Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Can I add this to my résumé?” Regardless of whether you’re asking because you need to fill in some gaps or because you’re just curious, I have some good news; the answer is almost always yes! Your résumé is your very own marketing document; it should reflect your professional experiences in the way you would like others to see them.
Students who come in to the Center for Career Development for résumé critiques often ask whether or not it is appropriate to include certain sections on their résumé. Below are some of the sections I am most frequently asked about as well as some additional opportunities you can take advantage of to fill in any gaps on your résumé. Each is followed by reasons why you take advantage of them and/or add them to your résumé.
- Academic ProjectsSometimes the most related skills you have from your desired industry come from classes. Add a section titled “Academic Projects” to your résumé and tell readers about the projects you’ve worked on (both independently and with a group) that have helped you gain these relevant skills. Research papers and presentations can also count as projects. Include the name of the associated course, the title of the project, the dates you worked on it, and bullet statements about what your role in completing the project was.
- Relevant CourseworkAdding relevant coursework to your résumé will allow you to showcase a specific skillset within your major or additional skills you have that your major may not imply directly. Relevant coursework, which can include 5-8 courses, can either be added under your “Education” section or as a section of its own. If you are currently a junior or above, choose classes above the 1000 level because most 1000 level classes are introductory and should not be included.
- Professional AffiliationsA professional affiliation is a national, state, or regional organization of individuals that belong to a certain profession. Professional affiliations typically require annual dues, and many offer a student discount. Joining some professional affiliations of interest and adding your membership to your résumé can show the reader your interest in and commitment to pursuing a related career. Be sure to include the name of the organization and the dates you’ve been a member.
- Professional Development ConferencesProfessional development conferences are often associated with professional affiliations but can also be put on by offices at UConn or student organizations. Including a section about professional development conferences you have attended and the dates of each on your résumé can show that you have an interest in continually furthering your professional development and highlight some of the specific skills you have focused on.
Whether you’re creating a résumé for the first time or updating one you’ve had for years, thinking about additional information you could add is always a good idea. Undergraduate students can visit the Center for Career Development between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm during the academic semester for a walk-in résumé critique for feedback on what you already have and/or suggestions on what to do next. Graduate students are welcome to call the Center for Career Development at (860) 486-3013 to schedule a résumé critique any time during the calendar year.