It’s one thing to add a college, graduate program, or certificate on your resume, but if you have an engineering degree and you don’t know what an Allen wrench is, then you’re proving you’re not as smart as your resume implies.

So, how does one prove they’re as smart as their resume implies? We’re glad you asked!

Continue Learning

You can follow traditional routes to further your education like attending grad school or enrolling in an intensive study course – because there is no replacement for learning – however, it’s silly to assume those paths make up the sum of a good education.

Growth is a constant and lifelong process and now, more than any time in our history, information is easily accessible. There are free online classes, you can listen to podcasts, watch videos, read a book (yes, they still make them), or you can listen to audiobooks – the list is vast and the variety of topics are endless. And, since you have access to these endless topics with an internet connection, there really aren’t any excuses you can make not to absorb as much knowledge as you can.

If you want to be marketable, continuing to learn and push yourself is the best thing you can do. It’s not only good for your career and your mind, it’s really great for your self-esteem.

Make an Effort

Okay, so now you’re hearing your mom’s voice or a nagging teacher’s voice saying, “Make an effort!” over and over but you know what? They’re right.

Anyone can sign up, show up and sit through a class but it actually takes effort to garner as much knowledge as you can from that class, then apply that knowledge outside of a classroom and then build on that knowledge.

What separates the mediocre from the exceptional? Effort. The amount you put into expanding your knowledge is completely up to you.

This also goes for credential collecting. Lots of people have long strings of acronyms after their names. Some are exceptional, others not so much.

Earning these credentials looks good on paper and are definitely worthwhile investments but the fact is, a credential is only as good as the person behind it.

Demonstrate Mastery

When you invest in your education, think about how you can go beyond telling a potential employer that you completed a degree or earned a license. Demonstrate your knowledge and skills instead. After all, you’re poured a lot of energy, money and time into getting this degree or license. Don’t make people guess whether or not you’re qualified – show them you are.

Remember, it’s not what’s on the paper that matters most, it’s what you can do that matters the most. Yes, the paper will get you in the door, but that’s all a resume is – a foot in the door. Employers don’t create jobs just to give them out to nice people with slick applications, they create them because they have a need that has to be filled in order to fulfill their bottom line. They really don’t care how many certifications you have if you can’t do the work.

Once you’ve completed a course, program or degree, don’t think of it as the finish line, it’s just the beginning. Think of your degree as a launchpad for so much more.

Keep learning, keep challenging yourself, keep building relationships across industries, gain knowledge and always look for new opportunities.

If you’re always learning, you can’t become stagnant. And if you’re regularly exposing yourself to new things, you won’t be stuck in five to ten years trying to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go in your career.