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How To Put An Incomplete Degree On A Resume

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.

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  • How To List Education In Progress On Resume

    When you are currently pursuing a degree, you must mention your in-progress degree at the beginning of the education section in your resume.

    Write the name of the degree, alongside the date of commencement and followed by the name of the university/college, location, and the expected graduation date.

    You can follow the same approach while writing a resume with master’s degree in progress.

    Heres an unfinished degree on resume example :

    Bachelor in Business Administration George State University

    Also read:How to list education on resume

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    Option : List College Location And Details

    There are a few different ways to include the fact that you attended college.

    You can simply list the college and location:

    Macanster CollegeCleveland, OH

    You can also provide more detail. Include the years attended, the number of credits completed, and your GPA if it is very strong :

    Unionville University, 2015 – 2017Completed 42 credits, GPA 3.8

    You can mention the focus of your studies, if it is related to your employment objective, and the number of credits completed in that discipline:

    Hannaford College, 2016 – 2018Completed 36 credits, including 16 credits in business.

    Employed With Unfinished Degree

    How To Put Incomplete Education On Resume

    For those who choose to go in the field, instead of pursuing a complete education, the unfinished degree can be leveraged to showcase the gained skills.

    But how do you style this? Well, you have several options.

    First, you can write a functional resume and can include all the skills youve gained in college to the Skill Set portion of your resume. In that case, your entry might look like this:

    Skill Set

    BS: Software Engineering Completed 18 hoursWork-Study Employee: Software Design

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    Details About The Job


    A job is much more than just a title, so many companies include information about the daily responsibilities or some type of job description. You should understand the schedule for the job and what will be expected of you. If this information isnt included, ask the hiring manager for a copy of the job description. This doesnt mean that its written in stone and you will only be required to do those things listed in the description, but it is a good starting point to learn about what you will be doing when you start the position.

    How To List Unfinished College On A Resume

    It can be confusing to figure out how to put college on your resume if you didnt graduate, but it doesnt need to be stressful. Dont underestimate the value of the education you completed, just because you dont have a degree to show for it doesnt mean its not worthwhile.

    Even if youre not going to complete your degree, it can still make a valuable addition to your resume because:

    • It can help to explain an employment gap
    • It can highlight additional skills
    • It can showcase extra qualifications and relevant coursework

    If youre lacking formal work experience, any of these things could provide the extra push a hiring manager needs to seriously consider you as a candidate.

    Here are some ways to go about putting your education on your resume:

    Read Also: Resume Magna Cum Laude

    How To List An Unfinished Degree

    Now, lets consider the two main scenarios for listing some college degrees and how to do it positively.

    Your degree is in progress right now

    This case is pretty simple. You are a college student now, and intend to obtain a degree in the matter of years . Here, you put your educational institution and a degree as if you were describing the complete degree, and include the date of getting a long-awaited diploma.

    Take a look at a few pro examples:

    1.University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania, PA Anticipated May 2021

    BS in Engineering

    2. Cornell University, New York, NY Expected graduation 2022

    BS in Design and Environmental Analysis

    Current GPA 3.7

    Along with the degree and university name, you may include the GPA, number of credits completed, or relevant coursework.

    Do you feel that your college studies are not what you expected and would like to work in a different field? Take a look at our tips for turning your hobby into career.

    You dont plan to complete an unfinished degree

    Youve spent a few months or years in college but havent completed a degree. Whether you left college for financial reasons, to focus on work or because you realized that you wanted to pursue a different profession, you can still reflect this degree positively. As a rule, youll need to include the university name and the area of study:

    1.University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

    Completed 18 credits towards BA in Management

    2. Williams College, Massachusetts, MA

    How To Answer In An Interview As To Why You Have No College Degree

    How to write your education on your resume

    Whether you’re looking for your first job or your tenth, you want your resume to wow a potential employer. It’s your calling card to get a foot in the door for that job you want, and your best shot at getting invited for an interview. There’s just one problem, and it’s a potentially serious one: you didn’t complete your degree. Resist the urge to embellish, however. Instead, highlight those parts of your education that are relevant in your job search and emphasize other aspects of your background and work experience that make you a competitive candidate.

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    Consider Your Work Experience

    In general, the more work experience you have, the less detail youâll need to include in this section. If you just graduated, for example, you may choose to include your GPA and highlight that you were the president of the National Honor Society . If youâve been in the workforce for several years, the school name, location, and degree will likely suffice.

    If you graduated more than five years ago, consider leaving off your graduation date to help avoid age discrimination.

    How To List College When You Didn’t Graduate

    Whether you’re currently working toward a degree, or have no plans to graduate, don’t let a lack of a degree stop you from including your time spent at college or relevant details about completed coursework on your resume.

    Your college classes, even without an earned degree, can help you meet an employer’s educational requirements.

    If you did not graduate from college, make sure that your resume does not indicate otherwise. Many employers will do a reference check prior to hiring someone. Any information found to be intentionally misleading will end your candidacy and is grounds for firing if you have been hired.

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    If Its Not Relevant To The Position

    If your area of study was unrelated to the position youre applying for, then you dont need to include much detail. You can simply list the college and years attended.

    If you excelled academically, include your academic achievements such as a high GPA, inclusion in the Deans List, or other academic awards or scholarships.

