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What To Write For Relevant Coursework

Should you include relevant coursework on your resume? Some people will tell you yes, others will advise against it. The best answer is: it depends. If you have relatively little experience in the field, including a list of relevant courses can be a good way to demonstrate your interest and exposure to a topic area. On the other hand, if you already have some significant related work experience, space on your resume is probably better used describing your professional work and achievements. If you’re in doubt about whether or not to list relevant coursework, use this test: in an interview what experiences would you talk about to demonstrate your qualifications for the position? If you would pull the majority of experiences from your classwork, it may be to your benefit to list relevant courses and even speak in detail about class projects on your resume.

If you do decide to include relevant coursework on your resume, be selective about which courses you include. There is no need to list basic or core courses, such as Biology or Foundations of Public Health. List only those courses that give you specific knowledge (usually electives) and are directly relevant to the position to which you are applying. On your resume the best place to include information about relevant courses is directly under the degree program in which you took the course. Be sure to write out the entire name of the course; employers are not familiar with course numbers and may not understand the abbreviated titles that are used in the course catalog.


This entry was posted in For Current Students, Weekly Tip by Melanie Steimle. Bookmark the permalink.

I'm starting to take some major-specific classes and I was wondering if I could put them under relevant coursework on my resume even though I haven't completed them yet. Can I just put currently enrolled in parenthesis next to it or something?


Current Relevant Coursework on Resume

Generally speaking, there is no problem with putting current coursework on your resume. In the end it means very little but can raise the bar for your technical questions somewhat. If you are very comfortable talking about all the relevant coursework on your resume there is no issue. That being said, unless your major is non-finance related - relevant coursework does not really impact your application. Our users shared their thoughts below.

@farmerbob shared how best to list ongoing course work:

I've seen it where people have put the date of the class next to it to show that it is being taken or about to be taken. For example under relevant coursework it will say, "Securities Analysis (S'12)" To designate that the class will be taken in the spring semester, same with F for fall or something else along those lines.

User @nycIBD explained that it is fine to list as long as you're prepared for harder technicals.

Throw it on there but know that it raises the standard for your technicals. If you're comfortable with that - there is benefit.

@rothyman shared that it is not wise to put any relevant course work on your resume:

A little warning here... I always used to put relevant coursework on my resume up until about a month ago. It was all good until a hard-nosed interviewer really drilled me with questions about a few of my advanced classes (international finance & international banking).

I think it's pointless to put relevant coursework on your resume and just opens you up to scrutiny. IMO, I would leave it off and just list your major. No one is going to give you a job because of your relevant coursework. Then again, they could easily drop you if you come across as clueless/lying about your coursework.

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