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How To Put Your College On Your Resume

If Youre Taking A Break From College

Everything You Should Include on Your Resumes for College Applications

If youre taking a break from college for a year or less, youre still a student. List your unfinished degree on your resume the same as you would if you were still attending college.

Just remember, its important to be upfront with your potential employers about resuming your studies. An employer wont be thrilled if they hire you for a full-time position only to have you leave 6 months later. In your interview, make sure to bring up the topic of your education and discuss the possibility of accommodating a more flexible or part-time schedule for when the time to finish your degree comes.

Listing Education At The Beginning

That said, education most commonly appears immediately after the title/heading .

For example:

123 Somewhere Street | Somewhere, NY 00000555.555.5555 | username@email.comWest Seneca State College | West Seneca, NY | May 2017Bachelor of Science, Accounting

The above example is fairly straightforward. After the accountants name, address, and contact information, her college, and date of graduation appear along with the type of degree and major.While its acceptable to abbreviate the degree to B.A. or B.S., it looks more professional to spell out the full Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science.

Pro Tip: Applicant Tracking Systems used by many employers may distort a submitted resumes format. In particular, placing dates on the left-hand side has caused some issues with ATS. To avoid this issue, format education like the example above, with dates on the right-hand side.

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.

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How To List Your Education On A Resume

For many applicants, the education section is the easiestpart to write on their resume. They just list their alma maters name, degree,and graduation date. Simple.

Its not always that simple though. For instance, what do you write if you switched school three times before completing your bachelors? How do you list your college education if youre still completing your thesis? What if you dropped out of an MBA?

This tutorial answers those questions, and everything elserelated to listing education on a resume.

First, lets start with the basics:

Stick With Action Verbs

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Many resumes are littered with the same trite words, which is why you should make an effort to switch up common words and phrases with stronger action verbs. This is especially important when writing the first word for each bullet point in your work experience section, as you want to immediately catch the hiring manager’s attention.

Use verbs such as “converted,” “analyzed,” and “composed” to portray your achievements in a more engaging manner. You might even consider using a thesaurus to help you find stronger synonyms for common words, or referring to this list of action verbs created by Harvard.

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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 .

How To List A Degree On A Resume

The thought of breaking into the professional world is daunting, but having a degree under your belt means youre already at a competitive advantage.

However, when listing your degree on your resume, its important to include the correct information to ensure you clearly communicate your qualifications to hiring managers.

To get started, well explain how to list an associates, bachelors, and masters degree on a resume and how to list multiple degrees with examples.

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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:

After Adding Your Anticipated Graduation Date Do This Next

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Your job search is kind of like a continuing education, in that there’s a lot to learn and also a fair share of homework. Adding your expected graduation date on a resume is a great way to show employers you’re motivated. Need some more guidance? Check out Monster’s Grad site for a bunch of practical career advice, from perfecting your cover letter to how to interview and impress hiring managers. Search smarter from the very start.

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Adding Associates And Bachelors Degrees On Resume

  • When listing an associateâs or bachelorâs degree on a resume, always include the name and location of the institution, as well as the date or expected date of graduation.
  • While the education section should still be kept short, inclusion of any collegiate level academic achievements, such as honor societies or deanâs lists, can be useful to include.
  • Donât go too crazy including coursework of extracurricular information â stick to including the most relevant information.

What To Include In An Education Section

As we’ve covered, different formats of resumes may require different information to be included within an education section.

In general, there is some basic information that should be included within the education section of a resume:

  • The name of the school â “e.g. Georgia Institute of Technology”
  • The location of the school
  • Your degree
  • Graduation year
  • Major field or department of study
  • Minor field or department of study
  • GPA

Here’s what that looks like for and university grad:

Georgia Institute of Technology ⢠Atlanta, GAB.S. in Computer Engineering, 2006 – 2010GPA: 3.9/4.0

For high-school students, you can do something like the following:

Georgia Institute of Technology ⢠Atlanta, GAHigh School Diploma, Graduated in 2010GPA: 3.9/4.0

Remember, including a GPA is optional. Only add it if it’s required by the job listing or it’s relatively high. If your GPA is low , it’s better to just leave it out.

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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:

Make The Most Out Of Your Incomplete Degree

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While education isnt the key decisive factor to invite you for an interview, the hiring managers definitely take notice. A university degree shows that you are persistent and driven enough to succeed in the chosen field, and the prestigious school name can add you points. In certain fields, it also indicates that you have the necessary theoretical foundation to do the job well.

If you have a complete BA, MA or even PhD under your belt, you simply list it on a resume and call it a day. But what if you havent completed your college studies? You dont want to create a gap in a resume, but you also dont want to mislead the prospective employer. Today, our executive resume writers will throw light on listing an incomplete college degree and explain as follows:

  • When should you list an unfinished degree
  • Where in your resume an incomplete education should be placed, and
  • How to make your education count anyway.

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Example Of Education Section With Additional Information

Here is an example of an education section that lists a major and minor with additional supporting information.


Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 2015 2019Bachelor of Arts in English, Minor in MarketingGPA: 3.75/4.0Relevant Coursework: American Literature, Literary Theory, Nonfiction and Creative Writing, Consumer Behavior and Digital Marketing

What If Your Degree Is Not Related To Your Job

I know someone who graduated with a degree in design that is nowworking as a life insurance agent, and I know a nursing graduate who worked inIT for years, before becoming a real estate agent. This happens more than youknow, so you shouldnt let this stop you from chasing after your dream job.

