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Resume Ethics: Co-Op Work Full-Time + School Full-Time What to say?

  1. Jul 29, 2008 #1
    I'm going to do a Co-Op with a research institute, full-time during the Fall semester. It will be a traditional 40 hour work experience.

    I will also be enrolling in school, fulltime during the Fall. I'll only be taking 8 real credits, and the other 4 are for an internship I'm doing this summer at Microsoft. Hence, 8 credits worth of real classes (2 classes) + 4 credits (of doing nothing during the semester, pretty much) = 12 credits AKA full-time.

    Is it unethical if I say that I attended college full-time while working full-time at my co-op for the Fall on my resume? Just wanted to hear some opinions. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 29, 2008 #2


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    Yes, I believe it is. The Co-Op research counts as a course, not as a separate full-time job. Or if it's a full-time separate job, then it doesn't count as a course. You can't have both.

    Just state on your resume that you were doing research full-time while taking 8 credits worth of classes.
  4. Jul 29, 2008 #3


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    Good for you for having sound ethics enough to ask this - I'm impressed! Seems so many people today pad their resume without the slightest twinge of conscience.

    I wouldn't make that claim if I were you. Your instinct is correct, that it's only true on a technicality. While it's not likely that anyone would ever find out, if they did it would reflect poorly on you.

    Plus, every time you said it, you would know you weren't being full-on truthful, and it would bother you o:) .
  5. Jul 29, 2008 #4
    I think I'll avoid it. You're absolutely right, lisab.
  6. Jul 31, 2008 #5
    Hurh? What am I missing here? to me it read out as "I am doing research 40h a week and doing standard 100% coursework". Do you get a double-credit somewhere there that I missed?
  7. Jul 31, 2008 #6


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    Only 8 credits of standard coursework - 4 of the credits are for an internship that HD555 won't actually do until summer (the Microsoft internship).
  8. Aug 1, 2008 #7
    If you are working full time, you are working full time. That should be listed in your "Work Experience" and should be noted as a co-op for credit.

    Your semester hours shouldn't be listed on the resume at all, so that isn't an issue. If for some reason you feel the need to include a date range for your education entries, the semester will be part of your date range for the current degree you are working on. No further annotation is necessary.
  9. Aug 2, 2008 #8
    Let me explain again:

    This summer, I am interning at a company.

    For the fall semester, I am enrolled in 12 credits. Specifically, 3 classes. Which means 4 credits / class.

    Class 1: Senior Project - 4 credits (normal class)
    Class 2: Modern Art - 4 credits (normal class)
    Class 3: Internship Credit - 4 credits (normal class that I do not attend or do any work for)

    All the classes = 12 credits. In actuality, I am only taking Class 1 and Class 2 in the fall semester. Class 3 is just like a filler, I really don't do any work.

    All while I am taking these classes, I will be working full-time in the fall, 40 hours per week.

    So in the end, it's 40 hours per week AND the "three" classes.
  10. Aug 2, 2008 #9


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    That's much clearer
    Though the previous still stands. You're taking two courses and working at the same time; don't lie on your resume by saying you're actually taking three due to a technicality. Just like any lies on your resume, it may come to bite you in the *** hard.
  11. Aug 3, 2008 #10
    Why would that ever be put in a resume at all?

    Your courses appear on your transcript. Your argument for being a good/the best candidate goes in your cover letter, along with any explanation of questionable things that appear on your resume or transcript.

    Your resume simply does not include individual course information, unless it is directly applicable to the specific job you are applying for, in which case you have created a resume just for that application and it is explained in your cover letter.
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