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How (and When) To List Relevant Coursework on a Resume

Everything you need to know about listing relevant coursework on your resume, including where it belongs, what to include, and when to take it off.

a year ago   •   5 min read

You’re fresh out of school, armed with years’ worth of knowledge and the most up-to-date skills. But should you include specifics about your coursework on your resume?

If you graduated recently , are changing careers , or simply lack a lot of relevant work experience in the field you’re aiming for, the answer is probably yes. Keep reading as we cover exactly how to do that, including real examples and tips on where it belongs and how to match it to the job you want.

Let’s start with a brief rundown of when relevant coursework belongs on your resume — and when it doesn’t.

When (and when not) to include relevant coursework on your resume

Relevant coursework doesn’t belong on every resume. For most job seekers, it’s completely optional (and probably unnecessary if you have any actual work experience in a similar role or industry).

You can consider using coursework to highlight relevant skills and industry knowledge, especially if:

  • You graduated recently (or are about to). As a recent graduate, your most relevant “experience” is likely to be your education, so it’s okay to focus on that.
  • You’re changing careers. This is doubly true if you went back to school or completed a short course to retrain.
  • You have limited experience and/or are applying for entry-level positions . Without a lot of experience in the field, it makes sense to focus on what you do have — things like relevant coursework, community involvement, or extracurricular activities .

Decided that listing relevant coursework on your resume is the right step for you? Here’s how to do it.

How to include relevant coursework on a resume

  • Create an Education section on your resume. For recent graduates, this can go at the top of your resume, above your Work Experience section .
  • List the name of the school, the degree you studied, and your graduation date (optional).
  • Underneath, create a subheading titled “Relevant Coursework.”
  • List a small number of courses (no more than 3-4) that are directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. That’s enough if you want to keep your education section brief, but if you choose to expand it, you can also:
  • Include a single bullet point for each course that highlights a key accomplishment. Start each bullet point with an action verb so it more closely resembles your other resume bullets.
  • Focus on how the course prepared you for the kind of job you aim to be doing — for example, if you’re applying for roles in marketing, focus on things like conducting market research surveys or implementing social media campaigns.
  • Use our free resume scanner for more tips on how to perfect your resume bullet points and Education section.

Example of how to list relevant coursework on a resume

Examples of listing relevant coursework on a resume

Here are some examples of including relevant coursework in a few common areas of study. Feel free to copy and paste or customize these to fit your own experience.

Finance coursework on a resume

EDUCATION Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance XYZ University, Graduated May 2022 Relevant Coursework : Corporate Finance : Analyzed financial statements and conducted valuation analysis to assess the financial health of a company. Investment Analysis : Evaluated investment opportunities and presented recommendations to a panel of industry professionals. Financial Modeling: Created complex financial models to forecast revenue and expense projections.

Marketing coursework on a resume

EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Marketing ABC College, Graduated June 2021 Relevant Coursework: Digital Marketing: Created and implemented a social media campaign for a local business, resulting in a 30% increase in website traffic. Market Research : Conducted focus groups and surveys to gather insights on consumer preferences and behavior. Brand Management: Developed a brand identity and positioning strategy for a new product line.

Technology coursework on a resume

EDUCATION Bachelor of Science in Computer Science DEF University, Graduated December 2021 Relevant Coursework: Database Systems : Designed and implemented a database management system for a student organization to track membership and event attendance. Web Development: Built a responsive website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for a local business, resulting in a 50% increase in online sales. Operating Systems: Worked on a team to develop a custom operating system using C++, implementing process scheduling and memory management algorithms.

How to determine which coursework to include

The number one rule of writing a resume is that everything on it needs to be relevant to the specific job you’re applying for — even your education. Anything that isn’t relevant should be a) kept as brief as possible or b) left off altogether.

That means you should only list coursework that more or less matches the kinds of tasks you’ll be doing in your new job. Sometimes this is obvious — for example, if the job ad asks for experience with specific tools, software or programming languages, it makes sense to include any coursework you completed on those topics

Here’s an example:

Job Description: "Experience with programming languages such as Python, Java, and C++." Relevant Coursework: Introduction to Python, Object-Oriented Programming (Java), Data Structures and Algorithms (C++)

Other times, you’ll need to read between the lines a little — which can help demonstrate that you understand the basic requirements of the job. For example:

Job Description: "Experience with digital marketing tools and analytics software." Relevant Coursework: Digital Marketing, Marketing Analytics, Web Analytics

Here’s another example:

Job Description: "Strong knowledge of financial accounting principles." Relevant Coursework: Financial Accounting, Managerial Accounting, Corporate Finance

I’d recommend using the tool below to get a list of skills and keywords relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Where to put relevant coursework on a resume

There are a few places where it makes sense to list relevant coursework on your resume. This could be in your:

  • Education section. This is the most obvious place to list coursework, so it should always go here first.
  • Skills section. If your coursework involved a specific hard skill, you can also list it in your skills section — for example, listing an “Adobe Photoshop Fundamentals” course under a subheading like “Software” or “Graphic Design.”
  • Certifications or Licenses section. If you completed a course that led to a specific certification — especially if it’s one that’s well known or highly regarded in your industry — you can highlight that by listing the course separately in a dedicated section.

Key takeaways

Listing relevant coursework on your resume is optional. It’s generally a good fit for recent graduates and career changers, but not for more experienced job seekers.

  • Alongside relevant coursework, you may also want to highlight educational accomplishments like GPA, honors , awards, study abroad , educational projects , and extracurricular activities. Check out our complete guide on how to list education on your resume for more tips and examples.
  • Make sure you’re tailoring your resume for each position you apply to and reviewing it regularly to remove sections (like relevant coursework) that no longer belong.
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relevant coursework licenses

How to List Relevant Coursework On Resume [Tips & Examples!]

