Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Coursework “In Progress” on Your Resume

Question
When putting together a resume, can you put down your current studies? I'm taking a medical coding class and my husband said that I can use it in the employment part of my resume. I have never heard of such a thing before and told him that I thought that would be misinforming. Any help?

Answer
by Nancy Rosenberg, MBA, MEd, Professional Resume Writer

I strongly suggest you list your current coursework on your resume as long as it is relevant to your job search! Who knows, it might be just the ticket that gets you in the door for an interview, even though you haven’t finished the course.

The Education section of your resume is where you list your schooling and training. The key to listing a course that is underway (not completed) is to show clearly that it is in progress. For example:

Medical Coding Class (in progress)
Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL
OR
Medical Coding Class - anticipated date of completion, May 2007
Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, FL

To decide whether to include your coursework in the Professional Experience (or Employment) section of a chronological resume, ask yourself these questions:
- Does this course show I have good employment qualities?
- Does it make sense to list this course under my current job?

If your answer is “yes” to both of these questions, then you should list the coursework in a bullet statement under your current job to show that you are a learner and that you’re interested in improving your skills on the job. For example:

Medical Assistant - 2002 to Present
Physical Therapy Associates of Pasco County, Wesley Chapel, FL
- Maintain all medical records of busy office with four therapists and one doctor.
- Enrolled in Medical Coding class to support growing job responsibilities involving interfacing with insurance companies.
- More job accomplishments.
(Note: Use your judgment as to where in the lineup of your bulleted job statements you place the statement about your coursework.)

If you list coursework in your Professional Experience section, it is a good idea to also list it in the Education section of your resume where you can give more details, such as school and dates. Also, the Education section is where a prospective employer would likely expect to find this type of information.

Nancy Rosenberg is a member of Susan Ireland's Resume Team. She works with job seekers from anywhere in the U.S. by phone and email.

Susan Ireland's Note
Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email it to me and I’ll post your question and an expert’s answer here in The Job Lounge.

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