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How To List Coursework On Resume

Should you include relevant coursework on your resume? Some people will tell you yes, others will advise against it. The best answer is: it depends. If you have relatively little experience in the field, including a list of relevant courses can be a good way to demonstrate your interest and exposure to a topic area. On the other hand, if you already have some significant related work experience, space on your resume is probably better used describing your professional work and achievements. If you’re in doubt about whether or not to list relevant coursework, use this test: in an interview what experiences would you talk about to demonstrate your qualifications for the position? If you would pull the majority of experiences from your classwork, it may be to your benefit to list relevant courses and even speak in detail about class projects on your resume.

If you do decide to include relevant coursework on your resume, be selective about which courses you include. There is no need to list basic or core courses, such as Biology or Foundations of Public Health. List only those courses that give you specific knowledge (usually electives) and are directly relevant to the position to which you are applying. On your resume the best place to include information about relevant courses is directly under the degree program in which you took the course. Be sure to write out the entire name of the course; employers are not familiar with course numbers and may not understand the abbreviated titles that are used in the course catalog.

 

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How to Include Your Coursework in Your Resume

As a current student or recent graduate, you may not have very much work experience to include on your resume.

One way to strengthen your resume is to emphasize related coursework and other academic experiences. Read below for advice on how to write a resume that focuses on coursework; you can also view a sample student resume.

Tips for Including Your Coursework in Your Student Resume 

  • Include related courses. Consider creating a section in your resume called “Relevant Coursework.” In it, include the courses directly related to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for work as a paralegal, list any classes you took related to law or politics.
  • Include related academic projects. Similarly, if you have completed any research projects related to your future career, list these. If you are applying for a job that involves conducting research, list any extensive research projects you worked on.
  • Include related extracurricular activities. If you participated in any sports or clubs where you developed skills relevant to the job you’re applying for, include these. You could include a section on your resume called “Extracurricular Activities,” or you might highlight activities in a broader section called “Relevant Experience.”
  • Include volunteer experiences. Even if you did not get paid for this work, volunteer experiences can make terrific additions to your resume. For example, if you are applying for a job as a teacher’s assistant, describe your volunteer tutor experience.
  • Use keywords in your descriptions. Beneath each experience, list your responsibilities and achievements in that experience that help show you as a strong fit for the position. One way to do this is to include keywords from the job listing in the descriptions. If the job requires field research experience, be sure to mention your “30+ hours of field research” in the description of your senior project.
  • Emphasize academic successes. Beyond related coursework, you should also emphasize any academic successes, such as a high GPA or an award from an academic department. Although these successes may not appear to be directly related to the job for which you are applying, they demonstrate your hard work and responsibility.
  • Edit, edit, edit. Take the time to thoroughly edit your resume for spelling and grammar errors. Also make sure that your font and style choices are consistent—for example, if you write one section title in bold, all section titles should be bold. You might set up a meeting with a counselor at your ​college career services office to have someone else read through your resume too.

Example of a Student Resume Focusing on Coursework 

The following is a resume for a paralegal. This resume focuses on relevant coursework and leadership experiences.

Hailey Sharpe
Home 555-555-5555 Cell 555-555-1234
haileysharpe@XYZcollege.edu
456 Oakwood Terrace
Anytown, PA 99999

EDUCATION

Sagamore College, Easton, NY
May 20XX
Bachelor of Arts in Government
Cumulative GPA: 3.8
Awarded Outstanding Government Major, Spring 20XX

RELEVANT LEGAL COURSEWORK AND RESEARCH

Business Law Course, Business Department, Sagamore College
Fall 20XX–present

  • Analyze and briefcases with a business focus
  • Discuss and evaluate legal principles from an ethical perspective

Research Assistant, Sagamore
Fall 20XX–present

  • Collaborate with adviser, research team, and Smith School of Medicine
  • Conduct research regarding effects of steroids on activity level of rats
  • Use computer program to gather and analyze data
  • Present new findings in bimonthly discussion with department

Sociology of Law Course, Sociology Department, XYZ College
Spring 20XX

  • Researched case law dealing with social policy and the Supreme Court
  • Analyzed cases and produced final paper regarding social policy in court cases
  • Explained results and conclusions in a final presentation to practicing lawyers

LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE

Resident Assistant, XYZ College
Fall 20XX–May 20XX

  • Served as mentor and leader to incoming students, providing sense of community for those living in dorms
  • Worked with staff members and campus safety to ensure safe and secure living environment

ADDITIONAL EXPERIENCE

Produce Clerk, Food Market, ABC Town, MA
Summer 20XX–present

  • Train new employees
  • Awarded “Employee of the Month” five times

Lifeguard/Pool Supervisor, Local Town Pool, ABC Town, MA
Summer 20XX–Fall 20XX

COMPUTER SKILLS

Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint; LexisNexis; Adobe

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