The job market may not be at a point yet where MOOCs are accepted by employers on par with traditional college courses. Regardless, MOOCs on your resume show that you are willing to take initiative to increase your knowledge base and skills. Many recruiters see this quality as an opportunity to hire employees who will continue to improve themselves, which will constantly increase the human capital they provide to the company.
It is extremely important that you are showcasing your MOOCs appropriately on your resume, however. A disorganized list of your classes will look more unprofessional and illegitimate than your resume would be without the MOOCs on it at all. Instead, try placing them methodically and within categories.
Divide and Conquer
Again, your MOOCs will not be seen the same way as a college education by employers, so don’t bother listing them that way. You want to make sure your online classes are being seen as a positive supplement to your application, and not a glorified accessory.
Instead, MOOCs should be under a separate heading in your resume’s Education section called ‘Continuing Education’. This simply refers to all of your important efforts to improve yourself as an employee and can include any certificates or diplomas you earned (instead of or after college) along with any MOOCs you have taken.
Skills, Not Frills
Categorizing by skills is an easy way to organize your MOOCs effectively. Not only does it make scanning a resume easier, but it also immediately displays the benefit of taking a certain group of courses: The development of a specific skill that will be valuable to the company.
These categories also mean that you don’t need a detailed description of each course. Usually, the course name itself provides a glimpse into the course content. Listing the skill the course helped you develop is yet another way to state the purpose of the class without a fluffy description. Cardinal rule: save the details for your interview, keep your resume simple.
Quality Over Quantity
You don’t need to list every MOOC you have ever signed up for, or even every MOOC you have completed (but never list one that you didn’t complete!). If you are applying for a marketing position, for example, the hiring manager will probably be less interested in your Intro to Physics class and more in your Creativity & Innovation class. A list of classes longer than your ‘Experience’ section is unattractive and unnecessary. Keep it simple, clear, and useful.
Many MOOCs are hard work and teach you a lot – there is no reason you shouldn’t receive due credit for them. They show your versatility, desire to improve, and ability to multi-task and can be a great asset in the job search process.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you can prove everything on your resume; build a portfolio! If you have notes, assignments, and projects from your MOOCs saved on your Accredible profile, the only thing you need to prove your involvement in the class is a link!