Knowing how to list continuing education on your resume can help present your credentials more effectively. Showcasing continuing education coursework shows that you’ve been keeping up with your field and not resting on your laurels or falling behind the times. It further demonstrates your commitment to excelling at your work and communicating professionalism.
While listing continuing education credits is important, it’s also important to go about it the right way. The order you list your degrees in, the accuracy of your credentials, the language you use to describe courses, and the recentness of the courses you list can all affect the impression you create. Special considerations apply in specific circumstances, such as resumes where you’re trying to highlight specialties or particular skill sets. Here we’ll provide some guidelines on how to list continuing education on resume formats, and we’ll also illustrate with some examples.
How to List Continuing Education on Resume Forms: Some Guidelines
When presenting your continuing education credentials, it’s important to emphasize the right items. Putting the emphasis in the right place can enhance the effectiveness of your presentation, while emphasizing the wrong things can actually backfire. Here are five key guidelines to follow.
1. List Degrees First
Degrees generally carry more clout than other credentials such as certifications, apart from exceptional circumstances. List degrees first to draw attention to them. List higher degrees ahead of lower ones. For example, list a Ph.D. before an M.S., and list an M.S. before a B.S. There is an exception to this when it comes to addiction treatment, certifications are important and should be easy to find on your resume.
2. Be Straightforward
While it may be tempting to pad out your resume by exaggerating your credentials, resist the temptation. The Internet makes it easy to fact-check claims, and fabricating the truth will come back to haunt you. List the facts in a straightforward manner without embellishment.
3. Choose the Appropriate Subheader for Your Continuing Education Section
Your continuing education credentials should be listed under an appropriate subheading which identifies them accurately and organizes your resume effectively. As a general rule, continuing education credits may be listed either under education or under a separate professional development section. Whether or not you should break them out into a separate section depends partly on how many credentials you have to list.
4. Use Precise Language to Describe Courses
The language you use to describe courses you’ve taken conveys the nature of your credentials, so be precise. Use exact course titles. If the title of a course doesn’t convey its content and relevance effectively, you can add a summary of the content of the course or the key contribution the course made to your professional development. For example, someone applying for a supervisory position might include a credential, “Completed a 3-part Clinical Supervision course that focused on Substance Abuse counselors. Content included: Central Principles of Clinical Supervision, Guidelines for New Supervisors, Models of Clinical Supervision, Developmental Stages of Counselors, Developmental Stages of Supervisors, Cultural and Contextual Factors, Ethical and Legal Issues, Monitoring Performance, Methods of Observation, Practical Issues in Clinical Supervision, Methods and Techniques of Clinical Supervision.”
5. Only List Recent Courses
Courses you took a long time ago don’t highlight your recent continuing education efforts. Focus on courses you took recently. Don’t list courses that reflect outdated material.
An exception to this principle would be if you took a course that led to a certification relevant to your resume. In this case, you can include it.
Examples of How to List Continuing Education on Resume Forms
Let’s look at a couple of examples of how to list continuing education on your resume to illustrate how to put the guidelines above into action. In some instances, you may want to showcase specific specialties. For example, let’s say you’re an addiction professional who wants to work at a facility that specializes in Medication-Assisted Therapy. You could show some expertise in that area by listing continuing education courses you’ve taken which cover Medication-Assisted Therapy, such as:
- Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Pharmacotherapy in OUD
- Medications for Opioid Use Disorder: Partnering Addiction Treatment Counselors with Clients and Healthcare Professionals
- A Systematic Review on the Use of Psychosocial Interventions in Conjunction with Medications for the Treatment of Opioid Addiction
In some cases, you might want to list your credentials in a way that highlights particular skill sets or your suitability for a specific type of job responsibility. For example, let’s say you’re applying for a supervisory position. In this case, you may want to list continuing education courses that cover supervision as a way to demonstrate your knowledge in that area. For instance, you might list:
- Supervision: A Guide for the Helping Professions
- Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the Substance Abuse Counselor: Part 1
- Clinical Supervision and Professional Development of the Substance Abuse Counselor: Part 2
These are just a couple of examples to illustrate the basic principles. Extrapolate from these to adapt your resume/CV to your own needs. Both of these examples could be used in reference of how you could list smaller courses with only 1-3 CE credit hours.
Highlight Your Continuing Education Credentials to Advance Your Professional Career
Showcasing continuing education credits in your resume highlights your commitment to keeping up with your field, expanding your knowledge, and improving your performance. When listing continuing education credentials, list degrees first, be accurate, select effective subheaders, use precise language, and focus on recent courses. Use the examples provided above as models to build on. When appropriate, organize your presentation to highlight your qualifications for a specific specialty or occupational responsibility.
If you’re looking to bolster your continuing education credentials, CE-Credit.com provides board-approved continuing education units for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and therapists. We offer hundreds of courses covering a wide range of areas including addictions and substance use, clinical topics and methods, working with children and adolescents, and other popular topics. Sign up for a free course to see how it works and start enhancing your resume today.