, some hosted by big-name companies.

The Google Analytics Academy has a variety of courses and mini-courses available online for free, ranging from beginner to advanced, and Google Digital Garage offers a free certification for the Fundamentals in Digital Marketing.

If you are more interested in startups, consider taking the Hubspot Inbound Marketing Certification Course. The classes teach students how to initiate, build, and manage a project.

If you are looking to work outdoors, Wilderness.net offers a variety of courses for no cost. You can also take the American Red Cross free “Wilderness & Remote First Aid Instructor Trainer,” which will certify you as an American Red Cross Wilderness and Remote First Aid Instructor Trainer.


While not exactly a skill to put on your resume, learning how to elevate your resume itself is just as important, and there are plenty of free resources available to help.

Sirinarth Mekvorawuth / EyeEm/Getty ImagesYour resume isn’t just about the skills on paper.

First, learn how to set up your resume. The internet has an abundance of advice from hiring managers and HR executives about how to make yours stand out. Experts shared their dos and don’ts with Business Insider.

It is important to learn how to present yourself as a cohesive narrative and market yourself to a stranger. You can gain advice from a variety of articles and YouTube videos, and even virtually work with a career coach for free.

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