Market Your Academic Experiences

Academic course work is relevant experience, but only if you tell employers how. Use your course work to prove you have the skills employers are looking for.

Step One: Review Your Course Syllabus 

At the end of the term, take time to reflect on your course syllabus.

  • What are the learning outcomes of your course?
  • Connect the learning outcomes to employability skills. Click here to learn more about University of Guelph Learning Outcomes 
  • What are the skills, knowledge, and experiences you developed in class? Be specific.
  • How are you being evaluated?
  • Use this information as proof of your skills, knowledge, and experiences in a resume, cover letter, or in an interview

Example #1

Course Outline: Keep a daily log of your research activities and experiences while in the field.Field notebook is due March 31st, 20XX. (15%)
Sample Skills That Could Be Demonstrated:Accuracy, written communication, observation, deadline oriented, and attention to detail
Sample Point for Resume: Made observations and accurately wrote detailed logs to collect data for research

 

Example #2 

Course Outline: In groups of 5 present your analysis and receive feedback from the class. (20%)
Sample Skills That Could Be Demonstrated: Communication, analytical, presentation, MS PowerPoint, teamwork, interpersonal, and creativity
Sample Point for Resume: Presented detailed analysis and made subsequent recommendations to a group of 30 peers and faculty 
 
Examples of Evaluations to Consider:
  • Book Review
  • Case Analysis
  • Community Engaged Learning Project
  • Consulting Project
  • Field Notebook
  • Group Presentation
  • Group Project
  • Individual Presentation
  • Individual Project
  • Laboratory Notebook
  • Laboratory Report
  • Laboratory Tasks
  • Letters/Correspondence
  • Observation Report
  • Research Paper/Report
  • Written Peer Review
  • Written Report
  • Written Review
  • Written Summary

​​Step Two: Know Your Skills 

There are many different types of transferrable skills. Click here to check out the skills section on Recruit Guelph to get an understanding of skills employers are looking for in applicants.

​Here are some examples of skills to get you started.

Top 5 Skills Preferred by Employers 

  1. Communication Skills (Verbal)
  2. Teamwork Skills (Works well with others)
  3. Analytical Skills
  4. Strong Work Ethic
  5. Problem Solving Skills

Results are from the 2013 Campus Recruitment Report, published by the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers.

Step Three: Select Material to Use in your Marketing Materials, Including Your Resume, Cover Letter, and Interviews

Have a master list of all your courses, outcomes, and connections to employability skills. Obviously, you will not be able to include information from all the classes you have taken in your degree. You want to be able to choose from this information to be able to offer your most impressive examples to employers.

1.    What skills, techniques, or responsibilities has the employer asked for? Make a direct connection to the relevant skills and work you have completed in class. 

2.    What assessments demonstrate the best you have to offer? Examples could come from the class where you achieved the best marks; it could also be the class you were most interested in; the class where you received recommendations and positive feedback from professors or peers; or the class where you felt you achieved the most growth. 

3.    This information can be included in different areas of your resume. Sample headings include: Education (bullet points below degree listing), Academic Course Work, or “Engineering” Projects (Engineering is an example; substitute the name of the field you are targeting.) Be creative! Make sure the title makes your experience stand out.

To record your academic experiences for your resume, click here for the "Market Your Academic Experience Worksheet" document. 

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