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I'm looking for an entry-levels job, and (almost) all my relevant skills come from online courses on coursera.org How should I list these in my resume/CV? Should I create a section 'Continuing Education' and list there courses and, for every course, list of skills acquired via this course. Or should I list skills in a separate section (is it even appropriate to call them 'skills' if I haven't practiced them in a real work?)

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  • Not exactly. Issue "where and how to list skills" is not emphasized there. Mar 11 '15 at 17:15
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    I agree this looks duplicative. While where and how isn't emphasized in the question @gnat referenced, it is discussed in several of the answers in a meaningful way.
    – KenB
    Mar 12 '15 at 0:32
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I have a 'Training & Certifications' section on my resume where I list any relevant Coursera courses, company-sponsored training, certifications, etc. Though, I would only list Coursera courses for which I completed all assignments and received a 'completion certificate' at the end.

Whether an employer will care about your online training or not just depends. If you recently completed a Coursera course in a new language/technology/etc. that the employer is using, that's probably relevant. Classes in completely unrelated subjects you took for your own personal edification should probably be left off.

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  • James, how do you list skills you learned via relevant courses? In a separate "Skills" section of a resume or along with courses (Coursera certificates usually contain brief description of course syllabus)? Mar 11 '15 at 18:36
  • Generally I just give a brief (a sentence or two) description on what the course is about if it isn't clear from the title. Any 'skills' I want to call attention to specifically (areas of expertise) are in the Summary section at the top of my resume. But I don't pretend that taking a single online course makes me an expert on anything -- I don't list any skills I wouldn't be comfortable talking about during an interview.
    – James Adam
    Mar 11 '15 at 18:44
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What do you have to show from taking these courses? Was there a test or evaluation at the end which certifies that you took and passed the course? Have you built some projects using those technologies?

Recruiters are looking for something concrete. Getting a university degree in a certain discipline carries with it the weight of the institution. If you are self-taught via online courses and you can demonstrate work (employed or on your own) based on that coursework, that also carries weight.

If all you can say is that you have taken some courses, that isn't likely to get you very far. It may get your resume past the buzz-word filters, but the first qualified reviewer to take a look at it is likely to pull the plug.

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  • All Coursera courses I have seen have final exam to evaluate results of participants (often along with 'Project', weekly quizzes and other assignments), also generally these courses have a considerable drop-out rate (usually 10-20% of initial participants pass successfully, though it obviously varies for different courses). So I think "I have taken some courses" is not the only thing I can tell - I also can tell that I've passed them successfully :-/ Mar 11 '15 at 17:35
  • I raised that question because not all online courses/training have that feature. WorkPlace.SE users may find this question and not be using Coursera, so the point will be relevant.
    – cdkMoose
    Mar 11 '15 at 17:45
  • Yes, a good point. It may be also noteworthy that Coursera courses are often organized by respected universities and thereby carry the weigth of the institution (well, currently online courses are not considered to be equal to 'real' university courses, but still certificates have institution's names on them) Mar 11 '15 at 17:51

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