Intellectual curiosity. Drive and passion. A desire to keep improving. Employers look for these attributes on a résumé in addition to experience and a track record of success. Your participation in and completion of massive open online courses (MOOCs) demonstrate that you possess these traits. They could be the difference between getting a job and getting passed over.
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MOOCs are free online courses from colleges and universities all over the world that are often taught by top faculty. All of the course materials—the lectures and the reading—are posted online. You log on, complete the work, and earn a certificate or badge that verifies your accomplishment. By completing these courses, you have the opportunity to distinguish yourself from the competition in your job search.
[Search for MOOCs on LearningAdvisor.]
If you’ve successfully completed a MOOC, congratulations! You’ve gained new insight into your profession and learned new skills. Now you need to leverage it. That means making it stand out on your résumé.
Here are five résumé tips to help you highlight your MOOCs:
1. Create a new section.
Every résumé includes two main sections: Employment and Education. Instead of tacking on MOOC courses under Education, make your MOOC participation stand out. Add a third category: Professional Development. This section will demonstrate to a potential employer your drive to remain current in your industry and to continue to learn as a professional. If you’ve completed other professional development courses besides MOOCs, list them here, too, in order from the most recent to the oldest.
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2. List it at the bottom.
Put the Professional Development section at the bottom of your resume. MOOCs are an add-on to your employment and education history. Don’t lead with them. Instead, let them be an added bonus to your already impressive résumé.
3. Include the institution and instructor.
Participating in MOOCs is a good thing. But as their popularity and availability grows, employers will start to be more discerning about which MOOCs listed on a résumé impress them. It’s no longer enough to simply list the name of the MOOCs you’ve completed on your résumé. Demonstrate the legitimacy of your MOOC learning by also listing the institution, such as the University of Pennsylvania, and the course instructor.
4. Include job-related skills.
In today’s world, experience is more important than credentials. It’s important to include a list of real-world ways that what you learned in your MOOCs will help you in your chosen profession. Ask yourself these questions:
- Were you able to practice a skill that’s used in the day-to-day work of your desired job?
- Did you have access to experiential learning opportunities, such as workshops or peer assessment of your work?
- Have you already implemented the things you learned from the MOOCs you took?
Include a brief list of these job-related skills under the course listings to show how what you’ve learned sets you apart from the competition.
5. Only list MOOCs you completed.
Listing a MOOC is only an advantage if you’ve completed the course. Only about 10% of students complete MOOCs, so your completed courses show your potential employer that you follow through with your commitments. Also, you should be prepared to discuss in an interview what you learned in the MOOCs you took.
[Don’t forget to sharpen your LinkedIn profile, too!]
Many MOOCs also offer a badge or certificate upon completion. Don’t put the image of the badge on your résumé (and don’t mail the certificate with your résumé), but do offer to make them available upon request. LinkedIn’s certificate program will automatically display badges from your completed MOOCs on your profile. Include a link to your LinkedIn profile on your résumé, and be sure to have all the badges you’ve earned posted.
With these résumé tips, you can showcase your dedication to lifelong learning and gain a leg up in your job search. Happy hunting!
How do think MOOCs will help you open new doors to your career?