What To Include In The Education Section Of Your Resume
Here’s an overview of what to include when you’re adding education to your resume.
School and degree. The essential information to include in the education section are your degree and the schools you attended.
Major and minor. You can also give more specific information, including your major and minor, as well as the year you graduated, although the latter is not required.
Your GPA. Include your grade-point average if you’re currently a student or are 1-2 years out of school and your GPA is strong . You may also want to consider including your in-major GPA if it’s higher than your overall GPA.
Honors and awards. Include any honors or awards you have received in school. These can range from Latin honors to deans list and other awards.
You can also include extracurricular clubs, charitable groups, or Greek organizations where you were active and/or held a leadership role.
Certifications, continuing education, and professional development. Include any professional development courses and certifications. You can list any licenses you have unless you have a separate section of your resume where you include this information.
Prioritize Education Vs Experience
For college students or recent graduates, it can be difficult to decide whether to list your education or experience first. Notice in Jonathans resume below, he lists his education history first to showcase his student activity and accolades, like the Best Student Web Developer Award. Thats because his educational accomplishments demonstrate more enthusiasm and mastery of his technical abilities than his limited experience as a freelance web developer with just two work projects completed.
Not sure whether to list your education or experience section first? Figure out which one allows you to present your most pertinent and remarkable information. If your main selling points come from your college experience, then be sure to list your education section first. Then you can get really creative in emphasizing your academic history and accomplishments, as discussed next.
Keep It Short If You Graduated A While Ago
In most cases, your education section only needs to be a line or two underneath your work experience. The longer youve been in the workforce, the shorter it should be. Your education section should list what school you attended and what degree you obtained. If you graduated some time ago , you can leave off your graduation date from your resume.
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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
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.
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Employers Perform An Education Background Check
Many prospective employers will do a background check on job-seekers so you should avoid lying on your resume. They will verify an applicants education and degrees as a part of that process.
Unfortunately, some applicants will lie about earning a degree. Furthermore, some candidates will present a phony diploma to an employer. This dishonestly is why employers have to make sure you have the educational credentials you claim to have.
What Should I Include If I’m Still Studying
If you’re working towards a qualification, you can still list it on your CV! You just need to make it clear that it’s not finished yet. For example, you can say ‘In progress’ or ‘Due to complete in 2022’.
You’ll need to include the level of the qualification, such as BSc or MBA, as well as the name of the course, like ‘International Business’ or ‘Sports Therapy’. You should also include the name of the institution awarding the qualification usually the name of your university.
Modules, projects, dissertations and theses can be listed as well, with a focus on the higher-level work and modules of particular interest or relevance. If you are a member of any clubs or societies relevant to your chosen career path, you might like to include those, as well.
As your education is the main selling point on your CV at this time, you should also include any lower-level qualifications you have. Level, subject and year of completion is enough detail here.
If you’re still studying, your education section may look like this:
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Specify Certified Qualifications Only
Correct â “Coding Boot Camp, Columbia Engineering 2019″
In summary, you should include online courses on your resume that:
- Not only teaches you about the subject, but also guides you in producing real results that can be shown to employers
- Relevant to the position youâre applying to
- Certified by a credible institution or well known thought leader
How To Write An Education Section If You’re A Fresh Graduate
If youre a fresh graduate, you probably dont have much work experience to put on a resume yet. Thats normal.
On the other hand, what you do have is your degree. Or perhaps even two degrees. Whats more, in the past couple of years youve learned and achieved more things than you probably realize. Dont make your education section only about the degree. Use this space to present your most notable academic accomplishments.
Consider including the following:
- Academic awards: e.g. AP scholar, Duke of Edinburgh award, National Merit Award, Presidents Award, school subject-based awards, etc.
- Scholarships: e.g. athletic scholarships, scholarships for women, creative scholarships, etc.
- Academic conferences and symposia: Dont forget to mention the scope and name of the paper you presented at a conference.
- Relevant student societies: e.g. debating societies or programming clubs. If you were on the committee of any kind of student society, include that too.
- Deans list.
- GPA: Only include if it was higher than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If your overall GPA was lower than that, mention your major GPA. Alternatively, mention your summa cum laudeor magna cum laude.But if it wasnt great, you can simply leave it out. And if you are out of school for a couple years, you should take your GPA out of your resume no matter what.
- Academic publications: This may not apply to you but if you have a PhD , youre expected to include at least one publication.
Few last tips:
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Listing Education On Resumes
What about those unique educational situations that are outside of the sections mentioned above? As you can see, listing education on a resume isn’t so straightforward.
Unfinished programs – Special programs, even when finished, may not need to be specifically mentioned however, if you are close to completing a program at a good school that is relevant to the position you are applying for, then add it to your resume education.
High school-related activities – Everyone needs to start somewhere. Unfortunately, it can be hard to fill out a resume when you have little or no work experience but don’t worry! You still have the chance to display what you have to offer with any relevant coursework, extra-curricular activities, or hobbies that demonstrate your work ethic and areas of interest on the education section of your resume.
Certifications – Certifications are a great way to show that you go above and beyond to achieve something your school or current employer doesn’t mandate. Remember to not use any jargon or abbreviations that your prospective employer may not understand.
