Career Changers Can Start Their Resumes With An Education Section If It’s Relevant
The last exception is career changers. If youve gone back to school as part of the career change process, you can list your education first. A new qualification is more relevant than your experience in a different industry. It also provides important context for your application, as a resume that solely focuses on your past experience in a different sector might otherwise be confusing to a hiring manager.
How Do You List Education On A Resume In 2020
To list continuing education on a resume , you should: List your education section at the top. Write your dates in Present format. Include coursework as a part of education on a resume only when: The candidate is a fresher. It is required in the target job description. It is relevant to the target job.
Does Community College Look Bad On A Resume
However, putting your community college experience on a resume does not look bad, especially if you earned a professional certificate. Todays community colleges have more respect for the level of education they provide. So, you can feel free to include your time at a community college on your resume without regret.
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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
How Continuing Education On A Resume Helps With Career Advancement
While continuing education is required for many industries – Some continuing education is voluntary and could help give you a leg up on other candidates when applying for a job.
Continuing education can even include online courses on your resume. Just make sure it’s relevant to whatever position you’re applying for before listing it on your resume.
It can also allow you to get promoted faster or even a fatter salary. Professional development of any kind will help you progress in your career. Employers love to see a candidate who is committed to learning and progressing within their industry or role.
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Where To Position Education On Your Resume
So, should your education or experience come first in your resume?
Think of it this way:
The top third of the resume is reserved for your accomplishments that are most relevant to the job you are applying for.
So before you continue, ask yourself: Is your education your most relevant accomplishment?
The answer most of the time will be no. Work experience will be a more important requirement for just about any position above entry-level.
However, education can take priority in some particular cases.
Education comes first if youve just graduated from college and dont have relevant work experience to list. Imagine you are an employer and the first thing you see in someones resume when theyre applying for an entry-level marketing associate position is their summer job as a bodyguard at their local town pool.
Its also wise to list education before work experience if youve recently gotten back to school to get a degree thats relevant to your potential job.
For example, if youre switching to a career in sustainable energy after having finished a related program, but have work experience predominantly in engineering, you would want your new education to be the first thing the hiring manager sees.
Getting a fresh MSc, Ph.D., or MBA is another case where you would want to highlight those degrees more than the work experience.
Not sure if you need a CV or a resume? Check out our guide on CV vs Resume and learn whats the difference between the two .
Is Your Degree Unrelated
Are you applying for a job as a banker, but you hold a degree in basket weaving? A situation like this could stand between you and a job, and leaving your education off your resume could actually keep the door open for you to make it to the next stage.
If you are applying for a job totally unrelated to your degree, it can give the impression that you are not very invested in the role, and would be more likely to leave the company for another opportunity. If a degree isnt required for a given position, then listing one that doesnt even relate isnt necessarily going to help you.
On the flip side, some hiring managers are looking for a degree as a sign that you are capable of sticking with something, and nothing more. Earning a degree shows a certain amount of dedication and drive, which appeal to hiring managers.
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Certifications In A Dedicated Section On Your Resume
For listing more than two certifications, we recommend creating a dedicated section on your resume. A resume format with a dedicated section works great for listing all relevant certificates – required, recommended, and optional.
We recommend taking advantage of this especially if youâre a licensed lawyer, doctor, accountant, or a student seeking an entry-level position!
Be sure to list certificates in its own section in reverse-chronological order. To improve chances of appearing after an ATS scan, place the dedicated sections right underneath the experiences section.
This works wonders for candidates applying to industries such as Information Technology. Take a look at how this IT Specialist resume example lists certifications in an easily noticeable dedicated section.
When You Land An Interview
You should also be prepared to discuss your college courses in your interview, when the time comes.
Its a good idea, if applicable, to prepare for the question of why you didnt complete your degree as well.
Remember to be honest and upfront, and cast your decision in the most flattering way possible, without placing blame or being negative.
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How To List Certifications
Relevant certifications are another piece of information to include in the education section of your resume.
In situations where someone is looking to change fields, obtaining a certificate or certification in another field may provide enough education to support the career change. This saves the time necessary to obtain an additional college degree.For many employers, certificates and certifications make an applicant stand out. Additionally, continuing education credits often help an individual seek leadership positions within their current company. For these reasons, pursuing a certificate or a certification is worth considering.
Heres a simple way to add a certificate or certification to your resume:
West Seneca State College | West Seneca, NY | May 2016Bachelor of Science, Accounting
An Example Of Education On Resume For A High School Senior
A resume for a high school senior will look like the following example:
EDUCATIONMarsland High School3.56 GPACourses: Mathematics, History, French, Drama
As stated above, a high GPA can be included, as it is here. Also, listing some of your main courses will show your employer what your areas of interest are and give you something to discuss at the interview stage.
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What Employers Look For In The Education Section Of Your Resume
Each employer searches for different things in your education and what they look for depends on the requirements for the job. If youre applying for an entry-level job, the hiring manager might want to see that you have a high school diploma or college degree. A recruiter seeking a director of a department might be looking for business or managerial training, like an MBA.
The educational requirements of a job are often listed under a requirements or education section on the job description, so read carefully to see if your background is a good match.
There are some professions such as finance or healthcare where specific certifications or degrees are essential to getting the job. If you know a potential employer will need to see that you have the right credentials before considering your other experience, place your education at the top of the page just below your contact information and professional summary.
The most important thing to keep in mind as you document your education is honesty. Potential employers may conduct a background check before offering you a job. If they come across information thats different from whats on your resume, this could hurt your chances of getting the job.
