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If you are writing a student resume to facilitate a job search but don’t have a lot of work experience, listing relevant courses and related coursework can be helpful. In fact, hiring managers will take your student status into account and consider extracurricular activities when reading your resume and cover letter. Of course, you need to make sure the coursework you list is relevant to the job posting in question. If you choose the right coursework it could bolster your experience section and help your resume to pass through applicant tracking systems.
In some cases, this is very clear, as with nursing, law, dentistry, social work and other professions. In other situations, however, it can be less clear. For example, you don’t need a degree in historical research to work in HR, but the report writing skills that most bachelor of arts degrees instill can be relevant to many different roles. Likewise, if you have a bachelor of science, you may find that some of your coursework is relevant to different research roles. If you want to figure out whether your coursework is relevant to a specific job, consider the job description and highlight any skills from the posting you use in your academic life.
This format is simple—a simple bullet list of relevant coursework. For example, when applying to be an editor this column might look like:
Slightly more complex, this format breaks down coursework into different areas of expertise. For example:
A detailed layout provides more information about the coursework and can be useful when the coursework is not obviously relevant. For example, if you want to work in data analysis, but if you have a degree in historical research, a detailed outline might be useful because it allows for more explanation of skills learned and used. For example:
Alongside these specific resume writing tips, you should also consider the overall layout of your resume. Choose a professional font like Arial or Calibri, ensure there is enough white space on the page, and keep your margins between half an inch and one inch. If you do this, you will create a professional resume that reads well and has a good chance of impressing hiring managers.
It’s not necessary if you have a decent amount of work experience, but if you lack professional experience, using relevant coursework on a resume is a necessity, as it can help to distinguish you.
You should not include your art school portfolio directly on your resume. However, you can attach it to your resume when you apply if it is relevant to the job description, or provide a link to your own online portfolio.
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