It’s that time of your life again—time to write a resume.
But, what about education on your resume?
In the summer of 2020, entry-level jobs were down 68% due to the pandemic. However, with the world starting to open up again, you’re going to want to make yourself stand out amongst the competition.
You’ll need to list your education on a resume because it makes up the bulk of your experience. So how do you show potential employers that the skills you’ve acquired in school are practical in the workforce?
And, how do you write an education section better than the others?
Whether you are still in school or have at least one degree, you’ve come to the right place. Read this guide to learn about how you should organize the education section on your resume.
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What Information to Include in a Resume Education Section?
First, state your college or university’s name. Often schools will have a well-known program, and if you’ve participated in it, employers may be more interested in moving you through to the interview process. Furthermore, if there are any alumni from your school working at the companies you’re interested in, it might be easier to network with them and get your resume viewed by a hiring manager.
Your university location is also worth noting when you try to get an internship or campus part-time job during the school year. If you’ve graduated and no longer live near your university, add your current address to your resume. Employers might ask for it on the application anyway because they may want someone who lives near the office.
It’s worth mentioning the years you attended college or university. Companies want to know you have or are about to graduate to ensure that you can fill the role as soon as possible.
Listing your degree is the final important detail included in putting your education on resume. Below it, write your major(s) and minor(s). Both show what degree you earned and gives a hiring manager a sense of the topics you’ve studied.
Related Read: Researching Companies Before Writing a Resume
Optional Educational Information
There are a few other pieces of information you can include to give potential employers a better sense of who you are as a person. You can also utilize these areas to showcase your transferrable skills.
Never lie about any of the information on your resume. Your employer will eventually find out about it, either when they conduct your background check or assign a task involving a program you said you could use. By doing so, you could jeopardize your credibility in the workplace or your chances of getting hired.
1. GPA and Honors
The first one is your GPA, which you might not want to include if it’s lower than a 3.4. The reason why you don’t need to mention it is because companies don’t always value your GPA over the experience you’ve acquired during your academic career. If yours isn’t that high, you can focus on other awards or achievements.
However, students who graduate with a high GPA tend to graduate with distinction or honors. If you graduated magna cum laude or summa cum laude, list it right next to your GPA. You might’ve also made your school’s Dean’s List, which you can add to this section of your resume as well.
Related Read: Listing Interpersonal Skills on a Resume
2. Extracurricular Activities
The hobbies and clubs you participate in portray your passions. You don’t want to go overboard with this list, so just mention the ones that might be relevant to the job listing.
Sometimes companies have a specific culture, and they want to hire someone who fits in well. Other times, you can use the experiences you’ve gained through those activities to prove that you make a good fit for the job.
Therefore, make sure to mention your role in the club you were a part of or any accolades you received because of your hobby. For instance, you might be the team captain of your intramural soccer team, which means you’ve gained leadership skills during your time in this role.
Another example would be if photography is your hobby and you put it to use by taking photos of big events like weddings, birthday parties, or fundraisers. Potential employers will see that you dedicated enough time to photography that it ended up becoming a freelance job or weekend job. Hobbies highlight your hard work and consistent effort when it comes to learning new things.
Related Read: How to Plan Your Career Path
3. Study Abroad
Those who had the opportunity to study abroad for the semester should put it on their resume. The challenges you had to overcome while away translate well in the workforce.
Furthermore, if living in another country allowed you to become proficient in another language, it’s worth mentioning. According to NBC News, multilingual employees are becoming more coveted because the economy is globalized now.
Lastly, during your academic career, you might earn certifications, which prove you have mastered a program or skillset for a specific profession. For instance, business students often have to take the Excel Certification Test because companies want their potential employees to have it. Having one could increase your chances of getting hired.
Related Read: Best Resume Tips and Advice
Examples of How to Write Education on a Resume
If you are going for the minimum amount of information in the education section of your resume, it should look like this:
- Rutgers University | New Brunswick, NJ | Bachelor of Arts — English | 2017-2021
However, if you want to add more background information regarding your education, you can do so by formatting it like this:
- University of Massachusetts | Amherst, MA | Bachelor of Science — Biology | 2016-2020
- GPA: 3.9 — Magna Cum Laude
- Editor in Chief of The Massachusetts Daily Collegian
- Studied Abroad in Madrid, Spain
Related Read: How to Ask for a Recommendation Letter
Where to Put the Education Section on a Resume
The less work experience you have, the higher your education should be on your resume. Any professional work experience, like former internships, you might have should go on the top of your resume. Afterward, you can put your college education.
You don’t need to add your high school degree once you get your Bachelor’s degree because employers can assume you have your GED. You’ll likely find this extra space helpful because when you apply for entry-level jobs, your resume should only be one page long.
Transfer students don’t necessarily have to put the first school they attended on their resume. Most employers only care where you received your degree. If there are courses you took there that you feel showcase your experience, you can still add them to your resume.
If you attend or recently graduated from high school, place it at the top of your resume. If you’ve held any summer jobs, part-time ones, or you’ve done some volunteering, you can list that experience afterward.
Additionally, this is a time when academic achievements and extracurricular activities are necessary. When employers hire high school students, they want to see that you’ve developed soft skills, like the ability to work well with others, because you likely don’t have much real-world experience.
Related Read: Putting a College Minor on a Resume
How to List Education in Progress on a Resume
Just because you haven’t completed the coursework for your degree yet, doesn’t mean you can put your higher education on your resume. There’s just a few tweaks you need to make to let employees know that you are still in school.
For the date, write what year you expect to graduate. Also, state what degree and major you are pursuing at the moment. If high enough, you can also put your current GPA.
There’s a chance that you’ve already earned a certificate for a software program or led a major project presentation so far in your academic career. Maybe you’ve even taken a course that was practically a mini-internship. Listing the classes relevant to the experience companies are looking for is a strategic way to prove that you have what it takes to work in the real world.
Related Read: How to Write a Resume with No Work Experience
In Progress Education Section Example
Current students should put down both their high school and college education. Since you haven’t finished getting your degree and your GPA isn’t set in stone, employers want to see how you’ve done academically in the past. Your education section should look similar to this:
- San Diego State University | San Diego, CA | Bachelor of Arts — Accounting
- Expected Diploma, 2022
- Current GPA: 3.7
- Coursework: Fundamentals of Finance, Managerial Accounting
- Certificates: Excel Certification
- Fairview High School | Boulder, CO | 2014-2018
- Graduated Valedictorian
- GPA: 4.5
- Clubs and Sports: Debate Team and Varsity Golf
Related Read: How to Get a Job Without Experience
Begin Drafting a Resume With an Awesome Education Section
The education section isn’t a one size fits all situation.
It differs depending on where you are in your academic journey, as well as the activities and courses you’ve participated in while being there. With several new tips under your belt and some examples to go by, you should be all set to list your education on a resume.
Next, get working on writing a great cover letter!
Need more information on how to tackle the other sections on your resume? Got any questions about community college, relevant coursework, or a high school diploma on your resume? Write a comment below, and we’ll get back to you with the answers you need!