How to Include Your Coursework in Your Resume
Craft a Resume That Focuses on Student Coursework
As a current student or recent graduate, you may not have very much work experience to include on your resume. However, one way to strengthen your resume is to emphasize related coursework and other academic experiences. Employers understand that young employees may not have a large amount of career experience. They will often look at your coursework and academic experiences to judge if you have the knowledge to fill the open position.
Include Related Courses and Research
When creating a resume, consider adding a section called “Relevant Coursework.” In it, include the courses directly related to the position you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for work as a paralegal, list any classes you took related to law or politics.
Similarly, if you have completed any research projects related to your future career, list these. If you are applying for a job that involves conducting research, list any extensive research projects you worked on.
Beyond related coursework, you should also emphasize any academic successes, such as a high GPA or an award from an academic department. Although these successes may not appear to be directly related to the job for which you are applying, they demonstrate your hard work and responsibility.
Other Experience to Include
If you participated in any sports or clubs where you developed skills relevant to the job you’re applying for, include these. You could include a section on your resume called “Extracurricular Activities,” or you might highlight activities in a broader section called “Relevant Experience.”
Volunteer work is a relevant experience. Even if you did not get paid for this work, volunteer experiences can make terrific additions to your resume. For example, if you are applying for a job as a teacher’s assistant, describe your volunteer tutor experience.
Use Keywords in Your Descriptions
Beneath each experience, list your responsibilities and achievements in that experience that help show you as a strong fit for the position. One way to do this is to include keywords from the job listing in the descriptions. If the job requires field research experience, be sure to mention your “30+ hours of field research” in the description of your senior project.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Take the time to thoroughly edit your resume for spelling and grammar errors. Also, make sure that your font and style choices are consistent—for example, if you write one section title in bold, all section titles should be bold. You might set up a meeting with a counselor at your college career services office to have someone else read through your resume too.
Example of Coursework Focused Resume
The following is a resume for a paralegal. This resume focuses on relevant coursework and leadership experiences.
Student Resume Focusing on Coursework (Text Version)
456 Oakwood Terrace
Anytown, PA 99999
Advancing science and law through dedicated legal and scientific research
A respected research assistant who has worked with tenured professors, practicing lawyers, school administrators, and company executives to produce research reports on scientific study and Supreme Court case law.
Key skills include:
- Computer-Assisted Research
- Organizing Research Data for Comprehensive Reports
- Analyzing Case Law
- Working with Research Teams
- Presenting Research Data
RELEVANT LEGAL COURSEWORK AND RESEARCH
XYZ LABS, White Plains, NY
RESEARCH ASSISTANT (Fall 2018 – Present)
Collaborate with an adviser, research team, and Smith School of Medicine to conduct research regarding the effects of steroids on the activity level of rats.
- Use a computer to gather and analyze data for distribution to the research team.
- Present new findings in bimonthly discussion with the department.
SOCIOLOGY OF LAW COURSE, SOCIOLOGY DEPARTMENT, XYZ COLLEGE, White Plains, NY
RESEARCH INTERN (Spring 2017)
Researched case law dealing with social policy and the Supreme Court.
- Analyzed cases and produced final paper regarding social policy in court cases.
- Explained results and conclusions in a final presentation to practicing lawyers.
EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS
XYZ COLLEGE, White Plains, NY
Bachelor of Arts in Government (Cumulative GPA: 3.9) Awarded Outstanding Government Student, May 2017
Microsoft Word • Excel • PowerPoint • LexisNexis • Adobe