What is the best place to put your education on your resume? You have a number of options when it comes to choosing where and how to list education on your resume. Often, your experience and education history help you determine the best place to put your education on a resume. 

The job you are applying also determines the best place to put your education. For example, for academic post or fellowships, your academic history matter more than your experience; hence, you put your education before your experience. 

In a nutshell, there are two best places to put your education section. That is:

  • Before you experience section.
  • And after your experience section.

Before your experience section

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When is the best time to list education before the experience section?

  • If you just graduated. This is because you have more educational background than work experience. 
  • Are you a professional who recently went back to school to get a new degree? It is ok to start with the education section then your experience section. This is specifically if your new degree is relevant to the job for which you are applying. 
  • As aforementioned, list your education section above the experience section when writing an academic CV. In academic CVs, education matters more than your experience. 

After your experience section

When is it ok to list education after the experience section?

  • If you are a seasoned expert, it is ok to put your education section after the experience section.

Information to add in your resume education section

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  • The name of the school or institution
  • Location of the institution
  • The degree you obtained or degree type (if applicable)
  • Field of study
  • Graduation year (if applicable)
  • Your GPA
  • Relevant honors or academic recognition, coursework, activities or other achievements obtained during your education

How to put education on your resume

education

The basics

  • List your degree in reverse chronological order. This is, starting with the most recent degree.
  • Always start with your highest degree.
  • If you completed college, don’t add your high school information.

If you are a recent graduate:

Include your graduation date as well as your high-grade points if you have them. See the example below:

BA, Business Management, May 20XX

Sycamore University, Sonoma, California

GPA 3.75

When your education is in progress:

If still studying, list details about your college (name and location) and then include the degree expected and the anticipated graduation year.

Bachelor of Arts, degree anticipated May 20XX

State College, Hamilton, Virginia

Current GPA 3.72

If you did not graduate

Not all people graduate, and if you happen to be one of them, don’t let a lack of degree stop you from adding the time you spend at college or relevant details about completed coursework on your resume. 

Note that those classes you attended even without earning a degree can help you meet employers’ educational requirements. But remember to be honest. Putting false information will only get you into trouble during reference checks. 

Let’s see how you can list your education if you did not graduate.

By listing college and location:

Macanster College

Cleveland, OH

You can also provide more details: 

Unionville University, 2015 – 2017

Schenectady, NY

Completed 42 credits, GPA 3.8

 

You can mention the focus or major of your studies. If related to your employment and the number of credits completed in the discipline:

XYZ College, 2014 – 2016

Kansas, MO

Completed 36 credits, including 20 credits in information management.

 

You can also list completed coursework related to the job you are applying:

Accounting 1 and 2

Marketing, Finance, and Human Resource Management

 

The other option is describing course projects that are related to the target job. A coursework description can demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills required for the job through your education.

Listing high school and GED on your resume

high school diploma

If your highest level of education is high school: 

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Graduated in 2005 

Note: If you have to include anything else, stick to things that show off your achievements and skills — for example, awards, extracurricular activities, and honors.

 

If still in high school:

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Expected to graduate in 2009

 

If you did not graduate high school:

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Attended school from 2003 – 2005

 

If you did not graduate high school but completed a GED later,

See the example below: 

GED High School Equivalency Diploma

Cherryville Adult Learning Center, Ohio, 2009

 

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Attended school from 2003-2005

 

In case you graduated and later earned a certificate or license you want to put on your resume as it is directly related to the job you are applying:

Start by listing your certification or license, followed by high school information:

 Cosmetology License – 2009

 

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Cherryville Beauty Academy, Cherryville, OH

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Graduated in 2005

 

Working professional education section

college

If you are working professional, your experience section comes first, followed by the education section. Here is what to include:

  • Name of school
  • School location
  • Type of degree/field of study
  • Graduation year
  • GPA (if above 3.5/4.0)

 And as mentioned above, if you went back to school, put the education section at the top. If you have not recently been back, keep your education section below the experience section.

The dos for your education section

yes

Here is a list of things to keep in mind when writing your resume education section:

  • List your education in reverse chronological order. Start with your highest degree or most recent degree, followed by other degrees in reverse order. 
  • Only include your GPA if you are a recent graduate. If you are not a recent graduate, don’t bother to include your GPA on your resume. You may also want to include the dean’s list, scholarships, honors, and cum laude status on your resume. 
  • You can also list your college experience if you did not graduate. See the example below: 

 Completed 89 credits toward Bachelor of Science, Knowledge, 1997-2000.

 

The don’ts for your education section

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  • Avoid falsifying. Never think of putting false information (about your degree) because any lie on your resume will be a ground for termination. 
  • If you have accumulated more than five years of work experience, start with the experience section, not your education section. When you have more work experience, employers are more interested in your accomplishments in your career than in your degree. 
  • If you have less than 5 years of work experience, it is not crucial to include the date of your degree in the education section of your resume. The more practical experience you have, the less critical a degree becomes. The only exception is when writing a true CV where you start with the education section.

Conclusion

Your resume is probably the first impression potential recruiters are going to have of you. It is, therefore, imperative to get everything right. Still, have questions about how to put your educational background on a resume? Let us know in the comments. We are ready to help!

Categories: Resume

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