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If you’re a college student, recent graduate, or entry-level professional, chances are you don’t have a lot of professional experience to list on your resume. 

This, in turn, might make you feel insecure about your application, especially considering that the work experience section is among the most important section of a resume. 

Well, listing your relevant coursework might just be the answer!

By listing the courses that are relevant to the job position or internship you’re applying for, you can show recruiters that while you don’t have much work experience, you have the right skills and knowledge for the job.

But what is the right way to list relevant coursework on your resume and is there a time when you shouldn’t list it all? And what exactly is relevant, to begin with?

In this article, we’re going to answer all those questions and more. Read on to learn:

When Is Relevant Coursework Necessary on a Resume?

  • How to List Relevant Coursework on Your Resume in 3 Steps

7 Tips on Listing Relevant Coursework on Your Resume

Resume example with relevant coursework.

And more! Let’s dive right in. 

What Makes Coursework Relevant?

Professional experience is one of the most important sections of a successful resume, but you first need to land a job to start building it. 

Which begs the question, how can a recent graduate or entry-level professional prove they’ve got what it takes for an entry-level position with no, or minimal, professional experience ? 

Well, this is where coursework comes in. 

Together with academic projects and achievements, as well as extracurricular activities, listing relevant coursework can help students and entry-level professionals show they’ve got the necessary skills for the job despite not having the relevant professional experience.

The coursework you list on your resume should actually be related to the position you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re applying for a job as a graphic designer, listing your achievements in your World History class won’t really impress recruiters. If, on the other hand, you mention that you were top of your class in Design and Layout , you’ll be effectively showing recruiters that you have great potential as an up-and-coming graphic designer. 

To sum things up, here are the top cases when relevant coursework is necessary on a resume:

  • When you’re still a student
  • When you’re applying with an entry-level resume
  • When you’re applying for an internship
  • When the coursework is directly related to the job position 

If, on the other hand, you have 2+ years of work experience in the field, as well as the needed skill-set, coursework on your resume will only take up space and can be skipped entirely.

Checking the job description is another way of determining whether you should add relevant coursework to your resume. If, for example, the job description requires that you list your majors, GPA, diploma, or portfolio, chances are they’ll also be interested in your coursework, especially if it’s relevant to the position. 

How to List Relevant Coursework on Your Resume in 3 Steps 

So you’ve established that you should include relevant coursework on your resume. Now, you may be wondering where exactly to include it. 

As a rule of thumb, coursework is listed under an applicant’s education history. Depending on whether you have any professional experience to list, the education section may come before or after the work experience section. 

Here are the four best ways to add relevant coursework to your resume: 

#1. Add a New Line in Your Education Section

Instead of creating a fresh section called “Relevant Coursework,” you’re better off just adding the courses to your education section.

As a student resume can be one-page max , this helps you to save up the space needed for other essential resume sections.

Here’s a practical example of what this looks like on the resume of a recent graduate applying for a high-school teaching position: 

BA in World Literature 

UC Berkeley

2012 - 2016

Relevant coursework: British Literature, American Literature, Medieval Literature, William Shakespeare, Language and Cognitive Development 

#2. List Your Relevant Coursework in Bullet Points

To make your relevant coursework more visible and reader-friendly, list them in bullet points underneath your diploma title. 

Here’s how the above Literature graduate’s resume would look like following this formatting: 

Relevant Coursework: 

  • British Literature
  • American Literature 
  • Medieval Literature 
  • William Shakespeare 
  • Language and Cognitive Development

#3. Explain How The Coursework is Relevant to the Position 

Finally, if you want to take your relevant coursework resume section to the next level, add detailed explanations to your courses to support how they’re relevant to the position you’re applying for or how they helped develop your skill-set. 

A recent study found that companies are suspending the use of degree completion as a proxy and instead now favor hiring on the basis of demonstrated skills and competencies . This means that your relevant coursework should aim to show exactly how it has helped you acquire the skills required for the position. 

Here’s an example of how that would play out for a journalism student applying for an entry-level reporting job at a newspaper:

B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication

Northwestern University, IL

2015 - 2018

  • Writing and Reporting: Learned the ins and outs of news reporting through several practical assignments and exams.
  • Media Ethics: Got introduced to the most essential ethical theories and decision-making strategies in journalism and wrote a paper on Ethical Journalism and Human Rights that got published in the Political Communication Journal.
  • Gathering and Developing the News: Gained first-hand experience in interviewing, researching, newsgathering, and communicating with sources.

To make sure your coursework is as relevant as possible, check out the required skills in the job description. If you have taken classes that have helped you master those skills, then make sure to mention how by adding all the necessary details, as shown above. 

Here are seven tips you should always keep in mind when listing coursework on your resume: 

  • Take advantage of keywords . When evaluating your resume, recruiters scan it to look for the keywords that were mentioned in the job description (e.g. skills, experiences, etc.). You can re-read the job ad and, where relevant, include these keywords in your coursework section.
  • Tailor your resume to the job offer.  In order for your coursework to add value to your resume, it really needs to be relevant. So, if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t take academic background into consideration or that’s completely unrelated to your major, you’re better off omitting coursework altogether and focusing on other important sections, such as your hard and soft skills. 
  • List online courses. If you’ve completed some online courses that are relevant to the position you’re applying for, feel free to also include them under relevant coursework. 
  • Add value through other academic achievements. Relevant coursework can say a lot about your potential, but recruiters will be even more easily convinced if you support it with other academic achievements, including your GPA, extracurricular activities, etc. 
  • Show how you’ve grown. When you’re explaining your relevant coursework in detail, you can include how you’ve grown by listing all the skills you acquired in the process. Those can be both soft skills, like communication and interpersonal skills, and hard skills like programming or doing extensive research. 
  • Change the relevant coursework as you progress. Many college students start working in their freshman year. If that’s the case with you, make sure to update your resume from year to year to reflect your academic journey and most recently acquired skills. 
  • Check for errors. A well-written, error-free resume shows that you’re attentive to detail and that you care to make a good impression. 

relevant coursework resume

Key Takeaways 

And that’s a wrap! You now have all the necessary information to add relevant coursework to your resume effectively. 

