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Explore our guide to discover everything you need to know about what to include in the education section of your resume!

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This article provides guidance on how to include your education in a resume for various scenarios:

  • How to present professional education details on a resume.
  • Placement and content considerations for the education section on a resume.
  • Guidelines for including high school education, even without graduation, on a resume.
  • Strategies for listing education on a resume when still in college, didn’t graduate from college, or successfully completed college.

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Commence with Fundamental Details Regarding Your Educational History

Begin with the essentials—what to incorporate in the education section of your resume:

1. Your latest degree or ongoing education
2. School name
3. School location
4. Period of attendance and graduation date (or anticipated graduation date)
5. GPA (if it exceeds 3.5)
6. Field of study and degree major
7. Academic honors, applicable coursework, or inclusion in the dean’s list
8. Pertinent extracurricular activities, study abroad experiences, and recognitions

Choose Appropriate Details for the Education Section of Your Resume

In general, composing the education section of your resume is relatively straightforward. Adhere to the guidelines below for an impeccable resume education segment.

If You’re a Seasoned Professional

You can streamline your presentation by including only the essential details about your highest level of education. There’s no requirement to delve extensively into specifics such as relevant coursework, and so forth.

Despite the fact that 43 million adult Americans are burdened with federal student loan debt, what if you attended college and later realized that you didn’t want to join those ranks, finding that the average student debt of $37,000 wasn’t suitable for you? Even if you didn’t complete your college education, you can still incorporate it into your resume. Simply note the credits you successfully obtained. Present your incomplete college education after high school education in the following manner:

If You’re a College Graduate

Skip your high school education if you’re a college graduate. Listing education on a resume should not take long, as it’s usually the shortest resume section.

If you’ve got little to no work experience, including some extra details in your education section is a good idea:

  • Awards and Honors
  • Relevant Coursework
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Academic Publications

If you completed an honors program, achieved the highest honors (magna cum laude or summa cum laude), or held the position of valedictorian or salutatorian in your class upon graduation, include Latin honors alongside your degree in the education section of your resume, as illustrated in the example below:

Other honors and awards could include:

  • Any form of academic recognition or scholarship.
  • Academic distinctions beyond participation in an honors program, such as inclusion in the Dean’s List or membership in honors societies (at the campus, national, or international level).

If you find yourself with a considerable number of awards or wish to emphasize them, consider creating a distinct section labeled “Honors and Awards.” The same principle applies to Ph.D. students with academic publications; you can either include them under your degree or establish a separate section if you have multiple publications you’d like to highlight on your non-academic resume.

Additionally, if your degree is in a different field, you can showcase relevant coursework that aligns with your professional field. For instance, if you’re pursuing a marketing position with a psychology degree, highlighting business or communication courses in your coursework description would be beneficial.

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If You’re a Student

And how should you represent ongoing higher education on your resume? Format it as follows:

Here is a convenient compilation of expressions to articulate degrees that are currently underway:

  • Ongoing
  • Projected + date
  • Anticipated + date
  • Expected Graduation + date
  • Scheduled for completion + date

Keep in mind that a student’s resume should be concise, ideally not exceeding one page. If you’re finding it challenging to fill space, adding sections like Hobbies and Interests can be beneficial. However, avoid including excessive information to the extent that your resume spills onto a second page.

Including a coursework description is a valuable addition to a student’s resume. Ensure that you select courses pertinent to the job you’re applying for.

Below is a compilation of skills that employers appreciate seeing on student resumes:

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills

How to List Current Education on a Resume: Example 


When determining what to incorporate in a student resume, focus on highlighting your skills and accomplishments. This may encompass honors, awards, and extracurricular activities, as well as any high school work experience. Customize your resume to align with the job description, selecting activities that showcase the keyword skills specified in the job requirements.

Structure the Education Section of Your Resume Appropriately

Now that you’re aware of the essential components of the resume education section, let’s delve into the formatting. Ensure consistency in formatting the entries within your education section to create a visually appealing resume. Always prioritize your highest degree and list all other degrees in reverse chronological order.

You may structure the education section of your resume following the example below:

 

Nevertheless, you are not bound to adhere strictly to this particular resume education section format. Keep in mind:

– You have the flexibility to either spell out your degree (e.g., “Master of Arts”) or use the initials (e.g., “MA”).
– You can choose to use periods to separate initials (e.g., “M.A.”) or omit them (e.g., “MA”).
– You have the option to write out your major, such as “MA in Psychology,” or separate your degree from the major with a comma (e.g., “MA, Psychology”).
– The order of information can be arranged in various ways.

For instance, consider the scenario where a candidate, a literature major from Harvard, feels that her degree may not directly align with the job she’s applying for. In such cases, highlighting her attendance at Harvard might take precedence:

 

Consider the Best Spot for Education on a Resume

If you have substantial professional experience, prioritize your professional work history section over your education when structuring your resume. At this stage in your career, hiring managers will find your work experience more pertinent.

For students or recent graduates with limited experience, place your education above your work history. If you possess over a year of work experience, arrange your education section after your employment history. Don’t overlook highlighting relevant coursework, honors, and achievements like making the dean’s list.

In most scenarios, resumes commence with the work experience section, given its greater relevance to recruiters. However, feel free to deviate from this convention if your education holds more significance and is notably impressive compared to your work experience.

In the context of an academic CV, education takes precedence over work experience. For academic roles or fellowships, your educational background carries more weight than experiences outside academia.

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