You did it: you’ve finished up another online course to help you advance in your career as a developer. How can you share the work you’ve put in with your future employer?
A lot of our learners ask us for guidance on listing online courses on their resumes. That’s why we’ve put together this quick guide on why this is a great idea and how to do it.
Why you should list online courses on your resume
There are several reasons why you should list the online courses you’ve completed on your resume. We’ve rounded the up here.
It shows employers that you’re proactive
Today, most companies want to hire people who can work independently rather than waiting around to be told what to do. When you take a professional online course on your own initiative, it shows employers that you’re serious about advancing your career and have the discipline to follow through on your plans.
Online courses can fill career gaps
Employers don’t like to see long gaps in your resume. Whether you’ve been looking for a job for a while or you just wanted to take some time off, taking relevant online courses is one way to show that you’ve been keeping a foot in your professional field since your last job position.
Online courses validate your skills
Yes, it’s true that many professionals improve their skills and learn new ones in the workplace. And it’s completely valid to provide a list of these skills on your resume.
But think about it from the perspective of a future employer. Hundreds, maybe thousands of people submit resumes claiming the same skills. How is it possible to pick out who’s better?
Online courses can validate your skills and give companies an objective understanding of your professional knowledge.
5 tips on how to list online courses on your resume
While you can simply list all the online courses you’ve taken on your resume, that might not attract a potential employer. Here are some tips to help you list these courses in a way that will impress interviewers:
1. Have the job description in front of you
Read (or re-read) the job description to give yourself a clear idea of what kind of person the company is looking for. This is especially important if you’re applying to several jobs at once.
As you go through these other tips, keep referring to the job description as your guide to listing online courses on your resume.
2. Add courses that matter
Remember that most hiring managers take just a few seconds to look through each resume they get. If you list every online course you’ve taken, the reader will skip over the important parts of your resume.
This is why you should keep that job description handy. Take a look at the description. Then, as you add in online courses, ask yourself, “Did I learn a skill here that the company is looking for?” If so, then include it in your resume.
3. Make sure your list is easy to verify
Include the course provider in your list and write course names exactly as they appear on the course provider’s website.
You should also make sure you take courses from a reputable provider. Before starting a course, check that the provider has a strong online presence, good reviews, and works with well-known clients.
You’ll also want to download and organize certification documents and completion certificates so that you can quickly provide them to your future employer if requested.
4. Don’t forget to add the dates
Including the dates of your online courses helps employers understand how current your knowledge is. If you include the length of the course, either in weeks or hours, employers can also gauge how in-depth your knowledge is. If it’s been years since you’ve taken a course, you may want to look into taking a refresher course to show employers that you’re staying up to date.
If you’re still taking the course, it’s okay to write in “In Progress” or the expected completion date.
5. Briefly mention what you learned
It’s easy to sign up for a course, but what employers really want to know is what you took away from it. In particular, what did you learn during this course that would help you succeed in your new job? Take a look at the job description and write one or two bullet points that directly connect what you learned in the course with something in the job description.
Where to list your online courses
In most cases, you’ll want to have a separate “Professional Development” section in your resume that lists your online courses in order of completion date — the most recent courses should come first.
Don’t forget about your online profile
Your professional online presence is just as important as your CV. If you’re active on LinkedIn — and you should be — you can also share your certificates there. Hiring managers constantly use social media to find new talent, and having a certificate in your professional profile is another way to distinguish yourself.
Skillacademy Pro members earn certificates each time they complete a course, Skill Path, or Career Path, and these certificates can be shared directly to LinkedIn.
Online courses can help make you the perfect candidate
We know how much effort and commitment you’ve put into your development career. And ideally, hiring managers would be able to learn everything about your skills and experience before deciding whether to move you to their interview list. Unfortunately, most of us only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention. The online courses on your resume should help show that your entire professional history up to now has made you the perfect candidate for the job.
If there are any specific skills or languages you’re looking to brush up on before starting to apply for jobs, head over to our course catalog to find the right course to help your resume stand out.