I always laugh when people state that the job market today is tough because I find that the understatement of the century. I am a two degree millennial that cannot find a job for the life of me. I literally went on 15 interviews before I found my current (mostly unpaid) internship. That being said, I am a perpetually optimistic person and honestly believe that I only was invited to those 15 interviews because of the unique skills listed on my resume. Each of my interviewers asked me about my marketing design and podcasting skills, both of which I learned for free by watching YouTube tutorials. So if you are unemployed, or underemployed, and looking to build your resume, give some of these free tutorials a try.
1. Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
Design skills are incredibly useful if you want to work in marketing or advertising. While having an eye for good design is a nack that you either have or don’t, learning how to use design programs is incredibly easy. Photoshop and Illustrator are not as intimidating as they look, you just have to learn what all of the buttons do. I’ve found that designing my resume in InDesign has given it a more professional look than the previous one I made in Microsoft Word.
A few years ago, I had no idea that Microsoft Excel skills would become as valuable to me as they have. So many companies still use Excel spreadsheets for everything, even though other, easier, and more organized content systems exist. I’ve found that interviewers are extremely impressed if you can discuss the many uses of pivot tables.
My old classmates and I started a podcast as part of a Tech Project for my Master’s degree, which we learned how to do from the internet (we like to joke that our degrees are in Googling Stuff). Podcasting is a sparkly new medium that impresses people, especially if you know how to get a new podcast into iTunes (spoiler: it is super easy, but let’s not tell the Baby Boomers that). The best podcasts use a lot of expensive equipment to make them sound great, but we found that we are able to create a decent sounding podcast by using an iPhone, a laptop, and Adobe Audition to edit the audio.
4. Improve your Grammar Skills
In the last year of my undergraduate degree, I had the fantastic idea to take an advanced English Grammar course as an elective (I thought that it would be fun — I was wrong). The class did improve my editing skills because I learned how to explain to someone why that dependent clause does not work in that sentence, instead of just stating that it was awkward. That being said, the course was extremely difficult and studying for it was a nightmare. About a week before our final, my friend found grammar YouTube videos that literally saved our GPAs. If you ever forget the difference between a post-modifier and an object complement, YouTube is your best friend.
Yes, we all were forced to make several boring PPT presentations in high school and thought that we would never use that program again. The first task I was given on my first day of my publishing internship was to create a PPT for an internal company wide presentation. While it’s easy to understand the basics of how to use PPT, knowing how to use the program well and make every presentation look professional will really impress your bosses.
Resume building can be tedious and boring, but if you have time to binge watch shows on Netflix for the upteenth time, you probably have time to do one of these tutorials and add a new skill to your resume. Believe me, it’ll benefit you more in the long run to spend a couple hours doing a few tutorials than rewatching White Collar again (no matter how charming Neil and his hats are).
(photo credit to Galymzhan Abdugalimov, Unsplash.com)