For many jobs, the Education section on a resume is key. During a quick scan, an employer will look to see if you have a college degree or relevant certificate. So let's talk about listing education on your resume so your best credentials get noticed.
Let's also look at what to do if you have an unrelated degree, a degree pending, or no degree at all.
Where to Put Education on Your Resume
The Education section is usually placed at or near the end of the resume. Here are some times, however, when it is better to place it under the Summary of Qualifications section near the beginning of the resume:
- If your education is highly relevant to your job objective.
- If you're a new graduate.
- If you have no employment experience in the field you are going into, but have a degree or training in that field.
Listing Education on a Resume 101
Here are some tips for listing your education, whether you put it at the bottom or near the top of your resume.
If you have one or more college degrees...
- State where each degree was received. If you went to more than one school to earn a degree, you don't have to list all the different schools you attended leading up to that degree. List only the school that granted your degree.
- Dates are optional. They sometimes suggest how old you are and how current your knowledge is, so take that into account when you when decide whether or not to include them.
- Majors, minors, theses, dissertations, internships, and coursework should be listed only if they are relevant to your job objective.
- You can spell out the degree (for example, Bachelor of Arts) or use the representative letters (for example, BA or B.A.).
If you went to college but do not intend to get your degree in the immediate future...
- Write your area of study and the name of the college. For instance: Liberal Arts, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, OH.
- If you attended several schools without completing your degree requirements, list only one or two schools. Listing more than that might make the reader think you tend to move around a lot without finishing things.
If you are currently in a relevant educational or training program but have not yet finished...
- List the program and name of the school you are attending, followed by the date you intend to finish, or a phrase such as "currently enrolled," "anticipated completion, Spring 2014," "in progress," or "six months completed."
Listing Certificates Under Education
A professional certificate is sometimes valued as much as a college degree. Here are a few ways to list certifications on your resume.
If you have one or more college degrees and just one certificate, you could put both your degree(s) and certificate under one heading, which you can call "Education" or "Education and Certification."
If you have two or more certificates in addition to a college degree, you could list your certificates under a new section called "Certifications."
If you have one or more certificates but no college degree, you can list your certificates in a section called "Certifications," "Training," "Education," or something to that effect.
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