Maximize Your Education in the Resume Education Section.



The positioning of your resume education section depends upon your individual situation.

Decide which is most relevant to your career choice: Your education or your work experience?

Your decision will determine where you place the resume education section.

Place this section before your work experience, if...

  • Your education is one of your strongest selling points.
  • Your education is more relevant to the job, or more impressive than your work experience.
  • You do not have any work experience yet.

Place this section after your work experience, if...

  • You have gained relevant work experience since you graduated.
  • Your work experience is more relevant to the job, or more impressive than your education.
  • Your degree is not related to the job you are applying for.



What information should I include in the education section?

The education that you list on your resume is most effective when it relates to your target job. Be mindful of this when deciding whether to include something or not.

For example, if you are applying for a job as a Financial Analyst, does it really matter that you have a CDL license to drive a semi-truck? Probably not.

You can start with either your most recent or most relevant education. I recommend starting with the one that compliments your qualifications the most. Include...

  • College degrees (Associate, Bachelor, Master, etc.)
    • Name of school
    • Location (city and state)
    • GPA, if over 3.0.
    • Thesis topic, for advanced degrees
    • Graduation date (month/year)
If you received a degree over 10-15 years ago, some would recommend that you exclude the year of graduation, so that you will not "date" yourself. I say… It's up to you. There is no right or wrong answer here. Do what makes you the most comfortable.
  • Licenses
    • If you are licensed to practice in more than one state, be sure to list each state.

  • Certifications
    • List any certifications that you have received that can be applied to your target job.

  • Professional development and training
    • This can include training at your current or previous jobs.
    • List any other career development activities.

Make sure that the dates, degree title, and school information is 100% accurate. Many employers will conduct a background check based on the information that you provide on your resume.

If you are currently working on your degree, specify that you will receive your degree at a future date. Otherwise, if may look like you have already received the degree.

Examples:

Anticipated completion: June 2011; GPA 3.64

or

92 credits earned toward bachelor's degree

This shows that you expect to receive your degree at a future date.



Now... on to the question that I've heard so many times before...

Should I include high school on my resume?

This is not a one-answer question... but I will answer it.

Whether or not you include high school depends on your situation.

If you are a current high school student, or if you recently graduated and don't have any work experience yet... then yes, include high school on your resume. Then, list the skills you have learned and projects you have completed that can be applied on the job.

But for the most part, the answer is no, and here are a few reasons why...

  • If you have a college degree or are working on your degree, an employer knows you graduated from high school.
  • Once you have finished high school, your work experience is more relevant than your high school classes.
  • Your resume should be a reflection of what you have achieved on your own, not what you had to do while you were under your parents' guidance.



Recent High School Graduates

Realistically, you may not have much work experience if you recently graduated. If this is the case, you can use your resume education section to make up for your lack of work experience.

In the education section, you can include...

  • Diploma, name of school, graduation date, and GPA (if over 3.0)
  • Special training, job-related seminars, and workshops
  • Class projects that relate to the target job
  • Honors or scholarship awards
  • Recent involvement with professional associations
  • Board or committee participation

You may not have accomplished all of these things, so just chose ones that apply to you.

The resume education section should be relatively short. While you want to make sure you include enough pertinent information, do not include too much. Narrow it down to your most relevant information.

Now that your education section is complete, let's move on to the Skills section.

Other resume sections:


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