Before you start working on your resume, though, here’s a brief summary of the key points covered in this article:

  • Listing relevant coursework on your resume is not mandatory but can be very helpful if you’re a student or an entry-level professional.
  • If you have at least a year of professional experience, drop your relevant coursework and focus on tailoring your work experience and skills sections to the position. 
  • Relevant coursework typically goes under the education section. You can either give a general or a detailed summary of your coursework. 
  • You can make a separate relevant coursework section only if the job you’re applying for requires a strong academic record. 
  • Your coursework needs to be relevant to the position. This means you should leave them out of your resume if they have nothing to do with the role.

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • How to Include Relevant...

How to Include Relevant Coursework on a Resume (with Examples)

13 min read · Updated on September 11, 2023

Ken Chase

If you are a recent graduate struggling with a lack of work experience, knowing how to include relevant coursework on a resume can be one of the best ways to create a more compelling resume narrative.

One thing that many recent college graduates have in common with one another is a general lack of work experience. That lack of experience can sometimes make it difficult for them to construct a resume that sells their potential to be the best candidate for a job. Fortunately, there are ways to still create a strong and compelling resume, even without experience. For example, did you take classes that might be relevant to the position? If so, including relevant coursework on your resume may be the perfect solution to your resume challenges.

In this post, we will explain how you can identify relevant coursework and where it should be listed in your resume. We will also include several examples of relevant coursework on a resume so that you can see the best options for using these details to strengthen your job search efforts.

What is relevant coursework?

Of course, when we talk about relevant coursework, we are talking about those classes and educational activities that have direct relevance to the position you are seeking. The first thing you need to recognize is that many of the classes you took during your college career will not need to be included in your resume. After all, most degrees require that students complete any number of basic foundational courses that will have little if any relation to their chosen job — at least from a resume standpoint. 

So, what types of classes, achievements, and activities should you focus on as you identify suitable courses to add to your resume? While this sounds like a simple question, it actually requires some serious thought and evaluation. Fortunately, there are some basic rules that you can follow as you make that determination. Below are just some of the potentially relevant things that you might want to include in your resume: 

Coursework that demonstrates that you have a foundation of knowledge in a required aspect of the job you are seeking. For example, if communication skills are needed for the position, you should include courses that focused on business communications, writing, etc.

Projects that are related to particular job skills. For a marketing position, you should include any marketing-related projects you completed during your studies. Or you could include research projects you engaged in if you are seeking a job where research skills are essential.

Academic achievements can also be included, including notably high GPA scores or awards you received. Also, be sure to include any related extracurricular activities. That could include everything from clubs to sporting activities if they helped you develop skills that would be useful for the job.

Again, do not include coursework that has no bearing on the job at hand. This will require you to carefully consider each course to determine its relevance. One way to do that is to read the job posting and select keywords and phrases of import that seem to be describing the skills or educational qualifications needed for the job. Then go through your coursework and try to match courses to those skills. As you do so, remember that some basic courses like those involving communication—both written and verbal—may be included, since communication is one of those soft skills that every company values .

You can learn more about the difference between hard and soft skills by reading our excellent article, Key Differences Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills . A better understanding of those critical soft skills can help to ensure that you don't underestimate the value of any of your classes. There's a great chance that you have more marketable soft skills than you realize! 

When should you include relevant courses on your resume?

Before you add your job-related classes to your resume, you should decide whether it is necessary. For example, you can almost certainly benefit from including your relevant coursework on your resume if: 

You recently graduated from school or are beginning the process of looking for a job because you are close to graduation. Students and recent graduates typically have little or no real job experience to highlight skills. Fortunately, their studies and project assignments will likely have helped them to develop important skills that they can highlight in their resumes.

Your educational achievements are necessary to qualify for the position you are seeking. In those instances, your prospective employer will be interested in knowing that you have fulfilled those requirements and have the basic knowledge needed for the position.

There may also be times when you need to include coursework even after you have been in the workforce for some time. For example, if you are switching careers and your current work experience does not include the skills needed for your new job, that may not matter as much if you can show that your studies prepared you for the role. 

Including coursework related to your minor

As you select relevant coursework for your resume, don't forget to consider courses of study related to your minor too. Hopefully, you will have selected a minor that is at least tangentially related to your desired career path. If so, then chances are that some of the courses you completed may have some relevance that can translate to a useful resume listing. For more information about minors and when they can be added to your resume, read How to Include a Minor on Your Resume .

When should I take coursework off my resume?

Obviously, there will be times when you should forgo any mention of your courses in your resume. Some examples of situations where you might not need to list your specific coursework include:

When your coursework is not really relevant to the position you seek. Including irrelevant coursework could actually distract from your important skills and experiences.

Situations in which coursework was completed so long ago that the information is no longer useful. For instance, many technology-related courses can lose their value over time. Other examples include old marketing courses and other educational achievements that involve skills that have evolved rapidly in recent years.

If your resume is already filled with enough work experience and skills that there is no need or room for specific course details. Remember, you want to add your courses to enhance your value as an employee. If adding a particular course does nothing more than add length to the resume, skip it. 

