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I did a double major in two related fields in undergrad, and now I'm finishing a masters degree in one of those fields. I'm going to be a recent grad with little more than an internship and some TA work to put under job experience. It seems very typical in my situation to list a few relevant courses under the education section, which I intend to do.

What's unclear to me is whether to list undergraduate classes at all, and if so, how to distinguish them, if at all, from the graduate level courses. I want to make my resume as competitive as possible, I'm just not sure if listing classes I took as an undergraduate but not as a graduate would help with that. And I don't know if recruiters would expect me to distinguish them, or if they'd consider that a waste of space.

  • I agree wholeheartedly with @Old_Lamplighter. Say, "My degree was in X & Y" (i.e. general subject matter). "During this time I took courses in A & B" (i.e. specific subject matter that is most relevant to the job). If you got good grades in A and B, so much the better. – chasly - reinstate Monica Aug 2 at 23:14
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The purpose of a resume is to get an interview.

Education RELEVANT to the position for which you are applying is to be included, whether grad level, undergrad level, or other learning. As you proceed in your career, education becomes less and less relevant. But yes, right now you want to emphasize what you've learned because you have no real experience yet.


Now, aside from that answer, here's a bit of sagacious advice.

Since you're new in a time when it's difficult to find a job, I'd advise that you do some volunteer work to fill your time, and round out your resume.

When you get your interviews, especially if it takes some time, when you get the question "What have you been doing since graduation", being able to say "Well, I volunteered at XYZ charity", will get the interviewer to take notice.

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  • Do you know if recruiters care whether the courses were grad or undergrad? – Daryl Bagley Aug 2 at 15:06
  • @DarylBagley third party, no. Recruiters for specific companies, maybe. If you are targetting a particular company or institution, do a little snooping and see if that SPECIFIC company or agency has preferences. Again, a third-party recruiter or agency will know those preferences, and ask you to fine tune your resume so it gets past the gate keeper. – Old_Lamplighter Aug 2 at 15:09
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    Yes, work for a charity and work hard. What the the charity needs from you is commitment. What you need from the charity is an excellent reference. Note: It is important that someone high up in the charity is or becomes aware of the work you are doing. I did this once after a period of unemployment. It did a huge amount for me including a big boost in self-confidence. Get work in your area of expertise. If not, work your way up. I did this. I started by stuffing envelopes and ended up writing a database for the charity and got paid commercial rates. – chasly - reinstate Monica Aug 2 at 23:09
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    @chasly-reinstateMonica Yep, I was able to get back into the industry after a five year absence, by volunteering and creating new networks – Old_Lamplighter Aug 3 at 11:25
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Pragmatic answers for a new grad:

  1. Don't do more than one page
  2. Don't do less than one page
  3. Prioritize the info by "Relevance to the specific job"

If you have nothing better to offer, undergrad course work can fill the page, but it's not particularly important UNLESS there is something unusual, outstanding or very relevant to the job in a non-obvious way.

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  • Prioritize the info by "Relevance to the specific job" - Agreed , I personally would actually have a heading in my resume for this purpose, e.g."Education and experience relevant to this post" or similar. That will attract the eye of the recruiter but also it will show that your resume is directed at them and their job and not just a boilerplate version you send to everybody. In fact, look carefully at the requirements they have stated for the post, then dredge up everything you have done that is relevant specifically to those requirements. – chasly - reinstate Monica Aug 3 at 12:28

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