Weekly Career Tip: Including Relevant Coursework on a 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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