So you’ve finished a slew of business MOOCs. You’ve balanced T-accounts, analyzed throughput, calculated the net present value of an annuity, and considered the finer points of project management. Now you’re ready to leverage your new skill set in your search for a new job. What’s the best way to put a MOOC business education on your resume?
How do you showcase your MOOC coursework on your resume?
I’ve been asked this question many times – in comments on the blog, in emails from readers, and in interviews with the media. It’s also a topic I cover in my new book Don’t Pay For Your MBA. Fortunately, there is no single right way to put MOOCs on your resume.
My high school English teacher used to say, “All writing is creative.” While your resume should be based in fact, not fiction, you can absolutely use some creativity when highlighting your MOOC-based business education. Below are four places MOOCs might show up on your resume. Be sure to download the free resume template that accompanies this post for more advice on how to showcase MOOCs on your CV.
Your Professional Summary
The first place you might put your MOOC education is in a professional summary at the top of your resume. In addition to other information about your professional history and goals, you could add a line like, “Self-directed, quick learner with experience using online tools for professional development.”
Not everyone uses a professional summary on their resume, but if you do, this is one place your MOOC education can appear in a subtle way. This allows you to start painting a picture of yourself as a self-motivated, self-directed learner.
Your Experience Section
If you’ve used anything you learned in a MOOC to achieve real outcomes on the job, you should absolutely brag about that experience on your resume. When I’ve talked with recruiters about candidates who have used MOOCs to get ahead in the job market, they all say that experience is more important than education. So, if you got the education and it translated into direct experience, you should absolutely play up that experience. You don’t even have to include the name of the course you took. Instead, you can just focus on your accomplishments.
Your Education and Training Section
This is where you’ll talk about your MOOC coursework most explicitly, by actually listing some or all of the courses that you took. If you took a set of courses that you put together yourself, give your education a title - for example, “Advanced Business Courses” or “Master’s-Level Business Coursework.” (The resume template lists several options.) Then list the most relevant courses you took, including the universities that offered them and the dates you completed them. If you took a pre-packed set of courses, such as a Coursera Specialization or an edX Micromasters, you can simply list it.
You might also want to include a sentence describing your education (many people are still unfamiliar with MOOCs) and include a few of the skills you learned. For example, you could say something like: “Using massive open online course (MOOC) platforms, took business courses from top universities (Wharton, Yale, etc.). Skills acquired: financial analysis, market analysis, business planning, product development.
If you are listing individual courses, include only those that are relevant to your industry. And don’t list a lot of intro-level courses. Instead, focus on the most advanced coursework that is most specific to your job aspirations.
Your Skills Section
Finally, you might include a special Skills section of the resume, where you list some of your more relevant business skills, including those that you learned in your MOOC coursework. Like the Professional Summary, this is a section of the resume that not everyone uses. If you choose to include it, make sure you aren’t simply repeating information from earlier in the resume.
I’m interested to hear which of these options for listing MOOC coursework on a resume you find most appealing, as well as other ideas that I haven’t thought of, or any approach you are already using. And if you’ve managed to use MOOCs to score a new job, let’s hear how you did it!