Where should relevant coursework be listed in your resume?

In most resumes, the coursework should be placed in the education section, with a subheading titled “Relevant Coursework.” When creating this part of the education section, you should insert the subheading under the name of your degree, with a list of the courses you studied. For example:

Bachelor's in [Name of Degree]

[College Name, City, Graduation Date]

Relevant Coursework: [Course 1], [Course 2], [Course 3], [Course 4], [Course 5]

Alternatively, you can also opt to show your courses in a bullet-point list if your resume is short and you need to fill more space. You can even elaborate on each course with a few words to describe the skills you learned in class. For example:

Relevant Coursework:

If you have no actual work experience, you may even want to consider using your education section as a substitute for that experience section. If you choose that option, you may want to place the education section closer to the top of your resume and flesh out each course in the same way you would detail a job listing in your work experience section. That means using detailed descriptions that include quantifiable results highlighting your achievements.

Key tips to remember when listing relevant coursework

Before we show you some examples of how to list relevant coursework on your resume, there are a few tips that can help to ensure that your final product is as compelling as possible. By incorporating these ideas into your resume creation process, you can more effectively make that all-important great first impression on any hiring manager.

Only list relevant coursework if you lack sufficient work experience to meet the job requirements.

Always make sure that the courses you list highlight skills and knowledge needed for the position. If a course has nothing to do with your chosen line of work, it has no place in your resume.

Relevant courses may be related to hard and soft skills.

If you choose to use descriptions for each course, use that as an opportunity to insert relevant keywords from the job description. This can be a great way to ensure that your resume can get past any applicant tracking system .

Always proofread your entire resume to eliminate spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammar errors, and style or formatting discrepancies.

Make sure that you tailor your resume to fit the job you want. Since you will likely be applying for different jobs during your job search, you may need to modify your educational coursework details to align with the needs of each position.

Do not forget to include important skill information in your coursework descriptions. Again, try to use those job description keywords.

If you are maintaining an updated resume throughout your educational career, be sure to continually edit your resume as your coursework evolves over time. This can make it easier to keep it updated and can save you some time when your job search begins.

3 Examples of relevant coursework on a resume

In this final section, we will explore some different examples to show you how you can successfully incorporate relevant coursework into your resume. We have included a couple of examples of the most basic listing options, as well as an expanded sample that enables you to provide more details and skills. You can refer to these samples and use them as guides as you create your own relevant coursework section.

Example #1: The Basics

Bachelor's in Information Technology

My College, Anytown 2022

Relevant Coursework: Cyber Security 101, Business Intelligence, Application Development, Networking and Telecom, Artificial Intelligence

This simple listing would be a good option for anyone who has at least some relevant work experience but who still needs an additional boost to meet the job requirements. In this case, the job seeker's coursework listing is presented in a minimalist format, documenting the specific courses and areas of focus—but without any other information about those studies.

Example #2: Bulletpoint List of Courses

Cyber Security 101

Business Intelligence

Application Development

Networking and Telecom

Artificial Intelligence

This option is similar to the first example but presents the classes and areas of focus as separate bullet points. This provides additional emphasis for each area of study, while also taking up a bit more space in the resume. This can be a great option if your resume is a little short and you need to expand the content.

Example #3: Detailed Format

My College, Anytown

Completed in 2022

Certified Cyber Security Expert, skilled in protecting data, information, and infrastructure.

Coursework included training on risk analysis, threat mitigation, compliance assurance, and cloud security.

Completed multiple projects and research assignments designed to test knowledge and adaptability to various types of cyber threats.

 Business Intelligence

Business analytics certificate, training focused on data interpretation and communication to resolve business problems with a data mindset.

Course included 3 projects testing analytical skills using hypothetical business challenges based on real-world business scenarios.

 Application Development

Courses focused on the development of software coding skills used for web application creation, troubleshooting, and debugging.

Final course project involved the creation of an independent web app to streamline online sales processes for a test company.

Training focused on routing, packet switching, and cybersecurity needs.

Spent eight weeks as a volunteer networking intern for a local ISP, receiving hands-on training from experienced networking professionals.

AI and machine learning studies, emphasizing tech integration into business processes, impact on sales and marketing, and ethical concerns.

Conducted study for the course final, evaluating potential AI benefits for enhanced marketing in the digital age and impact on online sales.

This more detailed example is a superior option for those who have no work experience and need their educational credentials to highlight their skills. In this sample, each area of interest is accompanied by bullet point details describing the types of courses studied and the lessons or skills developed during those classes. In addition, bullet points are added to highlight specific achievements, describe studies and real-world application of skills, and demonstrate competency in the subject matter.

This type of format can enable your coursework section to serve as a replacement for work experience if you have never been employed. When used for that purpose, you can expand on each course listing to include additional skills and keywords from the job post. Simply add new bullet points where needed to flesh out each area of emphasis.

Again, if you choose to replace your work experience section with this relevant coursework section, make sure that you move this section closer to the top of your resume so that it receives more prominence. Basically, if your strongest selling point is your education, then make sure that your important courses are one of the first things that a prospective employer sees. Also, you may want to highlight your educational qualifications in your resume summary so that the reader expects to see those coursework details.

Don't underestimate the power of a well-crafted and compelling resume

Finally, it is important to reiterate just how vital it is that your resume makes the best possible impression. When you approach the labor market with little or no work experience, you are usually already at a competitive disadvantage. There will almost always be someone else who has a similar level of skill and educational background, as well as real-world experience. To compete against a qualified rival, you need a resume that can effectively sell you as the best candidate for the job.

