How To Include Your Relevant Coursework On A Resume

How To Include Your Relevant Coursework On A Resume

In today’s hiring landscape, your resume needs to quickly communicate all of your potential value to an employer. If you’re a student or recently graduated, your practical job experience may still be poor – but your coursework is probably rich.

So should you include the relevant classes you took on your resume? You can!

However, there are some factors you should consider before listing your coursework. You need to think about where you are in your career, what is the position you are applying for, and how relevant your education is to the job description.

Don’t get scared, it is not so much. Stay with us. This article will help you decide whether you need to include your relevant coursework.

You can also browse through our Resume Examples where you can see a perfect one for your dreamed position.

How important is it to list relevant coursework on a resume as a college student?

If you are a student or have just graduated, it is possible that you don’t have enough professional experience to show. So a good way to demonstrate your expertise is by including your relevant coursework.

However, if you already have a year or more work experience, this section won’t be much of a help.

Then you should focus on the professional experience and achievements you’ve accomplished.

Even if you are a student or freshly graduated, there are jobs, for which relevant coursework won’t be helpful. For example a cashier or a waiter. If you are looking for these jobs, better emphasize on your technical skills and past experience.

If you’re applying for a job that emphasizes the importance of academic experience, like an internship or other education-focused position, it would be best to include a relevant coursework section on your resume.

Whether they are needed or not, look through the job description. This could help you understand what to write. If they’re looking for a certain diploma, certification, portfolio or GPA, these are indicators that you should include.

How can I include relevant coursework on a student resume?

Placement

How much coursework you fit into your resume and where you include it depends on three factors:

  1. The number of relevant courses you’ve taken
  2. The detail you want to include
  3. The space you have

Most people include relevant coursework in the education section of their resumes.

To do this, just write “Relevant Coursework” beneath the degree name, and then use commas to separate the titles of the courses.

If you have enough space, you could also make a bullet list. This way it would be easier for the Recruiter to read.

Another way to write it is a separate section.

We, from Enhancv, have made that easy. Just go to our resume builder and make the most of it.

Write your relevant courses as a separate section if you want to include more than just the names of the classes. A perfect way to tell the Recruiter what you have learned through your studies when they are related to the job you are applying to.

Couple with academic achievements / GPA

If you don’t want to use a separate section, or you don’t have enough space for it, you can always couple them with your academic achievements or with your GPA.

Decide which to use in your resume, after you read the job description and see which is going to be more helpful to you to get that job.

If you have created a separate section for your coursework, just write the most important courses, depending on the job description.

Don’t put in all of your classes. It is going to take a lot of space and it would only distract the Recruiter.

If your coursework is crucial to the position consider putting it closer to the top of your resume.

If the class is necessary for the Hiring Managers don’t put it in the education section, because it could get lost along with all of the information.

Only list the names of your classes on your resume. Your university probably uses an internal system to number your courses, however, the employers wouldn’t know or care what the numbers mean.

If you have created a separate section for your coursework write just the most important courses, depending on the job description.

Don’t put all of your courses. It is going to take a lot of space and it would only distract the Recruiter.

If your coursework is crucial to the position consider putting it closer to the top of your resume.

If the class is necessary for the Hiring Managers don’t put it in the education section, because it could get lost along with all of the information.

Only list the name of your classes on your resume. Your university probably uses an internal system to number your courses, however, the employers won’t know or care what the numbers mean.

When to avoid coursework on resume

As we said earlier, coursework is a good way to show your educational achievements. However, there are times when it’s better not to include them.

If it’s been some time since you have been in school and the coursework is outdated, it might be best to leave the specifics off your resume.

What is more, keep an eye on the length of your resume. If you have just graduated or still a student, better make it no longer than one page. If there is no space for the related coursework, don’t include them if they are not specifically asked for in the job description.

Don’t include courses that are in no way relevant for the position.

If you have successfully finished a course in “Art History”, but you are applying to a position in a call center, don’t include it in your resume.

It will not help you to get the job you want and it will distract the Hiring Manager from your skills related to the position.

What other sections can you add that can have more impact than coursework?

There are many other sections, which you can include if you have no experience. And sometimes, they could be much more important than the coursework.

Volunteer experience

According to Deloitte, 82% of hiring managers prefer applicants with volunteer experience.

They believe volunteer work makes you a good leader and strengthens your communication skills.

You should include your volunteer work when it is relevant to your professional development.

It can put you in good light and make you stand out among other applicants..

Check the great example from Avery Leclerq:

Enhancv How To Include Your Relevant Coursework On A Resume

If you don’t have volunteer experience or it is not related to the position you are applying to, choose one of the sections below.

Extracurricular activities

Focus the Hiring Manager’s attention on your experience outside of the university. It could be any extracurricular activity related to the position you are applying to.

For example, you could have been part of your local AIESEC team and participated in their initiatives.

Or you could have been part of a student organization or a club and made your university a better place to study in.

Adding this experience in your cover letter tells the Recruiter that you have developed yourself, your organizational skills, and you are motivated to help others.

Projects

Another way to make your resume look good without work experience is by adding activities and projects that are related somehow to the position you are applying for.

Even if they were university or academy projects, you have gained a lot while finishing them.

Recruiters will see that you’re a person who is dedicated to their career path and gains better skills and experience with side projects!

Passions/Strengths/Interests

These can help you in identifying yourself and your own personality with the company’s culture fit profile.

Be sure to highlight your personality and unique qualities.

See this example:

Enhancv How To Include Your Relevant Coursework On A Resume

As it’s clear, the candidate is an outgoing, extroverted person who enjoys nature, tech and education.

It is a creative way to show your hobbies and interest. What is more, the Recruiter could make a conclusion just by seeing the pie chart and the distribution of time.

There is another section you can use – Passion. It can be used to enhance the effect of the hobbies and interests section.

Adding them is not mandatory, but might be valuable when your life passions are relevant to the job.

Whatever you choose to include, always make sure you present it in a way that sounds and looks professional.

Enhancv How To Include Your Relevant Coursework On A Resume

When both are included, they give a complete picture of who you are – not only in your work time.

That will significantly improve your chances of landing an interview, especially if you have a resume without job experience.

Relevant Coursework on Resume – Takeaways

Here’s all you need to know about putting relevant coursework on a resume:

  1. It is not absolutely necessary to list relevant coursework in a resume;
  2. If you are a student or just graduated they could help you.
  3. If you have the experience, drop relevant coursework from your resume, and focus on your practical experience and skills.
  4. Use the education section to present the relevant coursework, you can separate them with commas or make a bullet-pointed list.
  5. Make a section only for your relevant coursework if the position you’re applying for requires a strong academic background;
  6. If it is not wanted by the job description, better drop it and focus on volunteer and extracurricular activities, hobbies, and interests relevant to the position.

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Still not sure whether or not you should put relevant coursework on a resume? Or maybe it has helped you get your dream job? Write to us in the comments below!