What to include in your resume: Education and More

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What to include in your resume: Education and More

In our other articles on how to create a resume, we talk about crafting your objective and summing up your work history and experience. Once you’ve got those things down, it’s time to wrap it up with your education.

On most resumes, education comes after experience, but there are a couple of exceptions, such as:

  • If you’re a recent graduate who doesn’t have a whole lot of work experience
  • If you’ve recently completed continuing education to change industries or careers

If you don’t fall into one of those categories, it’s best to feature your education after your experience.

Now, let’s be honest, most hiring managers spend only a few seconds scanning your resume, so if they make it down to the education and skills sections, that’s a good sign for you. And that’s also why you need to finish strong. There’s no reason to list every school you ever attended—just your most recent, most relevant or most prestigious. And, of course, you should always be truthful.

So, when it comes to your education and skills, here are some recommendations on what to include in your resume based on where you are in your career:

Are you an experienced job seeker?

  • List your most recent degree or educational experience first
  • Start with the school name and location
  • On the next line, put the name of your degree, the course of study and honors if applicable (date of graduation is optional)
  • Don’t include your GPA if you’ve been out of school for more than a few years
  • If you have a college degree or have taken courses in your field, there’s no need to include your high school

Here’s an example:

Awesometown University—City, State
BS in Economics magna cum laude, Minor in Psychology, June 2008

Are you a recent graduate?

  • If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, include it
  • If you have little or no work experience, and you’re featuring your education first on your resume, you may want to supplement this section with activities, projects, achievements and relevant internships.

Here’s an example:

Awesometown University—City, State
BS in Economics magna cum laude, Minor in Psychology, June 2008
Sigma Pi Something Honor Society, GPA: 3.5/4.0

Related Coursework: International Economics, Operations, Financial Accountings, Advanced Microeconomics

Senior Thesis: China’s Environmental Policies Are Killing Their Workforce

Have you not completed your degree?

  • You can list your expected date of graduation or the number of college credits you’ve completed

Here’s an example:

Awesometown University—City, State
BS in Economics, Minor in Psychology, Anticipates Date of Graduation: June 2017

Or

Awesometown University—City, State
Completed 80 credits toward a BAS in Economics, 2006 to 2008

  • If you don’t have any college credits, you can include your high school or GED information
  • If you don't have a degree but have taken courses or attended conferences and training that relevant to your job search, list them.

Here’s an example:

Professional Development Highlights

  • Customer Service Training
  • Management Skills Training
  • Workplace Ethics Training
  • Workplace Safety and OSHA Compliance

What about including skills and personal interests?

This really depends on the job you want. If the jobs you’re applying for require certain skills—and you have them—include those skills. The same goes for personal interests and hobbies. “Painting” might be a good hobby to list if you’re applying for a position as a graphic artist. But if you’re applying for a manufacturing job, the hiring manager probably doesn’t need to know that you enjoy “gardening.” So use your best judgment here. Your resume should get right to the point, so don’t include any unnecessary information. You can always talk about your personal interests when you get the interview.

Well, that just about covers everything you really need to know about how to feature your education on your resume. Next, check out our final word on what to include in your resume (and what not to include)—before you start applying for jobs, make sure you’re not making these common resume mistakes.

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