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Courses Which courses to include in my resume?

  1. Jan 13, 2010 #1
    I have a feeling this question has been asked before but I couldn't find it so here I go. I'm a second year ME undergrad and I'm updating my resume. I'm debating on whether I should add some of my coursework in. I am currently taking thermodynamics, matrix theory, elastic bodies, technical communications, and material science to give you an idea of where I'm at. I have also taken courses in CAD and Fortran. I have been applying for internships primarily in the aerospace/defense areas, however, I have not taken any courses specific to those areas. I am thinking I'll mention CAD and Fortran under a "computer competencies" area and leave the rest out since they don't really directly relate to anything. Your thoughts?

    Also, while I'm asking about resumes, does it necessarily reflect poorly to still have high school items on my resume. I was president of my schools engineering club and we put together a project with a written proposal, CAD drawings, a presentation, etc. So I think it looks good on there, but the career services adviser at my school thinks differently. And while I'm at it, is it worth it to keep my Eagle Scout award on the resume even though it is also from high school? Again, I think it looks good on the resume.

    Sorry, that ended up being kinda a lot. But thanks for your help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 13, 2010 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    When I have been asked to evaluate resumes from potential hires, I only wanted to see items that were relevant. So, if some courses are not relevant to the job description, don't include them. By the same token, keep the high school engineering club activity (if it is relevant, and it appears to be) but lose the Eagle scout information (even though it's an accomplishment to be proud of).

    At your stage of career, your resume should easily fit on one page- at least, that would be my expectation if I was evaluating your resume.
  4. Jan 15, 2010 #3
    My thought with the Eagle Scout is that it shows leadership experience, which I am somewhat lacking at since then. And leadership is an applicable occupational skill right? But I suppose what you're saying is that the job description doesn't say "leadership" on it so I shouldn't include the Eagle scout.

    And my resume will certainly stay under one page, no worries about that.
  5. Jan 15, 2010 #4
    One problem is that different interviewers will be looking for different things. For example, I'd be favorable to your mentioning the Eagle Scout, but that's just me. One thing that you will have to get use to is that there is some large amount of randomness in the system.
  6. Jan 16, 2010 #5
    If I were in your situation, I would leave both the Eagle Scout and Engineering Club President on your resume. Both seem more applicable to a real job than say, a high school summer job mowing lawns.

    Again, every employer will be looking for different things. If it were me, I would mention CAD, as it is a skill set that not everyone has. If it is something that gives you unique experience, I would include it.
  7. Jan 16, 2010 #6

    D H

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    Other way around, in my view. I too evaluate resumes. I in general look askance at college grads who put high school club achievements on their resumes, even freshouts with only a BS. Too much puffery. I would not think that of someone who claimed to be an Eagle Scout. I know people who are ten or more years out of college and still put Eagle Scout on their resume.

    Regarding the question in the OP -- it depends on who you are interviewing. You might want to think about having multiple resumes, each tailored to a different kind of position.
  8. Jan 16, 2010 #7
    I agree that by the time I am a college grad I shouldn't have high school activities on my resume, and I won't. But right now I am only a year and a half into college and looking for my first internship opportunity. I also have put together different resumes for other scholarships and different opportunities. It would probably be worth it to do that for positions also. The only issue with that right now is that I'm preparing for a career fair also, so I need a resume that will appeal to various organizations and positions depending on whats available.

    Thanks for the responses. I think what I've gathered the most from this is that there really isn't any silver bullet for what all should or shouldn't be included on my resume.
  9. May 17, 2010 #8
    Regarding coursework, I am a physics undergrad looking for a summer internship. I want to add some of my coursework on my resume, but will the people reading it know about what I learned unless I add some sort of description. For example, I took a class called Classical Physics Lab, would you be able to deduce what I learned?
  10. May 18, 2010 #9
    Either way, if it comes up in an interview, you will be able to mention anything relevant from your Eagle Scout experience.
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