Relevant Coursework on Resume: Why to Mention?
Prior to discussing how to list relevant coursework on a resume, let’s figure out whether you actually need it, and if so, why.
Usually, recent graduates and current students looking for a job cannot boast a wealth of experience to make much of an impression on employers. Sure, if you have some practical knowledge gained during or even prior to your college years, you should exploit this advantage and provide the detailed description of your real-life experience in your resume. However, if you have none, there is no other choice for you butto convince your potential employer that you gained the necessary skills and knowledge during your coursework. That’s where relevant coursework resume can make all the difference.
While other applicants may not pay much attention to the Education section of their resumes, briefly specifying only the years of study, the name of the institution and the degree obtained, you can beat them easily by including relevant coursework on a resume. Surely, you will hardly score any points by describing your achievements in writing literary reviews when applying for the position of Sales Manager. However, when sending your CV to an international company with offices in Asia, you can increase your chances dramatically by specifying that you speak fluent Chinese and even wrote a research paper on modern Chinese phraseology. Other things being equal, the employer is likely to choose you over a person who is more suited for the job.
See how it works? The idea is not to stuff your resume with coursework details regardless of whether they are somehow related to the job you apply for, but to carefully consider your knowledge and skills, and then to put related coursework on resume with the aim of showing yourself to the best advantage.
Now let’s find out how to do the trick.
How to List Coursework on Resume and to Hit the Mark
Prior to listing coursework on a resume, you need to define which of your competencies can be considered helpful for a position you want to get. Overcome the temptation to solve the task immediately, since doing this with hustle can result in you missing something important. You’d be better off focusing on the following:
- Carefully read the requirements, noting down the skills the company expects potential candidates to have;
- Think about skills and abilities, which could be useful for the company but are not listed in the job ad, and write them down, too (for example, an e-marketing course can become a great plus for a sales manager, though this may not even be mentioned in the ad);
- Learn more about the company’s activities (including public activities) and try to derive helpful tips from this information (The company holds annual charity balls? Great,since you were a member of an organizing committee in your college);
- Having finished researching the company you apply to, move on to making a list of your degrees, courses completed, classes taken, certificates received and so on, including any ‘in progress’ courses, as well as your community service, if any;
- Nowyou need to carefully match your skills and expertise to the company’s requirements. Make sure to emphasize your proficiency and advantageous personal traits, but avoid making far-fetched arguments (your successful performance as a stand-up comedian can hardly be somehow helpful in sales).
At this stage, you will get a shortened version of your achievements that should be properly integrated into your resume.
How to Add Relevant Coursework on Resume: Main Part
Since now you know what to add, it is time to learn how to add relevant coursework on a resume. Usually, applicants begin their resumes with a brief summary followed by the Experience and Education sections. However, if the real-life experience is not your strong point, it makes sense to focus on your educational background and place the respective section straight after the Summary.
When adding coursework to resume, specify your degree or certificate, as well as educational institution and its location, before providing your coursework details. Be sure to make a note of honors received, if any, adding details about your coursework, if they help better describe the useful skills you gained. For example, instead of simply informing the employer about the fact that you completed coursework in Translation of Business Documents, explain your achievements during the course by adding something like "completed the translation of two packages of documents for public tenders." This trick is especially helpful for those students who cannot boast an impressive list of degrees, certificates, and classes.
How to Put Relevant Coursework on Resume: Additional Part
Now you know how to put relevant coursework on a resume, but what about other skills you have, which are not directly related to the educational process and thus cannot be included in that section? Remember your supposed membership in an organizing committee? You can state information like this in a specific section after the Summary, Education, and Relevant Experience sections. Call it Additional Experience or Volunteer Experience, specifying in it the type of your activity and where it was carried out.
As you can see, putting coursework on a resume can add a lot of weight to a standard resume, even when you lack the first-hand experience.