If A Degree May Make You Look Overqualified You Can Leave It Off
The only time you should consider not listing a qualification is if it isnt relevant and it could make you appear overqualified for example, if you have PhD in mathematics and are applying for jobs as an entry-level salesperson.
If you have postgraduate qualifications, list all your degrees, not just the most recent. You may think your bachelors degree in art history doesnt matter if you have a masters in engineering and are applying for jobs as an engineer, but itll look weird if you leave it off altogether.
Resume Education Section Examples
No matter which school you attended or degree you received, one of the following eight resume education section examples should be able to point you in the right direction when updating your resume.
- Bachelor of Applied Sciences , International Business, 2013Illinois State University, Bloomington, IL
- Georgetown University, McDonough School of Business, 2010-2014Bachelor of Arts, Accounting/Finance
- Miami University, Coral Gables, FLBachelor of Arts Social Psychology, 2013
- Doctor of Pharmacy , Magna Cum Laude, 2015Butler University, Indianapolis, IN
- Bachelor of Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, 2009Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
- University of Cattolica, Milan, ItalyBachelors Degree, Marketing and Finance, 2011
- Purdue University, West Lafayette, INBachelors Degree, Hospitality Tourism Management, 2012Activities: Intercollegiate Quidditch Association
Tips For Listing Degrees
The readability of a resume can be the defining factor of whether or not a job recruiter or potential employer moves the candidate into the next phase of the hiring process.
As such, using clear and concise wording and formatting is essential for not just the education section, but for all sections.
Here are a few tips for different formatting options depending on the level and type of education you have completed.
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When You Didn’t Go To College
If you didn’t go to college or only took a few courses, you don’t have to list them. Of course, you also have the option of leaving college off of your resume entirely, which becomes a better option as you gain valid, relevant work experience.
There are many things you can include on your resume besides college, to highlight and prove your qualifications for a job. Relevant coursework, awards, certifications, volunteer positions, and even clubs and hobbies can often be included appropriately in other sections of your resume.
If you don’t have work or much other experience, you may want to list your GED or high school information on your resume. Otherwise, you don’t need to include it. For example:
General Educational Development Certificate
- The Susan Jones Family
- The Dean and Janice Blake Family
- The Franklin Travers Family
If Youre A Recent Graduate
As a recent graduate, its better to leave your graduation date on your resume. If you dont have a lot of work experience, a recent graduation date makes it obvious why.
Unlike more experienced hires, recent graduates can use your education section to highlight your achievements. This includes awards, student initiatives, study abroad programs, language proficiency, key leadership skills, and any major accomplishments.
Remember that your resume is about presenting you as a strong applicant for a position rather than about adding as much information as possible. Normal resume rules apply if it strengthens your candidacy, leave it in. If it takes the spotlight off more impressive work experience, take it off.
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Place High School Education After Your College Experience
If you’ve attended any years of college, even if you have yet to earn a degree, list that experience first, followed by your high school education. If you have a college degree, you can leave your high school education off your resume. Once you have completed a college degree, you should include information regarding classes, projects, internships or organizations that you participated in that are relevant to the role since this information is more recent.
For example, if you were captain of the swim team or student body president and just graduated three years ago, you may want to keep your high school education on your resume even if you’re about to graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Accomplishments such as these show a hiring manager you have leadership potential and can work well with a team.
What Employers Look For In Your Education Section
Every employer looks for different things when reviewing your educational section on your resume, based on the job requirements and qualifications. A hiring manager ultimately wants to know by reviewing your resume that you have the knowledge and the experience to perform the duties of the position. You outline your knowledge in the educational section of your resume.
For example, if you’re applying for an entry-level position within a company, the hiring manager typically looks for a high school diploma, completion of a GED, or college certificate. If you’re applying for a mid-level position, the company may require a university degree. And sometimes, such as health care or finance, they need advanced academic training and certifications to practise your profession within your home province.
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You Earned Your Degree More Than 15 Years Ago
If you earned a degree or certification more than 15 years ago, place your Education at the bottom of your resume, and remove the graduation date. It’s important to demonstrate you’ve earned the degree, but there’s no need to draw attention to how long ago this occurred.
