6 free ways for ambitious PR pros to bolster their industry cred

Clever communications professionals can get a foot in the door with these practices designed to add lines to your résumé. How can you get ahead in the new year?

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Earning a leg up doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

While it’s a good practice to be vocal about your accomplishments in job interviews and cover letters, not every certificate, trophy or accolade is going impress to employers.

The most important thing to know when thinking of paying for a supposed résumé booster is that price is not always commensurate to the return on investment. There are no guarantees that costly courses, certifications or even graduate degrees are going to translate into better job opportunities.

With free techniques, all you risk is your time.

Here are six ways to distinguish yourself without spending a dime:

1. Get certified in Google AdWords/Analytics.

You can earn certification for these important advertising and metrics tools by studying for the two tests, which are free. Best of all, you can pass without ever having seen an AdWords or Analytics account, though experience certainly helps. Certification is valid for a year.

2. Get certified in social media advertising.

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