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So. Two questions:

I need 1 more course to complete my Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science (Specialization in Software engineering). I finished 45/46 courses. The last course will be completed in Summer 2023. I also completed a Major in Urban Planning.

I don't want to wait until Summer 2023 to start working. I want to start asap.

Question 1: How do I show this on my resume?

On a side note: I started the Bachelor's of CS program in 2012. From 2012/13-2017 I worked on it and did coop as an IT assistant in 2013 for 4 months summer and coop web developer in 2016 for 8 months. I completed a Major in Urban Planning from 2018-2020. Then took a break for 2 years and worked a job unrelated to CS (helped my friend do labor work for his home cleaning business). Now I'm going back to complete my final course. I also worked as an IT helpdesk student at the university for 4 months in 2018.

My second question would be, which option is easiest for me:

Option 1: Don't mention my start date for Bachelors of Science in CS, just mention expected graduation. Don't put down my coop jobs in 2013 and 2016 (only put down the 2018 student job). Don't put down my non-CS related job. This way I would just be a Bachelor's of CS expected graduate student applying for work. Don't have to go through the hassle of explaining why it took so long to graduate.

Option 2: mention that the start date of the CS degree was 2012, put down all my coop experiences and my other job, and try to explain the entire thing.

Option 3: just say my CS degree was 2018-2022 (and urban planning degree was 2016-2018, and worked a student IT job in 2018).

How should I go about this to make it the most easy? Thanks in advance! (Also please remember to answer the first question that is, how to write it on my resume that I'm 45/46 courses complete and am actively looking for a job that starts soon, not waiting to complete my final course in summer 2023)

Third question added: how should I list my time at university (since I took breaks). Like this (it looks funny)?

Bachelor's of Science in CS Software Engineering Specialization 
2012-2016 (expected graduation Summer 2023) 
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  • @JoeStrazzere thanks. Also, how should I mention the time spent in university given my breaks. Like this (it looks funny)? Bachelor's of Science in CS 2012-2016 (expected graduation Summer 2023) Sep 20 at 15:05
  • @JoeStrazzere Sorry, did you actually mean 2021-present or was that a typo? Because I started in 2012. Curious where 2021 came from? Sep 20 at 18:15
  • You will want to tailor your resume to every application you send it to, leaving out your experiences in the home cleaning business, unless you were doing relevant work for them. Sadly, in my experience, you will have to explain the reason (in an interview) the reason it has taken you so long to graduated. I also took nearly 10 years to graduate, I had to justify the length of time I took, ultimately it only mattered to employers who I wouldn't have actually worked for.
    – Donald
    Sep 21 at 21:29

2 Answers 2

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Option 2, "tell the truth". Always tell the truth. Anything which involves weaving a web of lies around stuff unravels in the end and leaves you worse off than you started, because now people know the truth and also know you're a liar.

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  • With regards to the first question, how should I put down that I am 45/46 courses complete the degree and am looking for a job asap, as opposed to waiting till Summer 2023 to finish the one course? (I don't want them to think that I'm looking to start work Summer 2023 after graduation) Sep 20 at 14:35
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    @user2072374 often they will ask when you're available to start. If you apply for jobs that have an expected start date sooner rather than later (summer 2023 is almost a year away!), it's understood. I started a job before I graduated, it worked out fine.
    – Esther
    Sep 20 at 14:44
  • @Esther ok. should I mention how many courses I have completed before mentioning the expected grad date? Like: University Name Bachelor's of Science in CS Software Eng Specialization (45/46 courses complete, expected graduation Summer 2023) Sep 20 at 14:51
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    @user2072374 no need, just expected graduation date. At the interview, you might say how much of your time (if any) that would otherwise be spent at work will be taken by classes. If none, you should say that you don't expect your classes to take any time away from work; if you do expect them to take time from work, just say how much time and when.
    – Esther
    Sep 20 at 14:52
  • @Esther ok one more thing, how should I list my time at university (since I took breaks). Like this (it looks funny)? Bachelor's of Science in CS 2012-2016 (expected graduation Summer 2023) Sep 20 at 15:02
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That depends a bit on your country and the local norms around the resume and the cover letter.

In your case it's probably best to keep the resume factual: list all activities you did in chronological order. Include the coops, the work for a friend period etc. Put the "why" in the cover letter to the extent that it's relevant to the specific position you are applying to.

You can maybe split the CS bachelor into two slots

2012-2016 studied CS Software Engineering Specialization 
20??-present. Resumed CS studies. 45/46 courses completed. B.Sc. expected in Summer 2023. 

You will most likely get some questions around that. Something like "Why didn't you finish your B.Sc. in 2016? Why did study urban planning if you want to work in Computer Science? Why did you go work for your friend? etc.". It good for you to anticipate as many question as possible and prepare good answers for them.

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