Online Courses and Your Resume

E-Learning is an important part of continuing education

Online Courses- The Beginnings

Starting from the humble beginnings of online education with independent companies like Udemy and Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) that would promise hours of online courses taught by high-end and famous creators. This industry now includes such prestigious institutions of higher learning as Harvard, Yale, MIT, Princeton, Cal Tech and many other elite schools around the world, which offer online courses to anyone who has an internet connection and the ability to sign up. This new method of learning has opened many doors to obtaining new knowledge and gaining valuable skills that were unavailable to vast amounts of people globally.

What about you?

So, maybe you’ve recently finished taking a few online courses. You applied yourself, completed a few projects and learned quite a bit developing and using your new-found skills. Now, you’re contemplating a career move and wondering whether how-to, or even if you should, include your online courses on your resume. It is correct to give this some thought, as online courses are a relatively new addition and many recruiters and hiring managers can sometimes be skeptical of their benefits. Here, we’ll talk about 3 ways to make sure you make the most of your online courses on your resume.

1. skip the introductions

Unless you are specifically applying for an entry level position, we wouldn’t recommend adding any introductory level online courses to your resume. Adding these kinds of classes when applying for a more advanced position could make your resume look worse. Hiring managers and recruiters are most often looking for the most qualified candidates for a position, and by adding a basic level course, it could make you sound less experienced and decrease your chance at getting a callback. 

2. Keep it relevant

While it is admirable to be pursuing continuing education, to be honest, no one is going to care that you studied ancient Olmec Architecture when you are applying for an entry level sales job. Usually, you wouldn’t list every class you took in college, so why do it for your online courses? Make sure you are including only the courses that are relevant to the work you are expected to do within the position you are applying for. Resumes are all about demonstrating value, and you want to be sure your online courses show how you can add value to the company. 

3. Put Your Skills into Practice

One of the most important pieces of online education is proving that you actually gained the skills taught in the course. Without anything tangible, like a degree or certificate, it will be up to you to prove that you can put those skills to work for yourself and your potential employer. To show this, we would recommend that if you add any continuing education explain how you put that education to work. Maybe a personal project or some pro-bono work with your favorite charity, these will show that you are putting your education to work. 

What does this all mean for you?

At the end of the day, you should always list anything that can separate yourself from the rest of the applicants applying for a position. Listing your online courses, if done correctly, can be a good way to prove you are a cut above the rest. It takes a lot of willpower and desire to continue learning when you must give up your own time and money. You worked hard on completing your online courses, so make sure they count!

More Resume Questions?

It’s okay! Resumes can be one of the most difficult parts of job hunting! We want to help make sure you succeed! Click below for more information on our free resume guide: Secrets of a Resume Pro, where we walk you through content, formatting and much more! 

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