The Relevant Coursework Resume: How to Write It
Relevant coursework is a specific optional section in the resume containing additional information about your education and skills. Its goal is to increase the student’s chances to be noticed by the hiring manager.
When companies hire employees, they always seek for people with decent work experience. But graduates can’t provide an excellent employment history in most cases. Usual “part-time job” the students have in college rarely correlate with their future career. Hence, graduates can only provide the entry-level resume and have lower chances to get to the interview.
In this case, the only option ex-students have is to provide as much information on education and skills as possible. The “relevant coursework” section serves for that. And we are going to explain which data you should include there and in which format to get noticed.
What Data to Include into the Relevant Coursework Section
Your goal is to present your competence, achievements, and skills to prove that you are a worthy candidate, even without a long work history. Some people doubt if there is any use to include the relevant coursework data into the resume. But, in any case, it won’t hurt, and with a little luck, it can give you more opportunities.
Review your college records and focus on the following aspects:
- Academic accomplishments and GPA and the degree you’ve obtained. These data are demanded by default in any resume type.
- Additional courses you passed. But note that you should include only those courses that you can relate directly to the desired job. For example, classes in law might help if you apply to become a paralegal, but the courses in biology won’t suit here.
- Projects you participated in. Many colleges have their own research programs recognized at the highest level. If you were a part of the team working on such projects, you need to include the information into the resume by all means. It can be a big vote in your favor.
- Volunteer activities. The goal is to illustrate your responsibility and dedication. People don’t get paid for volunteering, but they can get a great experience and train soft skills there. Describe how your duties gave you the necessary background, and apply that information to the job position.
- Extracurricular activities. Many candidates include information about sports achievements and club membership here. The trick is to present these accomplishments as proofs of matching the job requirements. For instance, being a part of the winning hockey team shows that you are a good team player, and you also can become a dedicated worker.
- Internship records. An internship is the possibility to obtain relevant work experience, and many companies even run their own internship programs to attracts future employees and train them. Include recommendations from your tutors and supervisors in this section.
Then refer to the description of the job position that interests you. Read the requirements very carefully and think of your relevant coursework info:
- Do you have the skills that they demand?
- Can you correlate your achievements in college to the job duties?
- How relevant can you make your coursework?
If the employer stresses that the candidate must provide a GPA and a degree, then there are chances that they need a highly educated person. A tremendous academic record and an impressive list of relevant coursework can help you.
Where and How to Put the Relevant Coursework
Most of the resume templates already have a dedicated section for the relevant coursework data. It will depend on you in what way you want to present them to make catchier:
- You can add the relevant coursework to the general education settings. Present a brief description of each category, and don’t forget to tell about the rest of academic accomplishments;
- Make a bulleted list of your relevant coursework data. This format is the best structure that catches the eye and gives the information most comprehensively;
- You can either make this bulleted list very brief and mention the achievements or extend it to explain more. You might find the latter option more suitable to correlate those data with the job requirements. This way, you at once tell the hiring person what you can do for the employer and why you are competent.
Things to Consider about the Relevant Coursework
- You should not include all the data on coursework – put only the relevant information. Review the job description and its requirements again and assure that the information you include matches them. There is no use to provide the data describing you as a good person, but not related to the job position. Remember, at this stage, your goal is to prove your competence and desire to work. When you get to the interview, you can tell more about yourself to impress the potential employer. But so far, the rule is simple: disclose only the relevant information.
- Put the most outstanding entries of your relevant coursework on top of the bulleted list – the hiring manager should get them first. Most of them quickly scan the beginning of the resume and decide to keep reading or put the paper aside within a couple of seconds. So, tell the important things at once.
- Add more educational information and proofs of your succeeding in academic activities. Include your scores, honors, awards, and so on. Mention other relevant projects, and your achievements there put the information about professional online courses and certificates you obtained.
Though candidates with excellent work experience are always the preferred choice, the entry-level candidates also get hired. The task is challenging, but the goal is realistic. You need to provide as much relevant information as possible and try to persuade that the employer should at least give you a chance of the interview.