If you’re one of the millions of people who pursues continuing education from MOOCs including sites like Lynda, Udemy or Coursera – congratulations! In an ever-evolving economy where new technology can quickly render old skills obsolete, it’s vital for employees to continually upgrade their skills. In addition, employers appreciate workers who are invested in their own skill sets. However, those online courses and certifications may pose a challenge for your resume if you decide to seek a new job. In this post, we will explain how to list online courses on a resume the right way.
You might be wondering whether you should list online courses on your resume. Does it add value – or is it even worth listing online courses on your resume? Or any online studies, for that matter?
The answer is – Yes!
The world is changing – faster than most of us realize. Today’s skills often have a short shelf-life, and smart employees will recognize the need to upgrade their talents. That’s the best way to ensure that you maintain and enhance your value as an employee. In the end, that value is what makes employers want to hire you.
Of course, most of us would struggle to hold down a job and go to a traditional college at the same time. Fortunately, the rise of the internet has presented workers with alternative options for continuing education.
MOOCs including sites like Lynda, Udemy and Coursera offer workers valuable education, new or enhanced skills, and certifications that can carry real value in the marketplace. More importantly, employers need to be able to see how you’ve tried to keep pace with skill set changes. For all those reasons, you need to know how to list online Lynda courses on your resume.
Keep in mind that online courses are a recent phenomenon. That means that some employers may not understand their relevance – or even give them much credence. If you know how to list online Lynda courses on your resume, however, you can overcome those challenges. These tips can help:
First, it’s important to be selective when you list online courses on your resume. You may receive continuing education on an ongoing basis, but that doesn’t mean that the employer needs to hear about every class you take.
Instead, think about the skills you need for the job you’re seeking. Which courses provided skills that directly relate to that job? Those are the courses that you want to emphasize in your resume. Try to tailor your list as much as possible, for maximum impact.
Here are some of the popular online services that offer courses:
Skip any courses that might present you as a novice in that skill area. So, if you took a course introducing students to PowerPoint, for example, you can leave it off your resume.
Its inclusion would mark you as a beginner and detract from your other areas of expertise. In short, only include courses that enhance your credibility as an expert in your field.
Be smart about where you list online courses on your resume. Sure, they’re educational in nature, but that doesn’t mean that they belong in your education section.
Formal education is just that: formal. That includes university degrees and other college or trade school accomplishments.
List those achievements in your education section, and then create a different section for your continuing education efforts.We recommend using a “Professional Development” – “Certifications” – “Professional Training” section (or something similar) to highlight these online courses and skills.
(We wrote a good post on including certifications on your resume.)
You can use that section to list online courses on your resume, as well as other professional development. Try to limit those courses and skills to no more than five or six. You can include everything from online courses to technical certifications in this section.
How you list online courses on your resume matters too. While you might be tempted to just use a dry list of your certifications and other continuing education, don’t. Those skill enhancements are basically meaningless without context. In other words, you need to do more than just list them; you need to showcase their value.
The best way to do that is to cite projects or tasks where you have used those skills. So, for example, if you received software certification of some kind, include a project that involved that skill.
That helps to flesh out the coursework and demonstrate its value to any prospective employer. It might require a little more creativity and thought on your part, but the results will be well worth the added effort.
When you properly list online Lynda courses on a resume, you can enhance your image as an expert in your field. At the same time, you will also demonstrate passion for your industry. Just remember to focus intently on showcasing value. That will help any potential employer to better understand why you’re the best candidate for the job!