How To List Education On A Resume
Senior Content Manager at Indeed passionate about making career advice enjoyable and accessible, so people feel confident about getting and succeeding in the right jobs.
Education is one of a few key sections employers look for on resumes. This information will inform interviewers of your background, which can be a helpful way to understand more about your fit for the role. If your education is particularly relevant to the position or includes any credentials that are required for the job, this section may quickly set you apart from other candidates.
c. Description of role and achievement
You have several options when it comes to choosing where and how you list education on your resume. You can identify the best place to put your education on your resume by carefully reading job descriptions. This will often help you understand whether certain levels of education are essential, nice-to-have or unnecessary for each role.
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Certifications In A Minor Section On Your Resume
Do you need more space on your resume, like people with a lot of work experience? Another resume format that works great is a a small dedicated certificates section. This smart resume space-saving tactic is especially effective when the section is placed in the smaller column of a 2-column resume template.
Putting certifications in a side section is highly recommended for certificates that youâve classified as optional. Or if you can fill major space on your resume with relevant experiences.
This data analyst resume example shows how strategic placement of a small dedicated Certifications section creates more room for the experience section.
Learn How To Format Education On Your Resume
There isnt really a right or a wrong way to format your resume education section, as long as you list all necessary information clearly.
Here are a couple examples of how to list college on your resume:
Honors: Cum laude Deans List for 4 semesters
Thesis: Teenagers, Texting, and Interpersonal RelationshipsRelevant Coursework: Language and Identity, Media and Values, Mass Media LawActive member of the Wagner Student Association and the NYU Arts and Culture Network
If youre including relevant coursework on your resume, format it using bullet points and explain what you achieved in each course, similar to writing your work experience section.
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To Demonstrate Additional Skills
In some cases, your certifications might prove that you possess certain valuable skills beyond those that the job listing requires. For instance, if you apply for an administrative assistant position and list your A+ IT certification on your resume, the potential employer will know that you are highly skilled with computers, which may increase your chances of landing an interview.
What If You Went Back To School To Get A New Degree
Are you changing careers? If you got a new degree becauseyou want to pursue another type of work, then its vital that you include yournew degree on your resume. Put it on top of your previous college degree.
When you switch roles, most of your previous work experiencewill be considered irrelevant. Lets say you want to switch from nursing toselling life insurance or IT to managing a restaurant. In those cases, the majority of yourprevious qualificationseducation, skills, achievementswill be inapplicable.
Thats where your new degree comes in. Youre like a freshgraduate in your new field, but a tad better. Your formal education willsatisfy the job requirements of most employers, and your transferrable skillswill boost your qualifications a bit more, so youre not seen as a totalnewbie.
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How To Put Education On Resume As An Experienced Professional
A resume’s education section will look different for a professional who has completed more than one degree and has significant work experience. In this case, listing education on a resume comes below work experience. Recruiters will always be more interested in skills gained on the job than your academic career, no matter how impressive sounding.
If you have more than one education, rank these in a hierarchy, with a Ph.D. or Master’s first, then Bachelor’s degree, then other professional courses. Here’s a good example of what it can look like:
Ph.D. in Business Administration Master’s of Science in Information Systems Duke University, Durham, NC
Bachelor’s of ScienceNorth Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
ââIf you have work experience and multiple degrees, it is best to leave your GPA as hiring managers will prioritize.
If you haven’t finished your degree, we’ve got you covered with our next example â so read on!
Recommended Certifications On A Resume
Employers often use certifications as a resume filter to narrow the pool of applicants. Some certifications can give employers more confidence that a candidate has the right qualifications for the job. For example, the IT Profession has many certificates that prove proficiency in network engineering.
Employers sometimes even compile statistics and report on the number of employees with particular qualifications. Listing highly desired certificates is a very effective way to make your resume stand out. Especially if youâre an entry level candidate or student!
Recommended certificates can sometimes be found in the job description.
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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.
You Possess An Undergraduate Degree Graduate Degree Or Other Advanced Certification
An employer expects to find information about your undergraduate degree and any graduate work or additional graduate degrees you’ve earned, such as a master’s degree, Ph.D., law degree, and so forth, on your resume. The same goes for any certifications or advanced training you’ve received that’s relevant to your current job goals and career path, such as an RN, PMP, SSBB , etc. Include these in a designated Education and Professional Development resume section.
If you’ve earned an advanced degree or certification that’s considered very important for your field of work, include the acronym for the credential after your name at the top of your resume in addition to including the details of your education at the bottom of your resume in an Education and Professional Development section.
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Education For A Recent Graduate
If you graduated less than five years ago, put your education section below or in line with work experience. Give your work experience a prominent position on the resume to show your readiness for the demands of a professional environment. Include your schools, attendance dates, awards and honors, and your GPA , but keep it short.
Example of the education section for a recent graduate:
Michigan State University, Michigan 2012-2017
Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics
Statistical Analysis Certificate
What If I Don’t Expect To Finish The Degree
If you are taking a break from your education you need to consider whether or not the coursework you did complete is relevant. Ask yourself:
Is this degree related to the job I’m applying for?
Is this degree more relevant to the job than my other relevant experience including jobs, volunteer work, or certifications?
Is this in-progress degree recent enough?
Is having a degree required for this job?
While you should never lie about having a degree you don’t have, including any progress made towards a required degree may help you reach the interview stage. The trick is you have to be qualified for the job in every other aspect. If you don’t have an MBA, but you do have 10+ years in the business field, you may still have a shot at landing the interview.
To accurately represent this on your resume, don’t include a prospective graduation date. Instead, try including the number of credits and the years you attended.