For recent graduates and job seekers moving to entirely new careers, a lack of relevant work experience can be a major impediment to landing job interviews and employment offers. One way to overcome this obstacle is to learn how to use relevant educational coursework on your resume to highlight your qualifications and skills. Hopefully, this post and its resume examples can provide you with the inspiration and help you need to translate your educational experience into a compelling resume narrative. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure that your resume effectively positions you to have the best chance at landing any interview and job. To make sure that your resume is up to par, get a  free resume review  today. And if you really want to be sure that your resume is ready for prime time, take a few moments to discover just how easy it is to get professional resume assistance from our team of experts!

Recommended Reading:

What Should I Say About My Education On My Resume?

Ask Amanda: What's the Best Way to List Education on a Resume?

14 Reasons This is a Perfect Recent College Grad Resume Example

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How to Mention Relevant Coursework in a Resume

Last Updated: May 25, 2023 References

This article was co-authored by Amber Leima and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD . Amber Leima is a Resumé Consultant and the Founding Editor of Best Words Editing. She has two decades of experience helping people and companies express their unique value. Amber is a master at drawing out what matters from your personal story and promoting it to optimal effect, crafting beautifully clear resumés and on-point personal branding supported by thoughtfully-structured interview coaching. She holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in English Literature from the University of Sussex, England. Her clients have been hired by their employers of choice, including Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and PayPal. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 354,505 times.

Crafting a great resume isn’t easy! One of the many tricky parts is choosing what to add and what to leave out—for instance, should you list some relevant coursework? Adding coursework can be particularly important if you are a recent graduate and have little relevant work experience. If you determine that you should indeed add relevant coursework to your resume, it’s critical to ensure it is truly relevant to the position for which you are applying—and is listed in the right place with sensible formatting!

Selecting Coursework for Inclusion

Step 1 Add coursework to your resume if you have limited relevant work experience.

  • The general cut-off point is typically 5 years of relevant work experience: if you have less than this, add relevant coursework to your resume; if you have more than this, only add relevant coursework if it’s hyper-specific to the job or internship.
  • Still not sure if you should add coursework to your resume? Ask yourself if you’ll rely on talking about coursework during an interview. In other words, do you have enough relevant work experience that you won’t need to mention your coursework during an interview? If the answer is “yes,” then you typically don’t need to add coursework to your resume.

Step 2 Write down all your completed and in-progress degrees and specializations.

  • Remember: just because you’re not done with a course or degree doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant! Always list any in-progress coursework and note the planned completion date of the course or degree.
  • List the courses by their actual title, not their course number or some nickname: for example, “United States History to 1877,” not “U.S. History 101” or “American History I.” This isn’t absolutely essential while brainstorming, but it makes things easier once it’s time to transfer coursework to your resume. [3] X Research source

Step 4 Select 3-6 courses per degree that best pertain to the job or internship.

  • If, for example, you’re a communications major and are applying for a social media internship, any social media communication classes you’ve taken should be considered relevant. Or, if you’re applying for an HR job and have taken courses on finance and payroll as part of your human resources major, definitely include these if the position involves areas like compensation and benefits.

Step 5 Use internships and volunteer positions to enhance your coursework.

  • For example, if you are applying for a position at an aerospace engineering firm, you should list your internship at an aerospace research facility. Or, if you are applying for a social media position at a marketing company, you might list volunteer experience as the social media director at a local festival.

Adding Coursework to Your Resume

Step 1 Create a separate education and coursework section for your resume.

  • Suggested section title: Relevant Education and Coursework.
  • For example, you may have earned a degree in English, but are now studying graphic design at your local college. If you are applying for a position at a graphic design firm, list this educational experience first, before your English degree.
Bachelor of Science in Genetic Engineering Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island Expected completion date: 05/2017

Step 3 Present 3-6 courses as a list, or 1-2 courses in more detail.

Bachelor of Science in Genetic Engineering Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island Expected completion date: 05/2017 Relevant coursework: Lab Testing & Reporting, Genetic Manipulation, Social Implications of Genetic Engineering.
Advanced Studies in Marketing and Advertising Hudson Community College, Hudson, New York Expected completion date: 05/2015

Step 4 Include honors rather than graduation dates if you’re not a recent grad.

  • It’s also not necessary to list your final GPA for a degree or course, as most employers will not notice the score. But if you graduated with high honors, such as summa cum laude or with honors , make a note of this in your resume.
Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, Graduated with Honors Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec Relevant Coursework: Advanced Topics in Social Anthropology, Research and Investigation, Advanced Studies in Ancient Cities.

Expert Q&A

Alyson Garrido, PCC

  • Even if your education and coursework listing feels a bit thin for the position, it’s important not to fabricate coursework on your resume. Your employer may ask you about this made-up coursework, putting you in a position where you must either come clean or be dishonest in your interview. [10] X Research source Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

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  • ↑ Amber Leima. Resumé Consultant. Expert Interview. 18 March 2022.
  • ↑ Alyson Garrido, PCC. Career Coach. Expert Interview. 24 January 2019.
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About this article

Amber Leima

Referencing your coursework is a great way to show an employer the knowledge and experience you have in a particular field. If you've completed any coursework relevant to the job you're applying for, include it in your resume to show off your skills. To do this, list your coursework in your education section, underneath your degree. Write your degree or course first, then your university or college, followed by your graduation date or anticipated completion date. Then, underneath that, add the subheading “Relevant coursework,” and list 1-3 examples of relevant coursework. For more tips, including how to work out which coursework is most relevant to the job you’re applying for, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Resume Licenses and Certifications: Sample and Easy Tips

relevant coursework licenses

As a job seeker, you want your resume to stand out from the crowd. Including licenses and certifications can be a game-changer in your job application process. Not only do they showcase your expertise in a particular field, but they also demonstrate your dedication to continuing education and professional development.

