How Professional Certificates Can Help Your Job Search

4 minutes

Receiving an award or certificate can be a big self-esteem booster, because it’s a tangible representation of your hard work and accomplishments. And while displaying your half-marathon finisher medal or hackathon trophy on your desk might be a cool conversation starter, there are more practical ways you can utilize your professional certifications throughout your career.

Job searchers, for instance, can use certifications to broadcast their skill set to recruiters and hiring managers. This is especially true for career switchers or people from nontraditional backgrounds who may not have a resume full of relevant work experience and education, explains Erica Rivera, a career coach and tech recruiter at Google who recruits software engineers, application engineers, program managers, and technical program managers.

“If there’s someone whose background doesn’t necessarily align with what I’m looking for from a recruiting standpoint, then I will look at certifications that show experience,” Erica says. “The certification tells me that this is somebody that I probably would be more open to speaking to, or at least gauging their interest level.”

Find a plan that fits your goals

There are all kinds of tech certifications out there, from IT and cybersecurity to DevOps and project management. Here’s how you can earn certificates as you learn with Codecademy, plus ideas and tips for using them to help you land a job in tech. 

The certifications you can get through Codecademy

If you’re learning how to code with Codecademy Pro, you have the opportunity to earn our personalized certificates of completion when you complete everything (like lessons, projects, quizzes, articles, and videos) within specific skill paths and courses. You can tell if a Codecademy course grants you a certificate of completion by looking at the description and details of the course syllabus.

For Bobby Hutter, Codecademy certifications helped him get discovered by recruiters and land his first tech job as a Quality Assurance Manual Tester. “I didn’t even know about the job,” he says. “I had just added every single Codecademy certification that I had completed to my LinkedIn, and a recruiter reached out to me three days later.” (More on this later.)

Earn a certificate of completion when you complete everything within specific skill paths and courses.

We just launched new Codecademy Pro features, including a brand new way to showcase your expertise: Codecademy’s professional certifications. You can earn Codecademy professional certifications when you complete the exams within a career path and score above satisfactory on all of them.

These Codecademy professional certifications are a new way to test your ability to recall and apply your skills in real-world environments. With a Codecademy professional certificate, you can prove that you’ve mastered the information in a particular career domain, and communicate to prospective employers that you’re ready to step into a role. Unlike certificates of completion, you just have to take the exams within a career path to get a Codecademy professional certificate.

New Codecademy professional certifications showcase that you’ve mastered a career domain and are ready to get hired.

Want to upgrade to Codecademy Pro? Go for it!

How to use certifications in your job search

Every industry treats licenses, certifications, and credentials differently. In tech, a certification is one way for you to show tangible proof of your proficiency with a programming language or subject, but it can’t replace important things like a portfolio of projects you’ve completed, a link to your GitHub profile, and (of course) your resume. In other words, a certificate isn’t a golden ticket — it’s just another indicator of effort and completion that you can use to bolster your case. 

The cool thing about Codecademy’s professional certifications is that you can earn them quickly — all you have to do is complete (and pass) the assessments in a career path. For example, say you’re applying for a Data Analyst job and want to review certain concepts before a technical interview. You can take Data Scientist: Analytics Specialist to brush up on important skills and get a Codecademy professional certification that you can use to zhuzh up your resume and LinkedIn. 

Take Bobby’s advice and add the certificates you earn from Codecademy on your LinkedIn profile. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to adding your Codecademy certificates to LinkedIn. Then, a list of all the certifications you’ve earned will show up listed under the “Licenses and Certifications” section of your LinkedIn profile. (This is key, because recruiters will be able to tell that you learned with a legit, reputable organization like Codecademy.) 

You can also add Codecademy certifications to your professional website, or list them on your resume to showcase how you’re staying on top of new technologies and diversifying your skill set. Another option: Print the certifications and hang them up as reminders of all you’ve achieved on your coding journey. Who knows? Seeing your display of Codecademy certificates could be the perfect conversation piece for your next Zoom call.

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