Doing so will allow you to focus your resume on your skills, accomplishments, and professional history. For those who have many years of professional experience, education becomes less important because you should be moving forward in your career.
Writing A Resume With No Education
Listen, you might think that you do not have an education because you did not attend college or university, but even if you did not finish high school there are many roles that are looking for other aspects of life learning than grades and certifications. Adding “education” on your resume might not be as hard as you think:
- List incomplete educational qualifications and even mediocre high school results
- What online learning have you been able to take on board?
- What lessons have you learned in your non-working life that might help?
Education comes at you every minute of every day. If you have not been a hit in the classroom, think hard about what skills you will need on the job and where you may have picked up those skills before. Don’t be embarrassed – it won’t seem desperate and you are simply demonstrating creativity. It will give you an advantage over those people who leave the education section empty.
Take a good look at the sorts of jobs that you are applying to. More of them than you think will be open to employing someone who doesn’t have a stellar education but does have the right attitude. If they do not demand certain educational qualifications in the job description, then you are likely to have some wiggle room.
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How To List Your High School Education On A Resume
If you never went to college, your resumes education section is going to be pretty straightforward. All you have to do is list the name of your high school, its location and the dates. Theres no reason to complicate it any further.
That is, unless youre less than three years out of high school. Then you can add anything that shows off your skills and achievements.
- Add achievements. Include awards, extracurricular activities, honors, clubs and organizations you joined during high school.
- Stay relevant. Only include information that pertains to a specific job opening. Keep an open mind and remember that transferable skills can make a huge difference too.
Feel free to include details about any projects or clubs you joined while at school. Focus on including specific examples to demonstrate your motivation and initiative.
Did you write for high school newspapers and published 16 articles? Then it deserves a mention in your education section!
The bottom line is simple: Look for anything that helps you show your enthusiasm and work ethic.
Think of clubs, organizations, extracurricular activities or even volunteer work. All of these can count as a major achievements if you dont have any other experiences yet.
Where To Put Your Expected Graduation Date
Your date conferred or expected date should be placed next to your degree or diploma, within the education section of your resume. When you’re still studying, this section should sit above your job experience. Once you enter the workforce, these sections will be reordered, with experience on top of education.
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Recent Or Current Students Can Lead With Your Education Section
If youre a current student and dont have a lot of work experience, its fine to lead with your education section. Its the most recent experience you have. Leading with your education also prevents anyone whos skimming over your resume from assuming that youre simply inexperienced or unemployed, when the reality is that youre in full-time education. Its also okay to include your degree if you havent officially graduated yet simply list it as expected May 2021 .
The same applies if youre a recent graduate. If your education is still the most relevant or most impressive experience you have, list it first.
Include The Name Of The Host Organization
In order to verify the validity of your certification, you will need to list the name of the association who awarded it to you. Be sure to spell this out as well and proofread for any typos. If you are submitting your resume digitally, you may be able to insert a link to the organizations website directly into your resume to make your readers research easier.
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Recent Graduate Within One To Five Years
If you’ve recently graduated from an academic program, place your education section before or in line with your work experience. Because most of your experience is academic, putting your education in a prominent place is acceptable and expected. Remember to include your date of graduation and any honours or achievements you want to highlight. If you attended multiple schools to receive your degree or certification, list the most prominent school where you were most involved. Here is an example:
2017-2021, Bachelor of Commerce Honour Degree in AccountingUniversity of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta3.8 GPAMember of Business Student’s Association and Network of Empowered Women
Experienced Professional With Five Or More Years
If you have over five years of work experience history, move your education section below your work history. A hiring manager will focus more on your work experience at this point in your career but still refer to your academic achievements and training. You can also exclude your graduation dates and grade point average if you have over five years of work experience. You want to highlight your skills and experience more than your academic history. Again, if you have multiple degrees or certifications, list them in order of highest degree first. Here is an example:
*The University of Victoria, Victoria, British ColumbiaBachelor of Science Honour Degree in Biology
The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British ColumbiaMaster of Science in Oceanography *
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Information To Include In Your Resume Education Section
Hiring managers are looking for a few basic pieces of information when they scan your education section, including:
- The name of your school
- Location of your school
- The degree you obtained
- Your field of study
- Graduation year
- Your GPA
- Any relevant honors or academic recognition, coursework, activities or other achievements obtained during your education
Though varying levels of detail are required for different jobs, the education section is often the shortest portion of the resumetry keeping it around 1530 words.
