Taking the time to pursue a degree or certification can be a challenging commitment to follow through with, so it makes sense that you should take the necessary steps to ensure that you’re putting it to good use.
Unfortunately, many people graduate and then go on to work in a career that doesn’t fully utilize their academic accomplishments. In fact, a surprising percentage of graduates are unable to obtain gainful employment for months or even years after graduating.
A strong educational credential is a horrible thing to let go to waste, especially when you consider the fact that it’s an investment that could pay off big time if you use it to your advantage. With that said, here are five ways you can make sure all of your credentials are giving you a return on the investment of time, effort, and funds that you put into them.
1. Proudly Display Credentials in Your Office
This initial step can help show prospective clients and partners who visit your office that you’re worth doing business with. Beyond displaying evidence of your talents to others, having your credentials posted on the wall in certificate frames is a good way to remind yourself of the work you’ve put into your career and how far you’ve come.
Having a visible source of affirmation is a great way to boost your own confidence and help you approach tasks more productively and positively going forward. Thus, creating perceived professionalism for others and boosting your own morale are the primary benefits of having your educational credentials on display in your office.
2. List Everything on Your Resume
What’s the point in spending all that time to earn a credential if you’re not going to make it known to potential employers? Whether it’s the completion of a two-week training course, a certification that you had to pass a single test for, or a degree that you spent 2-4 years of your life working towards, any earned credential is worth listing on your resume.
You may even want to hire a professional resume creator to help you fine-tune the formatting and appearance of this pivotal document. The way you list and position credentials on your resume can have an impact on whether they’re even noticed and factored in by hiring managers, many of whom have made it a habit to simply skim over resumes at lightning speed. If your credentials aren’t readily apparent and clearly described in detail, there’s a good chance that they might not even be taken into consideration at all.
3. Bolster Online Profiles with Achievements
Having well-rounded profiles on sites like LinkedIn, Google+, and other business directories can help drive your career forward by making you available to recruiting agencies and prospects that might otherwise never discover you.
Mentioning all credentials within the profiles of these websites is a step that many workers neglect to take. Although such measures are typically taken by freelancers and entrepreneurs who are currently in the process of searching for employment, it can also be useful for someone who is interested in actively climbing the corporate ladder.
After all, the only people who see your resume or office wall would be those who may already be interested in hiring you. Publishing your credentials on your public profile and/or website makes evidence of your experience and expertise accessible to anyone who looks you up online.
4. Research Highest Paying Positions for Graduates
Another way to make the most out of your credentials is to find out which jobs you should be applying for that pay the highest for people with degrees in your field. Thoroughly weighing your options in terms of which jobs you’re eligible for will help you devise a strategy that has you working towards the best possible outcome instead of settling for the first route that may not result in an optimal salary.
You can conduct research like this on job sites or simply search Google for “highest-paying jobs for ____ graduates” or “best jobs for _____ degree.” Reviewing all of your employment options is recommended before you commit to taking a specific career path.
5. Pursue Higher Level Degrees and Certifications
Finally, another way you can gain more value from your credentials is by pursuing additional certifications and degrees that stem from your existing achievements. A good example would be a nurse using their RN degree and experience in the medical field to obtain a more advanced nursing degree that opens the door to a higher paying job.
Making the Most Out of Academic Efforts
Nowadays, there are so many jobs that can earn you a decent living without the requirement for having a fancy degree or extensive experience, so it really is important to ensure that you’re putting all that effort in for a good reason. By heeding the tips above, you can be sure that your degree isn’t going to sit in a drawer collecting dust without much additional benefit.