You’ve heard this before, but it makes sense so it bears repeating. Between classes, homework, projects, scheduling and studying, being a student can be just as intense as being a full-time employee.
So when it comes to writing a resume, shouldn’t your full-time job as a student count for more than one line at the bottom?
Incorporating classes into a resume has to be one of the most common questions I get from college students. How much is too much? What is the most important? I hear it all the time.
There is definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about including classes on your resume. Check out the four points you should consider:
Employers don’t want to know how you studied hard and sat in the front row of the lecture hall. They want to know how your experience in class will translate to your work at their company.
Highlight classes that simulate the work environment. Maybe you worked with a client in one course or maybe you created a marketable product. Whatever it might be, pick something that employers can relate to.
Just like in your work experience, employers don’t want to hear about how you took a class. They want to know what you took away from it. What did you do? Whenever possible, pick quantifiable accomplishments, such as “surveyed 1,000 phone respondents in target audience” or “successfully converted X into Y”.
Go for Skills
When you think about it, employers don’t really care where you worked or what you did, they want to know what you can do. Better yet, they want to know what you can do for them.
Make sure you include any skills you developed in a class. Just like your accomplishments, try to make them as quantifiable as possible. After all, saying you’re a “good typist” isn’t nearly as convincing as “typing speed: 800 wpm.”
Last, but not least, de-jargon your classes. In college, it’s easy to get caught up in the department or campus-specific jargon. The problem is, you might know what “PSY 675” means, but an employer doesn’t. Spell out abbreviations, use full class titles, and avoid jargon.
What do you think? What other tips would you offer to a college student who wants to use class experience in their resume? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
About the Author: Sean Weinberg is the COO and co-founder of RezScore, a free web application that reads, analyzes, and grades resumes – instantly. Also the founder of Freedom Resumes, Sean has dedicated his career to helping job seekers write the best possible resumes. You can connect with Sean and the RezScore team on Facebook and Twitter.