Online courses - CV-worthy or pointless to mention?

CV
New answer on Feb 08, 2021
12 Answers
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Marc
Skilled
asked on Apr 15, 2020

Would you advise devoting some space on your CV to listing any relevant online courses you have taken outside of university? I'm talking business strategy, finance type courses that you can pay to get a verified certificate etc.

If so, is simply listing them enough? Or is there a clever tactic to better leverage the experience you got from them?

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Emily
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 15, 2020
BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University

Hi Marc,

It depends on whether such courses compliment your current education background and working experience or not. If you have no business/management background or experience so far, then putting those courses could be a plus point, as it shows you have real interest and is willing to pay the extra effort to develop yourself.

Of course the courses should be from a credible organization.

Hope it helps,

Emily

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Clara
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 15, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut

Hello!

Depends on many concepts:

  • Which instutition issues them?
  • Are they relevant?
  • Are they relevant regarding your education (e.g., do they complement it, or is it "more of the same"

Furthermore, it´s key not to have more than 1 page per 10 years of working experience, and it´s not easy to squeeze everything into one page!

If you are tight in space, is better to put them all in a line as further education or exclude the.

Hope it helps!

Cheers,

Clara

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Francesco
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Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2020
#1 Expert for Coaching Sessions (3.700+) | 1.300+ Reviews with 100% Recommendation Rate | Ex BCG | 8+ Years of Coaching

Hi Marc,

I agree with Vlad, I would say you should add it if:

  • the brand of the institution helps you to stand out and /or
  • it shows skills complementary to what you have done and that can be relevant for consulting

Best,

Francesco

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Anrian
Expert
replied on Apr 16, 2020
Ex Kearney Senior Manager | Ex McKinsey Engagement Manager | Interviewer & Case Coach at McKinsey (200+ Real Interviews)

Hi There,

As a CV screener, I think if you have a great and distinct working experience, education and other professional accomplishments, then it is really not necessary to put it on your CV as a separate section.

If you really feel the online course will bring benefits, you could actually put it as a better story on your Cover Letter.

Hope that helps!

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Vlad
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2020
McKinsey / Accenture Alum / Got all BIG3 offers / Harvard Business School

Hi,

It makes sense if they:

  • Have a clear brand (e.g. Harvard)
  • Provide real skills that can help you differentitate (e.g. SQL)
  • Are relevant for consulting (e.g. Financial modeling)

Best

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Thomas
CoachingPlus Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 16, 2020
150+ interviews | 5+ years experience | Kearney & Accenture | Sold consulting startup| London Business School

Hey Marc,

In my experience certificates do add less value in consulting, than in tech or corporate as your work is more fluid. Having said that as consultants are increasingly looking for data science skills I found that such certifications are relevant. In other words, tangible skills in a quantitative area. As others mentioned, the brand is important.

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Christian
Expert
replied on Apr 15, 2020
Ex-Roland Berger | Recruiter in 80+ Interviews | INSEAD Case Coach | Focus: in-case behaviors that persuade ANY interviewer

Hi Marc,

I agree with Emily on this one - the question is really to which extent does the online courses complement the rest of your profile.

To answer whether using the courses strengthens your overall candidacy or not, I would ask myself how your course fits in the overall skill set demonstrated in your CV if I were you.

If you're for example a non-business background and have used the finance course to prepare yourself for a demanding business/finance job or business school outside your comfort zone, it could help to show your dedication and underline that you're determined to accept challenges to reach your goals.

On the other hand, if you have other areas in your CV where you already show business affinity and experience, I would see it differently. I might even ask myself whether an additional display of an extra business course may not even have an effect of "belittling" your other business achievements and experiences - as always with the CV, the context counts here.

To your second question: to better leverage the experience received, nothing stops you from providing a small comment at the end of your course description that describes exactly what you took away for your career, e.g.: "gained key experience in accounting and balance sheet analysis, leveraged in subsequent M&A assignment".

Best of luck!

Christian

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Anonymous replied on Apr 30, 2020

it depends on the course, but in general they are not adding much value to your resume, because they are not part of the standardized selection critera.

Hope it helps - good luck!

André

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Luca
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Feb 08, 2021
BCG |NASA |20+ interviews with 100% success rate| 120+ students coached |GMAT expert 780/800 score

Hello Marc,

I agree with others here. I would add them only if they are coming from a prestigious institution and if there was any selection or final test. Otherwise I don't see a great added value.

Best,
Luca

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Henning
Expert
replied on Feb 08, 2021
Bain | passed >15 MBB interviews as a candidate

If you have done them and you have space in your CV, mention them. But don't do them just to make your profile MBB ready.

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Gaurav
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Nov 27, 2020
Ex-Mckinsey|Certified Career Coach |Placed 500+ candidates at MBB & other consultancies

It depends o the course (whether it's align to your future position and role) and name of the institution.

Cheers,

GB

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Antonello
Expert
Content Creator
replied on Apr 30, 2020
McKinsey | MBA professor for consulting interviews

Hi Marc, it depends on the relevance of these courses and on how many other important experiences do you have in your background. They show curiosity and a continuous learning, however, the risk is to be less structured in the presentation of your top achievements.

Best,

Antonello

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Emily gave the best answer

Emily

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BCG Project Leader | 3+ years interview experience for BCG SEA recruiting | Kellogg MBA, NTU, Peking University
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