Wrapping up your time in college can be an exciting and mysterious few months. That shiny new degree will look great, but how will you complete the ever-important skills portion of your resume? Many employers are looking for similar skills, but it’s tough to know where to start. Fear not! The following are the top ten skills that you can pick up in six months or less to impress potential employers.
Master Microsoft Excel
The entire Microsoft Office suite can come in handy, but Excel is the most useful in many office situations. Excel is much more than a simple spreadsheet software. A seemingly endless supply of functions and formulas allow you to create automatic calculations in a variety of formats to suit potential employers’ needs. Training courses on Excel can be found from a multitude of reputable online companies and local colleges.
Become an Expert with Visual Basic for Applications
VBA is an event-driven programming language from Microsoft which is based on Visual Basic 6. Built into many applications from Microsoft Office to AutoCAD, VBA can be used to automate data importation throughout multiple digital environments. One example of VBA’s usefulness can be seen by creating references to libraries in Word or Excel directly from Microsoft Access. Creating this system of data automation will save time and money for potential employers, so it will be highly regarded on your resume. Internet literature and courses, combined with some trial-and-error, will get you comfortable using VBA in no time.
Become a Notary
Notaries are commissioned by individual states to witness official signatures on legal documents and perform other legal functions. Depending upon your state, becoming a notary may require no classes or legal training, but a state-mandated exam will require some preparation. After you ace the test, you will need to send in an application and a filing fee to the appropriate state department and wait on an acceptance letter. Becoming a notary is also a great way to make some extra money. By marketing your name, companies or individuals may begin to use your services and put some cash in your pocket.
Learn Basic Programming
There are a multitude of programming languages to choose from, but a popular choice would be C++. Used in a wide variety of systems from servers to video games, C++ can be easy to get started with, but extremely difficult to master. There’s no way to become an expert coder in a six month span, but a solid base will still be impressive to potential employers. If you aren’t in a software development field, a basic understanding of how to program will be more than enough to wow interviewers and get your foot in the door.
Start a Blog
Starting a blog with one of the many free hosting services on the internet is a no-brainer. You’ll be able to hone your writing skills through multiple entries documenting nearly any topic that interests you. A high quality blog will give potential employers a better idea of your communication skills, research ability and dedication to a project. If it’s interesting enough, your blog could even gather a following and put some extra spending money in the bank through the use of paid advertisements. There is little downside to creating a blog and keeping your writing skills sharp.
Get your CPR Certification
Obtaining a CPR Certification is one step towards becoming a first responder in your workplace. Classes are available in a variety of places from fire departments to health departments and can be completed in a few hours. A CPR certification will look great on a resume, but it could also help you save a coworkers life someday.
Pick up the Basics of a Foreign Language
Advertisements for language learning software have never been more prevalent, and that’s because the increasingly globalized world requires individuals who can communicate with people from other countries. Spanish, French, German and Mandarin Chinese are all great options to look into when deciding on a language to study. Although mastering a language will almost certainly take more than six months, you’ll be able to learn the basics, which should help you navigate most business scenarios.
Photoshop is the go-to software for editing pictures and creating graphics for most of the business world, so it can’t hurt to know how to use it. With a variety of how-to videos and articles available around the web, it shouldn’t be a problem to learn most useful functions within six months. Though it may not be used very often in most office jobs, mastering Photoshop will still look great on your resume.
Get Comfortable with Public Speaking
Public speaking is an art form, and you’ll need to practice speaking to a crowd many times to get truly comfortable with it. A huge fear for many people, public speaking is needed for a variety of jobs, and a good public speaker creates a great impression on employers and colleagues. Additionally, public speech practice will be handy when it comes time to start interviewing for those high-paying job openings. Classes are available at most colleges to practice public speech, and clubs often provide opportunities to put your skills to the test.
Master the Art of Networking
Perhaps the most important skill to succeeding in business, networking is the art of expanding your individual brand among employers and high-ranking members of the community. It’s often said that it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know, and there is a reason the cliché is repeated so often. Meeting people and making a lasting impression may not be appropriate for the skills section of your resume, but few tasks will be more impactful on your career.
So what are you waiting for? The time to bulk up your resume with some impressive skills that potential employers and interviewers will love to see is now. Regardless of the skill you choose to pursue, marketing yourself to companies will allow you the opportunity to pursue your lofty career goals.
Thanks for this great post by Almagreta, who makes premium resume templates to help you get your dream job.