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When searching for a new job, you want to show potential employers that you have up-to-date training and knowledge. This comes across not only through your work experience and accomplishments, but also your education, certifications, and professional development. However, some jobs are more training-heavy than others. For instance, teachers and medical professionals are required to attain a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) every year or every few years. Do all of these programs belong on your resume?

It depends.

If you are early on in your career and do not have a lot of experience to point to yet, listing professional development courses can help fill in some gaps and show you’re ready to hit the ground running. You’re up-to-date on the latest strategies and best practices and are ready to show how you can apply them in your career.

For more experienced professionals, the list of courses you’ve taken may be quite long by now. Adding them all to your resume can become cumbersome and make it look bulky – not to mention, it takes up valuable space where you could be elaborating on other material. In this case, it’s better to pick and choose. Which trainings or skills would a specific employer be looking for? Have you taken any courses that would set you apart from the competition or align really well with the job you’re applying for? You can always add a note at the bottom that says a complete list of courses is available by request instead of listing everything.

Another situation where you may want to cut down your list is if you’re changing careers. For instance, if you’re shifting out of teaching into marketing, sales, or administration, chances are that course you took in Guided Reading or teaching fractions with Legos isn’t really relevant. Stick with listing courses that emphasize transferable skills, such as conflict management or leadership.

Finding Relevant Experience

On the other hand, if you’re lacking additional training and you want to show that you’re committed to learning and have advanced your knowledge or skills, look for different courses that you can take. You can often find classes through the local university or community college, trade schools, professional associations, and even some major businesses.

It can be a good idea to brush up your skills from time to time and find areas where you can grow and advance. This can be especially beneficial if you want to switch to a different role within your industry, or start on a new career path.