You probably never realized you could use your unfinished degree on your resume to enhance your experience. So if you're not sure how to include an incomplete degree, coursework, or classes, this video will provide you with options for showing your education in the best light possible. Stacey Gordon will walk you through the process.
- Did you ever take a certification course or start a degree and then stop halfway? Have you ever included any of that information on your resume? Maybe you're not sure how or even if you should include it? In most cases, your education is quite cut and dry. Either you have a degree or you don't. And it's either relevant to the job or it isn't. But what happens if you're like me, and you spent way too much money on an educational path you thought you would complete but didnt? Should you include that? Won't it make you look like a flake? And if you didn't complete it, is it even relevant? Well, the answer is, it depends.
What does it depend upon? By now, I hope you know that it depends upon the job you're applying for. Using my own personal example, as a law school dropout, let's see how this works. I decide that I'm going to include my law school information on my resume, even though I didn't earn a degree. The how works like this. You include the school name, just as you would as if you had actually completed the degree with a few small differences. First, in the space where you might normally include the degree, you detail what was actually completed.
So, for me in this instance, instead of Juris Doctorate, I would write, first year courses completed. If this was true for an undergraduate degree, instead of Bachelor of Science in Accounting, you might write, 50% of courses completed towards accounting major or 75% of course requirements for graduation completed. And, of course, you don't include a date of graduation because there isn't one. The why is a a little more complex.
How and when should you employ this tactic? Well, since this video is all about positioning yourself to get the job you want, you would include this information when it's relevant to the job you have applied for. And it helps your case. In my law school example, I used to include the fact that I took law school courses when I was applying for a job as a legal recruiter because it showed the potential employer that I had gone above and beyond undergraduate studies in law. The same is true for an undergraduate degree if you don't have a degree at all.
This shows that you began the process and intended to obtain a degree but life got in the way. And your cover letter should have a really good explanation of why that degree is unfinished. An additional tactic that can be employed is actually listing a few of the courses you took. Doing this will only be helpful if you need to show that you have experience with a particular topic that you can't show you have in your work experience. Showing that you took a class that covered that subject matter will help bolster your case that you know what you're talking about.
So dig out that half-completed degree and brush off those certifications. You might be able to use them after all.
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Writing an objective statement
- Adding a summary of skills
- Showcasing your professional work
- Presenting your education
- Customizing your contact information
- Tailoring your resume to fit a job
- Upgrading your resume
- Choosing a resume layout
- Writing resumes for marketing, entertainment, and design jobs
- Handling career gaps and job changes
- Standing out and following up with employers
- Using a resume effectively
- Determining fit at a prospective job
- Finding contacts at companies you want to work for