Its important to format your educational experience to match the requirements of the job youre applying for. For example, a recent graduate will want to include more detail and place the education section in a prominent position on their resume because this is the bulk of their experience. Alternatively, a person who has been in the workforce for several years will move their education section below their professional experience and keep this section short because their interviewers will be more interested in the work theyve done at previous employers.
Adding High School And Ged On Resume
- If your highest level of education is a high school diploma or a GED, this should still be included as there are many jobs that are open to high school graduates as well as college graduates.
- Generally, this type of education section should be kept short and sweet. Listing that you have received either a diploma or a GED should be sufficient.
- If you have recently graduated high school or received your GED, including additional high school-related achievements may be beneficial
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How To List Transfer Schools On A Resume In 3 Steps
A resume is an essential document you need when applying for jobs that lists your professional skills, experience and qualifications. It’s important to discuss your education history on your resume so that employers understand what coursework you’ve completed to prepare you for the job that you’re seeking. If you transferred to a new school midway through college, then you may be wondering how to include this information on your resume successfully.
In this article, we discuss when to list your transfer college on your resume, outline how to list transfer schools on a resume and provide a template and example to use as a guide.
Include Your School’s Name And Location
It’s customary to include your high school’s name and location on your resume. Hiring managers and human resources representatives use this information to confirm what appears in your background check and also to get a better understanding of where you went to school. Be sure to explain the kind of high school you attended if it’s not clear from the name. For example, there are some high schools that specialize in performing arts. You may list the name of the high school, plus a short description, so a hiring manager fully comprehends the environment you were in.
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How To List Education In Progress On A Resume
There are two things you need to learn if you want to know how to list education in progress on your resume. The first is how to provide that information in a way that clearly conveys your education status to an employer. The second is where to place that information in the body of your resume. With respect to the how, there are a few different ways to convey these details. There are only a couple of basic rules to follow when you list these education details:
Be as clear as possible. You donât want to give the employer the wrong impression, after all. If you have completed one degree and are pursuing advanced education, be sure to clearly state that fact. If your degree is not yet complete, be clear about that as well.
Be honest. If you are in the process of withdrawing from school, donât list that educational program. Donât try to enhance your education section in any way. Just state the facts in an honest way.
Feel free to include in-progress university degrees, as well as online degrees that you may be pursuing. Both are popular in 2021.
Resume Education Section Format
Many ATS parse the information from an applicants resume into a digital applicant profile. If your education is formatted incorrectly theres a very good chance that information will be parsed incorrectly or left out altogether.
Typically, the degree is listed before the school, but if you went to an impressive, Ivy League university, leading with the name of the school cant hurt.
Remember, a solid education section will include the name of the school, the degree earned , location of the school, and the date of graduation. For example:
Bachelor of Arts: Theater, Shakespearean, 2016Columbia College, Chicago, IL
Masters of Business Administration, 2014University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
You can add societies, activities or relevant coursework if it makes sense to the job for which youre applying. This information can be included at the bottom of your education section, like this:
Bachelors Degree, Elementary Education and Teaching, 2013Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, INSocieties: Delta Delta Delta, Habitat for Humanity, Student Support Group
If you are still completing your degree, you can list your expected graduation date, but be clear that you havent yet graduated. Like the above examples, you dont need to list the start date . For example:
Bachelor of Science: Civil EngineeringWashington University, St. Louis, MO.Expected Graduation Date 2019
University of Miami, Coral Gables, FLEnglish Composition, 65 Credit Hours Obtained
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What If You Attended Multiple Schools To Finish One Degree
Only list the school where you graduated or finished yourdegree. Educational institutions require transferring students to submit theirtranscript, along with a detailed list of the subjects they completed withtheir previous school.
Your school records will be consolidated where you graduate,so thats what you should list on your resume. If you put the wrong school, youmay get a negative result from an employers pre-employment background check.
Why Include An Education Section On A Resume
Theres a good chance that every resume youve ever seen had an education section. But why?
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