Some Tips on How to List Coursework on a Resume
As someone who has either recently graduated or is currently still in school, there is a good chance that you may not have amassed very much work experience to list on your resume.
One way to overcome this is by listing your academic experiences and other related coursework on your resume. The article below will define coursework and discuss how to best include college coursework on your resume if you have minimal working experience.
How to List Coursework on a Resume – Where to Start
When endeavouring to incorporate coursework into you resume, consider the following:
- Include relevant courses: Consider including a resume subheading titled “Relevant Coursework”. In this section you should include the courses that are most closely related to the type of position that you are applying to. For example, if you are applying to a posting for a law secretary, you should include any courses that you’ve taken that are relevant to the legal field.
- Include academic projects: If you have successfully completed any academic projects that are closely related to the nature of work you are applying for it might be helpful to list these as well.
- Include extra-curricular activities: If you have participated in any sports or extra-curricular activities that allowed you to develop skills that will help you in your chosen career path, these should also be on your resume. You should create a section titled “Extracurricular Activities” or “Relevant Experience” to keep things better organized.
- Include volunteer experience: Even if your position was unpaid, experience gained during an internship or as a volunteer is still experience and will add great value to your resume.
- Highlight your scholastic success: Outside of coursework, you should also highlight any academic successes you had, such as a strong GPA or honour list. These may not be specific to your career path, but they help to emphasis your ability to work diligently and be responsible.
What is Coursework and Why Do You Need to Write It?
By definition, coursework is “work performed by students for the intended purpose of learning.” There is significant value in including relevant coursework on your resume, particularly if you do not have much professional experience.
Including coursework in your resume will show prospective employers that you have gained theoretical knowledge or expertise in a specific field that you will likely be able to apply in a practical way. Some employers look favorably on applicants who have received awards or obtained high grades during their studies, feeling that these commitments, in a small degree, make up for not yet having gained much hands on experience.
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Focusing on Coursework (or Course Work)
One of the most important aspects of choosing to focus on coursework and previous studies, rather than actual acquired hands on experience, is to always be honest about your educational background.
Now a days, employers are conducting comprehensive background checks of their potential new recruits, making it imperative that you are always truthful. After you’ve listed your complete educational history on your resume, you might feel that it reads a little light in qualifications or related material. However, it is essential that you resist the urge to embellish or lie about completed coursework. You may be asked to speak about your experience during your interview, and if you lied on your resume you will be putting yourself in a position where you need to continue to be dishonest. This will ultimately result in your not being hired.
Remember, there is no need to list every single course you completed, only those that are most relevant to the type of position that you are applying for. Meaning that you will want to edit your education or experience sections to reflect only the most relevant.
For example, if you are applying for a position as a telephone debt collector, you may not want to showcase your educational experience in culinary arts. However, course taken in finance or money management would be worth mentioning.
Using Your Coursework on a Resume
As you begin to incorporate your coursework or educational experience on your resume, it is important to ensure that everything is properly formatted and organized so that information does not get lost. This can be done by creating a separate heading or section dedicated specifically to education.
Under this heading, you will list all of your relevant educational experience. If you believe that your education holds more weight than your professional experience (particularly if you have little or no working experience) than this section will be listed before work experience.
Advanced degrees and course should be listed first. Granted, this goes against all of the standard resume formatting rules, but when you have little else to go on – advanced knowledge takes precedence. Following this format will present prospective employers with the information they need relating to your credentials up front.
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If you are fortunate enough to land a great job, but you are still in school, try not to let your coursework or studies fall behind. Your ultimate goal should be to earn your degree or diploma so that you can excel in your professional career.
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