Below are two ways to downplay the lack of formal education inyour target job:

  • List the relevant coursework in your degree.Lets say you have a Psychology degree, but want a job in marketing. If youtook units in social psychology, communications, grammar, and business, thosesubjects show you have the knowledge required for the job.
  • List professional courses or ongoing trainingyou took to compensate for your lack of formal schooling on the subject.

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How To Write A Resume Header

If you’re still using an old email address from high school, it’s time to create a new professional account. Choose a popular email provider like Gmail or Outlook and keep your address simple by using your full name or a variation of your first and last name.

Your contact information must be up to date so that potential employers won’t have any issue reaching you. Make sure to include your first and last name, phone number, and email address in the header of your resume, and double-check that these are correct.

If location is important or relevant to the company, you may also include your city and state in your header. You can usually skip putting down your full home address.

If you don’t have a lot of work experience but do have a portfolio of relevant work you can show, you should insert links to your personal website and/or online portfolio in your resume header.

You might also consider including a link to to help the hiring manager get a better sense of your professional presence. Steer clear of adding links to any other social media accounts unless the job specifically requires social media skills.

Choose The Right Resume Format

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Potential employers will spend a short amount of time looking at your resumeusually only several seconds. The easier your resume is to scan, the better you can hold their attention. Most recruiters and hiring managers will focus their attention on the following resume sections:

  • Name and contact information

  • Relevant skills and experiences

The best resume formats are well organized with only the most relevant information and should make efficient use of blank space to avoid clutter.

Image description

  • c. Description of role and achievement

  • Education

  • Skills

  • Optional

  • To ensure your qualities and accomplishments are easily visible, choose a simple layout that allows you to showcase the qualifications that are most relevant to the job posting. To eliminate blank spaces, consider including additional sections that could be helpful for employers like relevant skills, awards and achievements or professional interests.

    Pro Tip: For college students or recent graduates, the chronological resume format is recommended for presenting your credentials to employers. This format allows you to present your most important information first.

    For more information on selecting a resume format, check out our guides on using the most popular resumes:Combination Resume Tips and Examples – For candidates whose skills are more important than work experience

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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 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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    Can I Put My Degree On My Resume Before I Graduate

    Your date conferred or expected date should be placed next to your degree or diploma, within the education section of your resume. When youre 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.

    College Student Resume Example And Writing Tips

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    When creating a resume as a college student, it’s important to emphasize both your work history and your education. For a student resume, you can also demonstrate your skills and abilities by including volunteer work, internships, and other extracurricular activities.

    Review what to include in your resume, tips for writing a resume that highlights your qualifications, and download a resume template you can use as a starting point for creating your own resume.

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    Organizing Your College Resume

    Organize the information into an easy-to-read document that is no longer than two pages. Below are some categories to consider for your college resume:

    • Education: Your high school, GPA, and test scores.
    • Activities and work. Briefly describe the activity, your role in it, your contribution to it, the school year you participated, any leadership positions you held, and how many weeks and hours per week you contributed.
    • Honors and awards. Provide the name of the award or leadership position, a brief description, why you won it, and the date you received it.
    • Other experiences and skills. Choose those that show your initiative and commitment. Describe the experience or skill, the challenges you faced, the period of time you devoted to it, and the result of your commitment.

    How To List Education On Resume

    If youre like most job seekers, its likely that you didnt give much thought to the education section of your resume.

    Many job seekers consider this section just a list of schools and degrees. However, the education section gives employers valuable information about your background and your fit for the role.

    In this article, well explain how you can use the education section more effectively, giving you an edge in the hiring game.

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    Are You A Soon

    Put your expected graduation date on your resume.

    For a current student such as yourself, it’s considered a best practice to include your expected graduation date on your resume when applying for entry-level jobs. An expected graduation date tells potential employers how far along you are in your degree or diploma. It also helps employers understand the amount of flexibility you may need around your work schedule. Read on to find out how to add your expected graduation date to your resume.

    Education In Progress Resume Examples

    This One Trick Will Make Your College Resume Stand Out

    When you include details indicating that youâre currently pursuing a degree on your resume, itâs important to provide clarity. The last thing you want is to inadvertently leave the impression that youâre trying to pretend like youâve completed the degree. And while it might be tempting to just note that the degree is still a work-in-progress, we believe that you should be even more specific. The best way to do that is to include the anticipated graduation date.

    Now, if youâre like many students, you may not be entirely sure that youâll complete your degree by a set date. However, that shouldnât stop you from providing an anticipated date of completion. In fact, itâs essential that you provide this information so that employers know that youâre serious about your studies. This is especially true in cases where the job youâre seeking requires that degree. Fortunately, itâs a relatively easy task to accomplish.

    We wrote a good post here on how to include an MBA on a resume.

    For example, check out this listing from a sample resume with a masterâs degree in progress:

    MBA, Human Resources Program

    Dynamic University, Anytown, AnyState. Expected completion 2022

    If youâre closer to graduation and are more certain about the date, you can use something like this:

    Graduate Studies, Computer Engineering

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