How to present your education as experience in your CV

No experience is wasted experience. If you are starting a new career or changing one, you might think that you don't have relevant experience to include in your CV … think again!

Even if you have no work experience in the new field you want to get into, you can still frame your training to showcase your skills.

Many projects that students work on during their college studies or certificate programs look like real world issues and can be used to show your potential employer how you could add value to their business.

Here are some questions that can help you think:

What projects have you worked on?

Is there a relevant project for the area you want to enter? Perhaps a project similar to a task that you would do during the position you are applying for?

If there isn't one, you can make one yourself! Imagine a problem a business might have and create a case study of how you would solve it.

What did you learn from the project?

Did you learn any new skills?

Did it reveal anything about your strengths?

Did you improve your mastery of the programs you used while working there?

What have you accomplished?

What was your goal at the start of the project? Have you reached it? It could be making a profit, winning a competition, getting a good grade, or just improving a technical / technical skill.

Once you've found the right projects you want to include in your CV, list them under Education section of your CV as Relevant courses.

Here are some examples of what they might look like:

"Corporate Website Project", General Assembly

  • Building a fully interactive website using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • Paid great attention to the visual layout and made sure the site was responsive and accessible.
  • I worked in a team of five and helped divide responsibilities in order to work in the most efficient way.

"Song Restructuring", the music school

  • Treat a given song using a new and different concept.
  • Rearrange the rhythm, structure and harmony to fit the new style.
  • Used Sibelius to clearly communicate sheet music.

"Spring Advertising Campaign", School of Creative Advertising

  • Introducing a multiplatform advertising campaign strategy for a retail client with a fixed 3 month budget.
  • Used Photoshop and InDesign to create print ads and banner ads in various sizes.
  • Drawn and presented a storyboard for a 30 second TV spot.

Plus, if you have tangible results from a project – like a website, design, or photos – attach them to your resume to share with your potential employer.

Adding extra context to your resume can show employers that you have the skills to do the job and help you stand out from other applicants.

Edited by Rae Keinan

Rae Keinan works at Climb Credit, one of the leading vocational student lenders who believe higher education should really lead to a career and a salary that is worth the tuition paid.

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