I have taken a few courses online. These courses don't offer certifications (those that do are quite costly; so I didn't get certified). So, I don't have any certificate to prove that I have taken the course. But I have completed problem sets and projects that were needed in the course. Can I mention such courses in my resume ? These aren't introductory courses but advanced ones, so they would help my resume.

Edit: The question is not similar as the courses I have taken don't offer certificate of completion, let alone transferrable credits, even though they are from reputable uni.

  • Do you mean that the courses are training in preparation for certs (Security+, Cloud+, Safe Agilist) or that the courses don't even provide a 'certificate of completion'? Every course should offer at the very least, a 'certificate of completion' which simply says "you completed this course" – CGCampbell Dec 31 '16 at 14:44
  • Udacity courses that are free don't offer any kind of certificate. – daemon slayer Dec 31 '16 at 14:46
  • Nor do the courses on Stanford's website and similar. And I mean courses like on Computer Vision and Parallel Programming in CUDA (both advanced courses). – daemon slayer Dec 31 '16 at 14:49
  • Ask yourself if this should really "count" as taking a course. For example, many university professors post their "course materials" online for their courses, including problem sets. If you download and complete all of these on your own, should that count as completing the course for credit? It may be helpful to you, but should it go on your resume? – Brandin Dec 31 '16 at 18:39
  • It's a little bit of a digression from what you actually asked, but what I recommend is blogging about what you learned from those courses. If you can't afford the certs you can prove you learned the content by talking about what you learned and whether you recommend other people take those courses, – Mel Reams Jan 1 '17 at 5:34

Can I mention such courses in my resume ? These aren't introductory courses but advanced ones, so they would help my resume.

Yes. You can mention anything on your resume and/or cover letter that you think will make you appear more valuable to a potential employer.

Remember, courses that don't have any certification or proof will have significantly less value to an employer compared to college credit courses (with a verifiable transcript) or courses with a verifiable certification attached. From a hiring manger's point of view, these courses are just a method of self-study. Still, it might provide a good discussion point.

And expect to be able to talk about what you have learned in detail. That's really the only way the employer can determine if you actually took the course and learned anything.


I think you yourself answered your question(Can I include online course in my profile? ).

These aren't introductory courses but advanced ones, so they would help my resume.

And to prove that you have completed course you have this

So, I don't have any certificate to prove that I have taken the course. But I have completed problem sets and projects that were needed in the course.

You must write this on your resume with your problem set and projects being the proof as the certificate is also just a piece of paper if you don't know how to use what you learned in the course.

  • I am asking Can I not Should I. Thing is, if the employer asks for a certificate, I am screwed. If I don't present one, they may think me a liar and a plagiarizer. Which is why I am asking, can I include these courses? – daemon slayer Dec 31 '16 at 16:17
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    That's what I've said you should. You've got a bunch of projects as stated to based on your course.So this thing is better then the certificate which can be faked.You just got to be confident at interviews if you have knowledge you won't be declined for not having certificate. – Black Mamba Dec 31 '16 at 16:19
  • I would say as long as you're clear and honest on your resume what have done and what evidence you have to prove it, no employer should be able to legitimately penalise you for then being unable to provide evidence you never claimed to have. – 3N1GM4 Dec 31 '16 at 18:16

If you have a separate section entitled "Continuing Education" or "Additional Education" - simply describe it as such, and list:

"Making Ruby Rails from Real Rubies"
Stanford Online Continuing Education; 16 hrs online lecture, weekly assignments & testing;
3 cr hrs, non-credit CE; GPA: 4.0/4.0; May 2016

In the above example, especially if you have several of these (I've seen courses that were company sponsored, such as the GE "Kung Fu/Jeet Kun Do" classes/certifications (by belt color), which are all internal, but not questioned as to their value outside for non-credit coursework!) as well as progressively advanced Excel to Excel with R, etc.

