For interviews, how can I express to future employers that mostly all of the training and study I have listed on my resume was done by me outside of work hours, with my personal funds, and not by my employer?

How can I further express that my boss did not allow me or have any interest in me using the things I had learned? (Even with training he himself paid for, he did not want me using those tools and techniques, citing 'lack of experience'.) It is important to note that my boss encourages outside study and self improvement.

Or should I even mention these things at all? I do not want to give the wrong impression that I have rich experience actually doing the things I have studied, but want to let future employers know I have an improvement mindset and passion for my job.

EDIT: It is also important to note that the things I studied (Six Sigma, business process improvement, project management, business analysis, operations management, portfolio management) are well within the scope of my job title at work, and nothing outside of what I am asked to do within my job role (small business, lots of hats).

  • Do you have any certifications indicating these things? Like Six Sigma?
    – DTRT
    Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 20:02
  • I am studying for CAPM as well as Six Sigma Yellow Belt, i.e., Certifications that I can get without requisite experience. Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 20:12

4 Answers 4


Simply list the certifications / qualifications.

[...]my boss did not allow me [...]

That whole sentence is painting your former employer awkwardly in a weird negative way that has no meaning to prospective employers.

It could be misunderstood though that you did things against your employers wishes or that you're offended somehow that they didn't appreciate you having the new skills.

Either way just don't get into this territory, you don't want to bad mouth your former employer nor bore prospective ones with non issues or appearing like a pretentious diva.

If what you studied falls within your job description, why would your boss not allow it?

We're either missing more information or you somehow make more of this than there actually is.

If they ask why the times are overlapping or where/how you studied you of course may tell them that it was outside of work in your spare time.

  • Thank you for the response, which I understand to be avoidance of the topic. Commented Jan 3, 2019 at 23:14

Why does it matter what your former boss did or didn't do to your prospective future employer? What your employer would want to know is: If I give this person a task requiring these skills, how likely are they to be able to do what I want them to do? So what you should do is paint a picture of your skill level: "I learned elementary rocket surgery at summer camp but I've never had to actually operate on a live rocket, although I look forward to getting some hands-on experience". And then leave it at that.


For interviews, how can I express [that most] of the training and study... was done by me outside of work hours, with my personal funds?

It is great that you did that. You should be proud of it.
Most people don't do what you have done - it is understandable that you want to highlight this.

The problem is: however you say it, it could be misread as a negative against your current employer.
Resumes aren't a good place for nuanced messages, because the people reading will often make a first pass at every resume... which means a really quick read.

You want to do everything you can to make sure you're in the pile that gets read again - this is why writing something that could be misread as a dig against your current/past employer isn't a good idea.

So... don't say it

You can write your resume in a way where they will understand without you saying it.

I have called it out on my resume listed as separate 'jobs' which overlap my current job.

For example if you learned Six Sigma in some group you can list that group the same as your actual jobs:

App developer at (name of company1)                   2015-present
  description of job1

Six Sigma group at (name of user group) 2016-2018 description what you learned/studied

PMP Certification June 2016 where you attended meetings to get your professional credits

App developer at (name of company2) 2012-2015 description of job2


If you can't really play it this way (like there is no group to list) you may just have to wait until the interview to bring it up.


The company you are interviewing with doesn't want to hear you bad mouth your current employer. It paints you, not your current employer, in an overly negative way.

I recommend just listing the certifications or in progress course work on your resume. When a future employer asks how you have used these skills in your current role say something like:

"I pursued these educational opportunities (or certifications) on my own time in hopes that my next job will give me more opportunity to exercise the skills I have learned."

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