Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have come a long way since they first emerged back in 2012. The number of courses as well as the number of learners enrolling in them continues to grow, but more importantly, MOOC credentials are also gaining ground and employers are starting to take notice. Understandably, therefore, it is becoming more commonplace to see MOOCs listed on résumés. But showcasing these online courses needs some careful thought and planning to ensure it works to your advantage.
I've spent some time reading around* on the subject, and based on what I've read, here are some tips on how best to include MOOCs on your résumé:
Keep MOOCs separate
Showcasing your online courses can strengthen your case, but keep them separate from your main academic achievements. Create another section for "Professional Development" where you can list all the continued education you have completed, which includes MOOCs. Adding professional development courses demonstrates that you want to develop in your field and keep your skills current.
Only list MOOCs that are relevant
Just like in other sections of your résumé, it's important to only showcase the skills that are relevant to the job you are applying for. Even if you're a MOOC addict and have completed a large number of courses, your prospective employer will only be interested in the ones that actually add value to your candidate profile. This also means that there is no point listing an introductory level course if you're applying for a more senior role (even if the course subject matter is relevant).
It's what you can do that counts
Employers are far more interested in what you can actually do than what certificates you might have, so there is little point listing a MOOC if you can't demonstrate the skills you have gained from taking the course. You can do this by including a list of the actual skills you gained from the course and real examples of work or projects you have carried out that demonstrate how you applied these skills.
Include the name of the institution
With the growing number of educational institutions offering MOOCs, employers need to know the legitimacy and standing of the course provider. Be sure to include this information with your list of courses, and don't list a MOOC if you yourself didn't find it of high quality.
Only include MOOCs you have completed
It's a well known fact that completion rates in MOOCs are very low, and employers may be sceptical for this reason. If you take a MOOC to improve your chances of getting a job, it is probably worth opting to pay for a Certificate of Completion. This will demonstrate your commitment and drive and avoid any tricky questions if you reach the interview stage.
Create an online portfolio of your learning
The best way to provide your potential employer with evidence of your continued education is to include a link to a digital portfolio which showcases all your certificates and badge in one place. There are a number of sites that offer this service, or you can add your certificates to your LinkedIn profile.
How to List Online Courses on Your Resume the Right Way (Because Yes, There Is a Wrong Way)
7 Tips for Listing MOOCs on Your Résumé -- Campus Technology