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How to use short courses to build up your CV

How to use short courses to build up your CV

Posted on 04/08/23

Okay, you probably have enough to do already, like studying, working and spending time with your family and friends. So why look for something else to take up your precious time?

Short courses can be a really useful way to spruce up your CV and bring it to life. They are useful if you want to progress in your existing career or your work experience is in one sector but want to change to something different. Being able to demonstrate that you have taken the time to gain knowledge of your new area is a very powerful statement on your CV that you are serious about your future career objective!

What type of courses are best to do?

A lot will depend on the career area you wish to emphasise. For example, if it requires ‘hard skills’ like knowing a specific finance platform or programming language, then completing a short course in these areas would be hugely beneficial. However, if the emphasis on ‘soft skills’ are required, then a short course in areas such as Communication, Teamwork, Time Management, or Presentation Skills is all worth a look.

Courses offering a certificate are generally better regarded than those not officially recognised. So, for example, the Google course in Project Management offers a certificate which is well regarded as an excellent introduction to this type of work. Other online introductory courses might not offer the certificate option, so research to find one that matches your requirements.

What are some other positives to adding short courses to your CV?

  • Adding short courses to your CV shows you are interested in these areas. It demonstrates you are curious and not afraid to invest your time in your future.
  • It can show you have the drive, determination and willingness to learn, that you are organised and have good time management skills to be able to take on extra study/work.
  • Lastly, having short courses on your CV can help you stand out and give you something interesting to discuss at an interview!

Where to add them to your CV

A good place to add any short courses you have done is after your Employment History and before the Education section. You can call it Professional Development. This will catch the eye and emphasis its importance on the CV. Another option is to add any relevant courses you have done to the Cover Letter if you can’t find space on your CV.

Downsides?

Probably the biggest issue for most people is finding the time to study short courses in the first place. We are all busy and have many other things fighting for our attention. But as mentioned above, completing short courses and adding them to your CV show so many positive things about you. See it as an investment in your future, which will ultimately pay off.

If you want to discuss how completing short courses could help you in your career, contact me, Roger Martin, at r.martin@dghe.ac.uk

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