Including Resume Items on a Syllabus

I am experimenting with including an entry called “Resume Items” on my syllabi this fall. I can wax poetic about what I believe college should be for, but the reality is that for most students (at least at my institution), they are after a credential to secure a job and hopefully experience some upward mobility. Combine this with the other known reality in that years later, students can’t recall what exactly they learned in a sociology course that was particularly useful or relevant to her or his life. My “Resume Items” entry hopes to correct for this to some extent.


Here is what the entry looks like for my Sociology of Deviant Behavior course (lower-level undergrad):



Upon successful completion of this course and all course requirements, you should be able to include the following items on a resume:[1]

  1. Use computer resources to develop a reference list
  2. Identify ethical issues in research
  3. Teamwork skills in diverse groups
  4. Critical thinking and analytic reasoning
  5. Written and oral communication


I suggest opening a word document with the above items noted and begin keeping a record of the ways in which you practice these skills during this course (and others). At the end of the semester, you will be the best judge as to whether you can demonstrate these skills and talk about them in a job interview. You might also specify your degree of skill: beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert, and so on.

[1] American Sociogical Association. 2009. 21st Century Careers with an Undergraduate Degree in Sociology. Washington DC.


I struggled with how many items to include. I made sure that they follow the learning outcomes for the course and the types of assignments students will actually complete. Each item comes directly from the ASA’s publication noted above.


I gave students some guidance as to what to do with this information, because I want students be clear about how they should use this information. They should not just copy and paste the items to a resume. They have to decide whether or not these are skills they can claim. 


What do you think? What would you include in your course? Do you include “Resume Items” on your syllabus?