Workshops – It is best to include workshops only if they are directly related to the functions required by a prospective employer. For example, having completed a two-day behavior management workshop would be worth mentioning if you are going for a teacher’s job, but not necessarily if you are hoping to work in a restaurant kitchen.
Optimizing Resume Education For An Ats
Many companies have started using the Applicant Tracking Systems. This software helps an organization filter out undesirable applicants. This program goes through resumes and looks for keywords specific to the job profile.
If you want your resume to make it past an ATS, you need to keep in mind the following things:
- Use a clean format
- Ensure that this program can read your full resume
- Minimize the use of tables, graphs, or pictures
- Use keywords relevant to your job profile
You can also use powerful action words to make your resume stand out. Take a look at Hiration’s blog on resume action words and power verbs to learn their use.
Get your resume reviewed by our professionals before sending it. You can also make your resume from our state-of-the-art AI-powered Online Resume Builder.
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Where Should My Education Appear On My Cv
Where you position these qualifications depends on the recency of your education is and how relevant your work experience is to your intended next steps. If you’re just leaving formal education, it’s likely that your academic record will carry more weight with a recruiter than your professional experience, in which case you should position an education section above your career history.
If you’re settled into your career and have gained skills and knowledge through your work, then Professional Experience will take precedence and Education can be positioned below it.
The exception to this rule is for those people writing a CV to change careers. If you’ve had a long career in retail, for example, but wish to pursue a career as an accountant, you can place Education before Professional Experience and include details of the accountancy qualifications you’re taking in preparation for the transition.
Include your most recent qualification first and work backwards chronologically.
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.
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Tips For The Education Section Of Your Resume
Consider subsections. If you have a lot of information to include in the education section of your resume, consider breaking this section into subsections. The main section might include your schools and degrees, and then you can have other sections such as Awards and Honors, Certifications, and Professional Development. If you held a leadership role in a school-affiliated organization , you could list that below the “Awards and Honors” line.
Provide specifics . If the sub-college of your university is well known and relevant , you can include that before you include your university name. For example, you could write, School of Hospitality, XYZ College.
When you can leave out your GPA. If you’re a student or recent graduate and your GPA wasnt great, but you have other accolades, you can leave the GPA out and put something else, like XYZ Award Recipient unless the employer requires a minimum GPA. Once you’ve been out of school for few years, you can take your GPA out of your resume altogether.
You can leave out high school . Once you’ve been in college for a year or so , you can leave your high school degree and GPA out of your resume. However, you should mention your high school diploma if it is your highest degree.
When you can leave out your graduation date. You aren’t required to list your graduation date on your resumebut if your degree was earned over 10 – 15 years ago or you’re an older job seeker, it’s a good idea to omit the date you graduated.
Should You Include Education In Your Cover Letter
Most of your resume cover letter should be focused on your relevant skills and work experience. But you can mention aspects of your education and how they would translate to job-related skills.
For example, if you got a Bachelors in Communications with a focus on Mass Communications, you could mention in your cover letter the transferable skills you gained during your college television production experience and how it applies to the TV production studio job that you are applying for.
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Listing Dates Of Attendance: Graduate Vs Current Student
When listing your educational background on a resume, its customary to include dates regarding your time in college. Here are some tips on the best way to format this information.
First, listing the range of years you were enrolled in college is unnecessary. Instead, provide only the month and year of your graduation. If you havent graduated yet, list the month and year of your anticipated graduation.
Heres an example:
West Seneca State College | West Seneca, NY | May 2019 Bachelor of Science, Accounting
If you didnt graduate from college and arent anticipating returning to finish your degree, list the years of your attendance along with the department you were a student in, like the following resume education example:
West Seneca State College | West Seneca, NY | 2015-2017Accounting
Listing Education At The End
Is it ever appropriate to list your education at the end of a resume? Absolutely. For job postings that list no education requirements, instead citing specific skill sets or experiences as crucial , education can certainly appear at the end of the resume.
When a job posting is focused on required skill sets, include a Summary of Qualifications after the heading. There, you can list relevant skills and experiences. Our article The Importance of Resume Action Verbs will show you how to enhance your list of skills.
We also recommend placing your resume education section last when applying for a part-time job or a job unrelated to your degree. If youre seeking a part-time job in the service industry or retail sales, a degree is generally not required. For this reason, you can place your education last in such instances.
Likewise, lets say you have the required skills for a job, but your degree isnt one of the degrees listed under preferred qualifications. In this case, placing education at the end could help lessen the impact of your degree not being a perfect fit for the job. By the time employers reach your education section, theyll already have read about all of your other excellent qualifications.
Another scenario is if you have a graduate degree and are seeking a part-time job in sales or retail to pay the bills. Similarly, perhaps youve been laid off or fired and are looking for fast work outside of your field.
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Items To Include For Education In Resume
The top 4 items are must-haves. The rest will give you an edge over other candidates.
However, if you’ve got X years of experience, mentioning those extra items will look awkward as your experience is what matters to employers .
And, dont weaken your resume education section with these: