Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Professional Touch: Enhancing Your Candidacy with Courses & Seminars

by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

In many professions such as Accounting, Medicine, Nursing, and Law, professionals are required to maintain skills through continuing education and seminars. By providing this information to a hiring manager, you’ll be stating unequivocally that you are prepared for the demands of the current industry, and that you meet all legal and licensing requirements.

A Word About Courses and Seminars for Candidates Who Lack College Degrees

In this education-focused world, candidates without college degrees are often in a panic about what to put in the Education section of their resumes. High school diplomas don’t seem like enough (and usually aren’t). To overcome this, specialized training, in the form of courses and seminars, can go a long way to enhancing candidacy. This is especially true if the field is in the trades (i.e. construction, auto repair, etc.), but it is also relevant to white collar positions, such as administrative assistants or office managers. In those jobs, computer skills learned during evening/community college courses or at seminars are acceptable to hiring managers.

Positioning your Training for Maximum Impact

If your industry requires continuing education to maintain licensing, then mentioning your adherence to this should be included in the Qualifications Section of your resume. For example:

“Currently enrolled in accounting coursework to maintain CPA certification through June 2005.”


If you are transitioning from one career to another, then training can be an acceptable substitute for lack of professional experience. In this case, industry-specific training should be added to the Qualifications Summary or immediately after it in a special section.


Never combine Education and Training if they are not related. Never place Training at the end of your resume or in the Education section of your resume if it’s directly related to your current job search and can enhance your candidacy.


How much detail should I provide in listing my training?

Training should always include the date, sponsoring agency, location, name of course or seminar, and whether certification or licensure was granted. Training that is especially important to your job search may include a brief description of the coursework to give the hiring manager a better indication of what was actually learned or accomplished.

How far back should I go in my training and coursework as an IT professional?

No more than 10 years as the Information Technology field is constantly evolving. Any training that led to certification through companies such as Microsoft or Oracle should be showcased if the data is germane to your current job search.

Should I include my online coursework, or will hiring managers dismiss this kind of non-traditional training?

It would depend upon the scope of the training and the sponsoring agency. If you’re taking online coursework sponsored by Microsoft or Oracle, hiring managers would easily accept this as valid. If your training is sponsored by a company with little to no name recognition, then it’s wise to include details, including course hours, level of expertise (beginner, advanced, expert), and any other information that will give the hiring manager a clear idea of what you’ve learned.

I received a lot of my training overseas, should I include it in a U.S. Resume?

If it’s relevant to your current job search. However, make certain to indicate what the U.S. equivalent of your foreign coursework would be to provide an accurate picture of your training to hiring managers.


damnIneedAjob said...

Thanks Darlene for posting these helpful points.


seventeen said...


These Tips are really helpful, especially to those people who are desperate in creating what is the right inputs to their Resume.