    Heres an example of how to list an unfinished degree on your resume:

    SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY Syracuse, NY2017-2019

    If you took some courses related to the job, include those under your university information. You can list them by individual courses taken or by number of credits earned in a certain area of study.

    Heres what that looks like:


    Relevant coursework: Data Driven Inquiry, Big Data Analytics

    Where To Place Your Education Section

    How To List Unfinished College On Resume

    Where you place the education section on your resume depends on a few different factors: your education history, your work history, and the job for which you are applying.

    If you are a recent graduate with minimal work history, itâs appropriate to list your education first. Education will be your more impressive section, and youâll want it to be the first seen when employers are viewing your application.

    If you are pursuing a job that requires a particular degree or credential, you should also list your education first. Employers will be interested in making sure you have those certifications before moving forward with your resume.

    If youâve been working for several years, your work history is likely more relevant than your education history, so it may make sense to list it first. This is particularly true if the field of study of our degree isnât particularly relevant to the job or industry youâre targeting.

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    What Percentage Of Employers Check Education

    So, Do Employers Check Degrees? Only about 34 percent of employers check the educational qualifications listed on resumes, according to a 2004 study by the Society for Human Resource Managementeven though the association found that 25 percent of people inflated their educational achievements on resumes.

    Can You Put Future Education On Resume

    There is nothing wrong with including schooling that is in progress. So if you were currently attending there but havent completed your degree yet, then you could definitely list it on your resume . And you d list the school , the degree and what you re studying, and your expected graduation time.

    Read Also: How To Describe Language Skills On Resume

    How To List Education In Progress On A Resume

    When it comes to writing a great resume, the more education and skills you can demonstrate, the better. To a hiring manager, some college on a resume usually looks better than none, especially if you can show that your education is highly relevant to the job youre applying for.

    Knowing how to list education on your resume is an important part of convincing employers that youre qualified for a position. To list education in progress properly, include it in the education section of your resume. But the way you format it and the information you include vary depending on your plans or whether youre currently enrolled.

    Heres what you should do:

    How To List An Unfinished Master’s Degree On A Cv

    How to list in-progress Education on Your Resume | Resume Tips

    Even if you havent completed your masters degree, the experience could still serve as a selling point when included on your resume. Instead of focusing on the fact that you didnt finish, however, emphasize what you learned from the program and how it relates to the job for which youre applying.

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    How To Properly List An Associate Degree On A Resume

    Wondering how to write an associate degree on your resume or whether you should include it at all? Heres a complete guide on how to list an associate degree.

    a month ago 4 min read

    An associate degree isnt just a springboard into a four-year bachelors degree. Its also a complete degree in its own right and listing it can be a valuable addition to your resume. Heres our recruiter-vetted guide on how to get the most out of your associate degree.

    Get Professional Resume Advice

    Today, the formal education is losing its importance. Even the top tech giants like Google are willing to hire someone without a college degree. If you still have concerns about reflecting something on a resume effectively, our experts can help. Send us your resume, and one of our resume creators will review it and give recommendations on what should be improved. The writer will cover content, writing style, keywords, design, and more.

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    Lack Of Other Education Or Job Training

    If your incomplete degree is the only formal education or job training you have, then you should include this information. In this case, you might also include clubs you participated in that show leadership skills or community service, as well as any honors you received or large projects you participated in. Including at least some education shows you have a dedication to furthering your education and experience.


    • Presented overview of start-up business and plans
    • Included information on what we were selling, our target market and competitors
    • Outlined plan for execution, including marketing and sales plan
    • Drafted financial plan for company

    How To Put Unfinished Degree On A Resume/cv

    How To Put Incomplete Education On Resume

    When it comes to how to add unfinished education to a resume, the most common elements that should be present are school name, degree name, years of study, and any relevant coursework or achievements. Generally speaking, academic sections are brief, so an unfinished education on a resume should not be extensive.

    Regarding how to write an unfinished degree on a resume, there are two cases, which are to be covered in this part.

    Read Also: How Many References Do I Need On A Resume

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    Options For Listing Education On A Resume

    Not sure how to list your college degree on your resume? How should you list your expected graduation date if you’re an undergraduate student? What if you didn’t go to college? How about if you’ve already graduated? Alternatively, what do you do if you haven’t yet graduated but intend to complete your degree at some point in time?

    Even if you didn’t graduate, there are options for presenting your educational background in a positive manner. An entry-level resume will often present more educational or training information than would a resume for someone who has been in the workforce for many years.

    If you dont have a lot of work experience to prove your skills and capabilities on the job, it can be important to list any relevant college coursework, even if you didnt graduate with a degree.

    Here are a few options for including your education, as well as for mentioning credit you have earned for college-level work on your resume even though you didn’t graduate.

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    List Incomplete Education On Resume

    Your resume is a living, breathing document that should be constantly updated and customized.

    As your resume is your best bet to landing a job interview, youll want to ensure that your resume is perfected and contains all relevant and pertinent information.

    However, if you attended a college or university but did not graduate with a degree, how do you list incomplete education on resume?

    Regardless of whether or not you graduated and received a diploma from a college or university, you should always list any college or university programs you attended.

    It is far better and preferred to indicate some level of post-high school education.

    This is true for undergraduate programs, whether or not a degree was successfully conferred.


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