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I would like to put some course projects done in my graduate school on my resume.

I have also done other projects as a research assistant, so I tend to put the course projects under "research experience" for simplification and saving space of my resume. I was wondering if it is acceptable in general? If not, how shall I describe my position for the course projects, if not research assistant? Is graduate assistant okay? or are there some good ways to put them? Thanks!

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In general, if you have completed these projects as part of your courses, then you'd often see this info either as bullet-point annotations in your education section (as long as it does not become too unwieldy) or simply referred to in your cover letter.

For example:

Coursework:

  • Advanced Study in Widgetmaking. Final group project: Widgetmaking Awesomeness, which describes awesome widgetmaking. Role: Project Manager, with contributions in research and analysis.

However, I tend to advise people only to put project information in their coursework section if it was performed as a member of the team and you played a role on that team such as Project Leader or Team Lead. Otherwise, if this was just an individual project, you can assume that people know you did projects in your graduate seminars, and they were part of your overall education. Talk about them in your cover letter, as you tie your experience and education to the job to which you are applying. A "Research Experience" (or "Research Interests", depending on the type of job and industry you're going for) section, as you noted, would also be a fine place to list this information -- it is typically a succinct list with little annotation.

If these projects were actual research assistant or graduate assistant positions obtained through your university (e.g. work for a professor on a project), then they can most definitely go in your work experience section, and you have a bit more room to talk about your accomplishments there.

  • This makes me sad I never put project manager on any of my resumes immediately following college. Because pretty sure I was on almost all of them... oops! Good answer. – enderland Aug 12 '13 at 23:12
  • thanks. (1) for individual course projects, is your advise not to list them in resume? (2) Would it be all right if I list all projects (whether RA's or courses' projects) together, without mentioning RA or course, or just using "graduate student" as my title, or using "graduate student / research assistant" as my title? – Ben Aug 12 '13 at 23:24
  • @enderland It really only matters for the first job, then your actual work experience > your "practice" experience, and you seem to have done ok. :) – jcmeloni Aug 13 '13 at 0:12
  • @Tom For (1), if you mean your own individual paper/research/project, then no -- just indicate a bullet point of the subject under "research interest" (if it actually is, and is relevant). For (2), I would not advise doing that because it makes your role/expertise/depth of knowledge and experience unclear. – jcmeloni Aug 13 '13 at 0:14
  • @jcmeloni; For (1), I meant course projects done by myself, not by a team of students. is your advise not to list them? For (2), what kinds of roles are put on the resume? Is research assistant okay for those done when I am a research assistant? What is my role in course projects done by myself? – Ben Aug 13 '13 at 0:41

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