They clearly demonstrates you seek out knowledge and/or when part of the company curriculum, you pass with flying colors. There is no reason to NOT have this on your resume. Select the best few, and add a micro sentence if you have a lot, that notes "47 additional knowledge building courses with and without certification, available for viewing upon request."

You've said all you need to. Make one of those lines an active link to the course, and you've "certified" the course's value. It also demonstrates that you aren't using your spare time via dual SLI 1080s, to play "Brain Dead Moron" - a definite self described POSITIVE.

As a recruiter for many years, (not a MonsterBoard/Dice participant waiting for people to contact me), I first began watching closely the coursework my ex's employer began piling on... until after a few years of it (some off-site, some on-site for 4 days of a week, everything from Enterprise logistics to advanced labor psychology in a World Class Mfg Facility).

They then offered "a opportunity to take the fully loaded 1 year Thurs-Sunday Exec MBA, every other weekend at Blue Chip U (not Ivy, but highly respected next tier).

I notice these things, companies notice these things (and I'm not talking about junk... no "Advanced Word Shortcuts" - I'm talking about serious power-user management tools for those who already had 3-4 courses of statistics/analytics, designs for 9 Sigma, etc., in a non-math, B.S. Industrial Management program from the Big 10, where cost & operating analysis is with IEs, and after orientation, comes time 45 hours of 3rd shift managent, on the floor with engineers and a staff of 100+ workers per LINE (2500 per shift) to manage, fresh out of college.

Definitely sink or swim, when you have 18 year old to 64 year old Nascar wearing slobs who need to test the Line Manager with whistles, etc., and learn how unafraid she is to insist they do their jobs, meet her in HR and be sent home unpaid, with two more chances...

After two years, moving up, the coursework expands before the internal MBA offer came. People looking at former GE employees review these "Additional Education" lists, both for GE's opinion of the employee as well as the employee's capability to advance themselves with good choices in self-education that contribute to their value as an employee.

So definitely include them. Reference the complete list... and have it ready to hand out.

A good recruiter is going to go over these with you, as far as what pertains to the job most directly, and perhaps want you to rearrange them in a way that he or she knows will get noticed.

A good recruiter already knows their hiring manager well. They know what that person wants to see that isn't defined on a Job Req. HR's opinion has no impact on whether a person is going to be hired - and a recruiter isn't likely to be of much help to a one year or perhaps two year individual, unless your credentials are a very unique combination, and/or you make up an obvious double minority. Just reality. There is no reason to pay a recruiter for 1 & 2 year experienced people.

Note that any outside recruiter that is working directly with HR has no idea what they are doing, and will never get you in front of a decision maker, let alone with "their trusted opinion" of your abilities.

Today's recruiters' are rather worthless, whether they are internal for the company vs. part of an "IBM Global" trying to place you into "NASA." The culture has been set for the past 20 years. "Give us "good enough people" - we send our expert to win the job, and that organization never sees that expert EVER AGAIN.

I don't envy I/T workers today having to work with recruiters who know nothing about what you do, no way or capability to gut feel your abilities based on the projects or companies you've been with - except by longevity, and the entire business has become a stopping off point (much like Enterprise Car Rentals) for new graduates who sign on for the "management program" and are gone in 18 months or 2 years, but at least they made $3k/month, unlike so many others.

Many of them are Donut Box carriers, like the blonde cuties picked for low tech pharma sales and/or temporary agencies.

Be smart, collect the names of the recruiters who call you, and make note of who still exists 2 years later, or who moves to better organizations, rather than just secondary suppliers to IGS, Deloitte, etc., and are still in the biz 5-7 years later. Or 20. We are the people with manager's cell numbers and home email & phone. We may have even placed them in their current company 10 years ago. That is why the rapport exists.

  • To turn this into a helpful answer, you'll really need to trim it down. I'm not the downvoter, but this wall of text is much too long and too little of it is relevant to the question. (I know negative feedback sucks, but I'm trying to help.) – Llewellyn Jan 2 '17 at 20:08

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