The Importance of Including Licenses and Certifications on a Resume

Employers are always looking for candidates who can bring added value to their team – someone who’s willing to go the extra mile to stay up-to-date in their industry. Obtaining licenses and certifications shows your commitment to your career and your willingness to invest in yourself. Hiring managers see licenses and certifications as proof of your skills, knowledge, and dedication to your profession.

How Licenses and Certifications Can Enhance Your Job Application

Including licenses and certifications on your resume can give you a competitive edge in the job market. It can serve as a distinguishing factor that sets you apart from other candidates. Your certifications and licenses can help you get noticed, especially in a highly competitive job market.

Having licenses and certifications can also help you negotiate a higher salary. Even if the certification is not required for the job, it can show that you have specialized knowledge and skills that can benefit the company.

Including your licenses and certifications on your resume is a wise choice that can benefit your job search in many ways. It shows employers that you are serious about your career and are committed to staying up-to-date in your industry. So, make sure to list your licenses and certifications clearly and prominently on your resume to increase your chances of getting hired.

Types of Licenses and Certifications

When it comes to adding licenses and certifications to your resume, it’s important to understand the different types available. Here are some of the most common types:

relevant coursework licenses

1. Professional Licenses

Professional licenses are required by law to practice certain professions, such as law, medicine, accounting, and engineering. These licenses are usually issued by state governments and require passing an exam and meeting certain qualifications. Some examples of professional licenses include:

  • RN (Registered Nurse)
  • PE (Professional Engineer)
  • CPA (Certified Public Accountant)
  • ESQ (Attorney-at-Law)

2. Trade and Technical Certifications

Trade and technical certifications are designed to demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge required to perform a specific job or task. These certifications are usually issued by professional organizations or industry groups and often require passing an exam or completing a training program. Some examples of trade and technical certifications include:

  • CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
  • ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library)
  • CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant)
  • AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate

3. Occupational Licenses

Similar to professional licenses, occupational licenses are required by law to practice certain occupations, such as cosmetology, plumbing, and pest control. These licenses are usually issued by state governments and require passing an exam and meeting certain qualifications. Some examples of occupational licenses include:

  • Esthetician License
  • Journeyman Plumber License
  • Exterminator License

4. Safety Certifications

Safety certifications demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to perform a job safely and prevent accidents. These certifications are usually issued by industry groups or government agencies and often require passing an exam or completing a training program. Some examples of safety certifications include:

  • OSHA 30-Hour General Industry Certification
  • CPR and First Aid Certification
  • AHA Basic Life Support Certification

5. Software Certifications

Software certifications demonstrate that you have the skills and knowledge to use specific software programs, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, and Salesforce. These certifications are usually issued by the software companies themselves or by third-party organizations and often require passing an exam or completing a training program. Some examples of software certifications include:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist
  • Adobe Certified Expert
  • Salesforce Administrator Certification

Adding licenses and certifications to your resume can help you stand out from other job applicants and demonstrate that you have the skills and qualifications required for the job. When listing your licenses and certifications on your resume, be sure to include the name of the license/certification, the date you obtained it, and the organization that issued it.

Choosing the Right Licenses and Certifications

Criteria for choosing the right licenses and certifications.

When it comes to selecting the licenses and certifications to include in your resume, it is crucial to choose the ones that are most relevant to your field of expertise, your career goals, and the requirements of your target employers.

To help you make the right decision, here are some key criteria to consider:

Relevance:  Consider the licenses and certifications that directly relate to your job function, industry, or specialization. This will indicate to potential employers that you possess the necessary knowledge and skills to perform the job at hand.

Validity:  Ensure that the licenses and certifications you choose are current and up-to-date. Some certifications may require periodic renewal or continuing education credits to maintain relevance, so check the requirements before listing them on your resume.

Popularity:  Certain licenses and certifications enjoy greater popularity and recognition in particular industries or geographical areas. Research which certifications are most respected in your field and location, and prioritize those on your resume.

Cost and Time Investment:  It’s essential to assess the cost and time commitment involved in obtaining a specific license or certification. Consider whether it’s worth the investment, or if there are other credentials that may be more cost-effective and time-efficient.

relevant coursework licenses

Importance of Relevancy and Credibility

Including the right licenses and certifications in your resume can significantly enhance your professional image and make you stand out from other candidates in your field. By demonstrating your commitment to ongoing education and professional development, you signal to prospective employers that you are serious about your career and possess the necessary qualifications and skills to excel at the job.

However, it’s important to choose certifications and licenses that are credible and recognized within your industry. If you include obscure or irrelevant certifications, it can cast doubt on your judgment and qualifications, and potentially harm your chances of being hired.

Moreover, when listing your credentials on your resume, it’s essential to present them in a clear, organized, and easily accessible format. Use proper formatting, such as bold or italics, to highlight the credentials that are most relevant to the job, and consider clustering similar certifications together for greater impact.

Choosing the right licenses and certifications can significantly enhance your resume and make you a more competitive candidate in your field. By using the relevant criteria and emphasizing the importance of credibility and relevancy, you can create a strong and impressive resume that showcases your qualifications and talents.

How to Display Licenses and Certifications on a Resume

When writing a resume, it is important to showcase your strengths and skills to potential employers. Including your licenses and certifications can help you stand out from the competition and show that you are committed to professional growth and development.

Here are some best practices for presenting your licenses and certifications on your resume:

Determine which licenses and certifications are relevant to the job. Only include licenses and certifications that are related to the job you are applying for.

