Listing Coursework on Your Resume – Should You?

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Should you be listing coursework on your resume? Cachet Prescott, a career coach and HR consultant, asked members of the Resume Writers and Career Coaches LinkedIn group to express their “stance on listing RELEVANT courses taught on a clients resume for a non-academic job to further highlight his/her experience. Good idea or unnecessary fluff?”

The responses have poured in over the day. Here are the highlights. I’ve included those answers which didn’t catch the part about the job applicant ‘teaching’ the courses, because they also apply to this issue. (Emphasis and <comments> supplied.)

Relevant Courses = A Winner

When I see relevant courses taken on a resume that tells me that the person is a winner. If someone takes on a learning cycle, they will do the same for their company!
Jim Stedt

Research!

I always tell job seekers to ask themselves based on their research of the company, informational interviews etc. will this help or hurt my chances?
Trenton Willson

A Bonus Skill?

I always add these. In most cases, it is a bonus skill that most cannot offer. But it is up to the hiring manager to discern between trainer and effective trainer.
Kerry McPherson, PMP

Relevant?

If it’s relevant to the profession/job/company then listing them on that resume can add value. Keep the list short and direct, and don’t let it be the main focus, and if you can list it under under a past employment, then that’s a good fit.

If someone is teaching a course, then most likely their expert on the topic. Showing the ability to teach, train, motivate and ignite learning are great skills to have and share.

Keep in mind, there are no blanket rules to fit everybody, each job seeker can have different situations and may apply different techniques to their resume to increase their results.
Thomas Powner, CPRW, CEIP, CCMC

Transferable Skill?

Listing relevant classes <taken> most certainly applies and builds the client’s experience and shows that they are stay up-to-date in their profession….if the material <being taught> is relevant to the position being applied for then why not list it? Teaching is similar to delivering presentations/training sessions to others. Effective teaching/presenting is an art and requires many skills such as creativity and engaging delivery techniques to draw in the audience and to convey the information in such a way that the key points stick. These are relevant and transferable skills every employer would be seeking. Laina Krisik

Does This Add Value?

My answer to all questions while customizing a resume is “Does this add value to the resume in the eyes of the employer?” If the answer is, “Yes,” I would include all information that adds value. Kim Marino

Summary

Notice how often relevant appears in these comments. Training abilities are a sought-after skill for many employers. A recent job I considered expressed an interest in seeing some of the training videos I’ve prepared for my book clients.

In addition, this strategy might be the deal maker if you are using your resume to promote your fit as a consultant. The ability to develop a course and present it in a business environment may be just the asset a business is looking for.

Base the decision to include a list of courses you’ve taken or taught based on the value of the courses to the specific employment situation.

Denise Rutledge

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