When skimming a resume, one of the few sections recruiters really pay attention to is your education.
What’s the reason for this?
All the details in your education section say a lot about you and your background, which in turn says a lot about how you are suitable for the role you’re applying for.
When you’re applying for a job and your educational qualifications or training credentials are required to complete the job, your education section is going to bring your resume to the top of the pile.
In this article, we’re going to show you the different ways to lay out your education section and give you some resume tips for the education section.
Keep reading to find out how to:
Along with plenty more important information.
Let’s do this...
The most vital information that you must include are any degrees you have and the schools you went to. You have to make sure you include:
Using that as your starting point, you can add in any academic honors you got, scholarships you received, and any other relevant and applicable achievements.
When it comes to the numbers…
Add in your graduation dates if they weren’t all that long ago.
Don’t include the dates if it’s been a fair few years since you were at school.
Pro-TipStick with the truth on your resume, as obvious as it sounds. If you get caught out lying after you get the job, you’re likely to get fired.
You might have an unusual or interesting educational background, but whatever the nuances, a hiring manager still wants your education section to be laid out so it’s easy to navigate.
Here are the steps you need to follow when formatting your resume:
It should look a little something like this:
It’s important to note that you should list your education starting with the most recent achievements.
If you’ve got both a master’s and bachelor’s degree, the master’s comes first on the list and then you note down your bachelor’s.
It’s as easy as that!
Pro-TipIf you’re lucky enough to have a lot to pack into your education section, you can use subsections to keep it ordered. Use headings like “Awards and honors”, “Certificates”, and “Professional qualifications”.
Does your education go above your work experience if you’re still studying but have got some jobs under your belt?
Sounds like a tough call.
We’ve got the answer to where your education section will land.
The optimum place to drop in your education section is going to depend on what you’ve achieved academically, as well as how solid your work experience section is.
Pro-TipTo get to grips with resume writing quickly and effectively, and learn how to target it to your skills and profession, check out our resume writing guide.
If your college years were a blur of frat parties, beer pong, and borrowing class notes, should you be including your GPA on your resume?
There’s a simple rule…
If your GPA isn’t impressive, leave it off.
A student or someone freshly graduated with a not-so-great GPA, but other accolades and achievements, can leave off their GPA. Instead, look to include something else significant, like “Jones Scholar” or “Hockey team captain”. After you’ve been out of school for a few years, you don’t even need to add in your GPA at all.
To give you a feel for what it can look like:
Pro-TipOnce you’ve been out of school for a few years, there’s no need to include your GPA on your resume, no matter how impressive.
Writing a resume education section for high school students is a little different.
If you didn’t study at a college, what you include in your resume education section should be pretty easy to complete. You just need to write down the name of the high school that you went to, where it was, and the dates that you attended.
For someone who’s highest education is high school, your education section will look like this:
When you’ve only got a high school to include, you can show off some of the skills you’ve picked up and otherachievements.
These can include school honors, academic awards, and participation in extracurricular activities, as well as any jobs you held when you were at high school.
Check out this example for some ideas:
Wrote 16 articles for your high school newspaper? Played defense on the football team and got to the state finals? These things are definitely worth mentioning in the education section of your resume.
It all comes down to this...
You want to talk about anything that shows you’re enthusiastic about work and you have a great work ethic.
Pro-TipIf you got a professional license or certificate after you graduated high school, you definitely want to include it if it’s directly relevant to the job you’re applying for. Remember also to use an appropriate resume format. For details about how to choose the right resume format for you, check this out.
When it comes to writing a resume education section for current students or people who didn’t finish their education, here’s how you can handle it.
This is the process:
Include a list of any coursework that you completed
You can include a different section called “Professional development” where you can highlight how you continued your vocational education.
For unfinished college education, you can still add details to your resume to show how far you did get:
This is also a good place to add details of any coursework that has already been completed and talk about classes you’ve taken that have relevance to the job you want to land.
Pro-TipKeep everything in your resume relevant to the post you’re going for, in the education section and everywhere else. Just recently we shared about how to write a strong resume objective and getting your resume contact information section right.
It might seem pretty straightforward to write your educational history for your resume. All that you need to do is list the schools you’ve been to in chronological order and all in well.
Simple, but hold up…
There are some things that you need to make a choice about in the education section of your resume. You need to think about where it goes and how to make it stand out to your prospective employer. Always make sure you have the following information listed:
You can also add extra details if it’s appropriate for your personal situation, such as:
When you’re making choices about what to add, keep it honest and think smart.
Looking at where to add your education on your resume, you need to consider where you’re up to on your career path and what you want your future employer to notice most.
With this one, there are no solid rules that you can get completely wrong when you’re looking at your education section in your resume. For someone who doesn’t have any education, training, licenses, or certificates, it’s not the end of the world because you can just leave it out completely. There are other sections of your resume that will show off who you are and what you can do. Check out our guide to write a killer resume skills section.
Last of all...
To make sure you’ve got everything listed that you need and you’re not making any glaring errors, it’s a great idea to use a reliable resume builder.