Provide details about each license or certification. Include the name of the organization that issued the license, the date it was awarded, and any relevant job duties or skills you gained from obtaining it.

Place the section prominently. Depending on the nature and relevance of your licenses and certifications, you may want to place this section in one of the prominent areas of your resume, such as the headline or summary.

Update your information. Keep your information up to date, including license or certification expiration dates, so that employers can see that you are current and committed to your profession.

Here are some examples of different ways to showcase your licenses and certifications on your resume:

  • Professional Licenses : For those with professional licenses, you can create a separate section on your resume to list the name of the license, issuing organization, date of issuance, and expiration date, if applicable. For example:

Professional Licenses:

  • Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board of Certified Counselors, January 2022
  • Registered Nurse, State of California Board of Registered Nursing, August 2023
  • Certifications : When it comes to certifications, you can create a separate section on your resume, just like professional licenses. Here, you can include the name of the certification, issuing organization, and date of issuance. For example:


  • Google Analytics Certification, Google, February 2021
  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², April 2022
  • Incorporating into Job Responsibilities : If your license or certification is highly relevant to a particular job, you can incorporate it into your job responsibilities section. For example:

Job Responsibilities:

  • Conduct individual and group therapy sessions for clients using evidence-based practices, as licensed by the National Board of Certified Counselors
  • ** Including in Professional Summary **: You can also include your licenses and certifications in your professional summary. For example:

Professional Summary:

  • Licensed professional counselor with experience providing mental health support for adults and adolescents. Certified in trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), with strong skills in counseling, assessment, and crisis management.

When displaying licenses and certifications on your resume, remember to use bullet points, be concise, and highlight the most important details.

Top and In-Demand Licenses and Certifications

Having the right licenses and certifications can make all the difference when it comes to landing your dream job. Here are some essential licenses and certifications for different industries and professions, as well as some of the most in-demand certifications for desired job roles.

Essential Licenses and Certifications

Project Management Professional (PMP)  – This certification is essential for project managers and demonstrates that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to lead projects to success.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)  – The CPA certification is vital for those in the finance industry, as it demonstrates proficiency in accounting principles and practices.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)  – For those in the IT industry, the CISSP certification is essential in demonstrating expertise in cybersecurity.

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)  – For those in the healthcare industry, a CNA certification is often required as it demonstrates the necessary skills and knowledge to provide basic care to patients.

Most In-Demand Certifications for Desired Job Roles

Certified Scrum Master (CSM)  – With the rise of agile project management methodologies, the CSM certification is becoming increasingly in demand for project managers.

AWS Certified Solutions Architect  – As more companies move their infrastructure to the cloud, the AWS Solutions Architect certification is becoming essential for those in the IT industry.

Google Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ)  – In the marketing industry, the Google Analytics IQ certification demonstrates proficiency in analyzing website data and creating targeted marketing campaigns.

Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) Certifications  – For those in the HR industry, the HRCI certifications, such as the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) or Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), are becoming increasingly important in demonstrating knowledge and expertise in HR practices.

Having the right licenses and certifications can significantly increase your chances of landing your dream job. Whether you are looking to advance in your current role or switch career paths, consider obtaining some of these essential or in-demand certifications to give you that extra edge in the job market.

Obtaining Licenses and Certifications

Licensing and certification in your field can demonstrate your level of expertise and professionalism to employers. Here are some steps to obtain licenses and certifications:

Steps to obtain licenses and certifications

Research the requirements: Check the requirements for the license or certification you want to obtain. This often includes educational requirements, work experience, and examination.

Apply: Apply for the license or certification by submitting the required documents and fees.

Meet the eligibility criteria: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for the license or certification. This can include having a certain level of education, experience, or completing specified coursework.

Prepare for the exam: Prepare for the exam by studying the exam content and format. You may want to consider taking a course or purchasing a study guide.

Take the exam: Take the exam at the designated testing center or online.

Receive your certification: Once you pass the exam, you will receive your certification or license.

Eligibility criteria and prerequisites

Each license or certification has its own set of eligibility criteria and prerequisites. Some common prerequisites include:

  • A certain level of education (e.g. high school diploma or bachelor’s degree)
  • Specific coursework or college degree
  • Work experience in the relevant field
  • Passing a background check
  • Meeting certain character or fitness requirements

It is important to check the specific eligibility criteria for the license or certification you are interested in to ensure you are qualified.

Exam preparation tips and resources

Preparing for exams can be intimidating, but there are several tips and resources to help you prepare:

Study the exam content: Review the exam content and format to understand what will be covered on the exam.

Purchase a study guide: Study guides can provide additional context and may include practice questions.

Take a course: Consider taking a course that covers the exam content. This can help you gain a better understanding of the material.

Take practice exams: Taking practice exams can help you identify areas where you need to focus more.

Join a study group: Joining a study group can provide additional support and help you stay on track with your studying.

Here are some useful resources for exam preparation:

Websites: Many websites offer sample questions and practice exams. Check out the website of the organization that administers the exam.

Books: Study guides and review books can be purchased online or at a bookstore.

Courses: Online or in-person courses can provide a structured learning environment.

Obtaining licenses and certifications can be a great way to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism to potential employers. By understanding the steps, eligibility criteria, and exam preparation tips and resources, you can successfully obtain the licenses and certifications that are right for you.

Renewing and Maintaining Licenses and Certifications

As a professional, it is important not only to obtain necessary licenses and certifications but also to renew and maintain them. Renewal requirements vary depending on the type of license or certification, but can include completing continuing education courses, passing exams, or submitting proof of work experience.

Requirements for Renewing Licenses and Certifications

It is crucial to check with the issuing authority or organization for specific requirements for renewal. In some cases, there may be a minimum number of hours of continuing education required, while in others, individuals may have to retake an exam to demonstrate the necessary skills and knowledge in their field. Proof of work experience may also be required, such as a certain number of hours worked or specific projects completed.

Timeframes and Deadlines

Renewal deadlines can also vary depending on the license or certification. Some may be renewed annually, while others may require renewals every two or three years. It is important to keep track of renewal deadlines and submit any necessary documentation before the deadline to avoid any potential consequences.

Continuing Education and Professional Development Opportunities

Continuing education and professional development opportunities can help individuals stay up-to-date with industry trends and advancements, as well as meet the requirements for license and certification renewals. These opportunities can include attending conferences, workshops, and online courses. Some organizations may offer discounts or free courses for members to help them meet their renewal requirements.

Renewing and maintaining licenses and certifications is a vital aspect of career development and growth. By staying informed of requirements and deadlines, and seeking out continuing education opportunities, professionals can continue to demonstrate their expertise and commitment to their field.

Mistakes to Avoid When Including Licenses and Certifications on a Resume

When including licenses and certifications on a resume, it’s essential to avoid common mistakes that can hinder your chances of getting the job. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid:

Common Errors to Avoid

Listing expired licenses – Failing to update your licenses and certifications or including expired ones is a common error. It creates confusion and raises doubts in the minds of the recruiter.

Listing irrelevant certs – Listing irrelevant certifications that have no bearing on the job or industry the resume is targeting is a recipe for disaster.

Being unclear about the certification’s purpose – Often, job seekers fail to indicate the significance of the certification or how it adds value to their skill set.

Ignoring formatting – Poor formatting of the licenses and certifications section of the resume could lead to confusion and make it hard to read.

Tips on how to avoid these missteps

Keep your licenses and certifications up to date – Ensure your licenses and certifications renew on time, and update your resume as soon as you receive updates.

Only list relevant certifications – Tailor your list of certifications to the industry and the job you’re applying for. Be specific and strategic.

Highlight the significance of each certification – This can be done by providing context to your certification or explaining how it adds value to your overall skill set.

Format your resume consistently – Be consistent in formatting the resume, including the licenses, and certifications section as it is a part of a professional document.

Showcasing your licenses and certifications requires attention and effort. Avoiding errors and being strategic about what certifications to list can help you secure the job of your dreams.

Tips for Making Your License/Certification Stand Out

If you have invested time and effort in obtaining a license or certification, it’s important to make it stand out on your resume. Here are some tips to do just that:

How to make your license/certification stand out to potential employers

Place it strategically: One easy way to make your license/certification stand out is to place it in a prominent location on your resume. Consider placing it in the “Education” section, or create a separate section titled “Certifications” or “Licenses.”

Use clear, concise language: Be sure to use simple language to describe your license or certification so that potential employers can quickly understand its relevance to the position they are trying to fill.

Add context: It’s important to add context to your license/certification. Explain what it means, what skills you acquired in the process of obtaining it, and how it has contributed to your professional development.

Strategies to showcase your achievements

Provide tangible examples: Use specific examples to illustrate how your license/certification has helped you excel in your previous positions. This could include increasing efficiency, improving safety standards, or increasing revenue.

Quantify your achievements: Use data to quantify your achievements. For example, if your certification helped you increase company revenue, state the percentage increase.

Highlight relevant skills: Along with your license/certification, make sure to highlight other relevant skills you possess that can help you stand out from other applicants.

Emphasizing your license or certification on your resume is an effective way to stand out to potential employers. By following these tips and strategies, you can showcase your hard work and expertise in a way that captivates potential employers and helps you land your next job.

Frequently Asked Questions about Licenses and Certifications

As a job seeker, it’s essential to understand the significance of licenses and certifications on your resume. Highlighting your relevant licenses and certifications to potential employers can greatly enhance your chances of getting hired. Here are some common questions about licenses and certifications and expert answers to help clarify any confusion you may have.

What is the difference between a license and a certification?

A license is a legal authorization that enables a professional to perform a particular job role or operate certain equipment legally. It is typically administered by the government or a licensing board, and requirements usually include passing an exam and meeting specific criteria. Certifications, on the other hand, are voluntary and not usually legally required. They typically demonstrate a professional’s mastery of certain skills and knowledge in their field.

Which licenses and certifications are worth adding to my resume?

The licenses and certifications that you should add to your resume are those that are relevant to the job you are applying for. For instance, if you are a nurse, you may want to add your state’s nursing license and relevant certifications such as the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) or Pediatric Nursing Certification (CPN).

How do I display my licenses and certifications on my resume?

You can display your licenses and certifications in a separate section titled “Licenses and Certifications” or incorporate them within your relevant work experience. Be sure to include the name of the license or certification, the date you acquired it, and the certifying organization or licensing board.

Can I still apply for a job if I don’t have the required license or certification?

It depends on the employer and the job requirements. Some employers may consider hiring candidates who don’t currently have the required license or certification but are willing to obtain it after being hired. Still, it’s always better to acquire the necessary licenses and certifications before applying for a job, as it enhances your qualifications and chances of being hired.

Are online certifications worth adding to my resume?

It depends on the quality and relevance of the online certification. Online certifications from accredited organizations in your field can definitely boost your resume’s credibility and demonstrate your commitment to continued learning and professional development. However, be sure to research the organization’s reputation and the certification’s relevance to the job you are applying for.

Adding relevant licenses and certifications to your resume can greatly enhance your chances of getting hired. Be sure to highlight the licenses and certifications that relate to your job role, display them clearly on your resume, and continue learning and acquiring certifications to stay competitive in your field.

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