On almost any job description, hiring managers will ask about your education. Primarily, this is a checklist item to ensure you have the skills and qualifications to be successful in the role. But, advanced education can also show dedication and an ability to complete goals — valuable skills for an employee to have.
No matter whether you are applying for an entry-level position or a director role, it’s important to include your education on your resume.
But how can you best present your education quickly, effectively and seamlessly in your design? And what information is important to include?
IMPORTANT ELEMENTS OF YOUR EDUCATION
The essential things to include about any degree or certificate are: your degree and the school you attended.
From there, you can also include your major or minor, if it is relevant to the job you are applying to.
You can even include the year you graduated or the location of the school, particularly if the employer won’t necessarily recognize the name immediately (e.g. if you are applying to a role internationally, if you attended a school that is hyper-local to your area, or if you attended a specialized school outside of the field you are applying to).
Honours, awards, or coursework that would be relevant to the role can also be included.
New Grads, In-Progress Education & Incomplete Education
For those just out of school or in school currently, include your GPA if it is over 3.5.
If you are currently completing a new degree or certificate, you can also include this information. Use the name of the institution, the degree type and the intended year of graduation. Use the following terms to help identify those anticipated dates of completion for degrees and certifications:
- In progress
- Expected Graduation + date
- To be completed + date
And for those of us who may have completed a few years of a certification, changed schools midway through a degree, or something similar, that information is also useful and can be included in your education section. Just ensure you include a list of the coursework you did (an example of this to follow, shortly!).
Finally, if your high school certificate is your only point for an education section, keep it simple: list the school, location and year of graduation. Then, stick to listing your skills and achievements elsewhere that make you a great candidate for the position.
*For current high schoolers, put your intended year of graduation.
HOW TO ORDER EACH EDUCATION POINT
There are two ways we recommend doing this, and their use depends on your educational background and what the role is you are applying to.
Listing Your Degree First, then Educational Institution
This way of writing out your education is best if the degree you have is particularly relevant to the role you are applying to. If you have a bachelors in nursing, and are applying to a nursing role for example, highlighting the degree first would be a good idea!
Here are two examples of how to format this type of educational point:
Bachelor of Media Studies
University of British Columbia | 2019
Minor in Kinesiology
Business Administration Diploma
Listing Educational Institution First, then Degree
If your degree is perhaps less relevant to the role and the school you attended is more notable, or you have several educational experiences where you didn’t complete the degree but did lots of coursework, list the school first!
Here are two examples:
Completed Coursework: Journalism 2016 – The Documentary, Journalism 2201 – Fundamentals of Reporting | 2015
Bachelor of Arts | 2010
Putting Your Education Together in a List
When putting all the points together in the education section of your resume, start with highest level of education first, then list in reverse-chronological order
WHERE TO PUT YOUR EDUCATION SECTION IN YOUR RESUME
The decision of where to put your education is also subjective. It depends on your experience, and how important education is for the role.
Using Education to Supplement Work Experience
If you are a newer grad with less work experience, you can place your education towards the top of your resume. The further you are into your career, you may want to move the education section further down or into a sidebar, so that relevant work experience is the first thing hiring managers will see.
Matching the Job Description
If the job description reiterates educational requirements, or places it quite high up in the posting, move the education section up accordingly (particularly if you match the educational requirements).
Consider the Field of Work
Certain fields like finance or healthcare will require certain certifications or degrees essential to the role. If you are going this route, place your education front and centre.
- Be honest! Looking into your educational background is easy for a potential employer, so just tell the truth plainly and simply.
- For those who are further in their career, or who have been in college/university for a couple of years or more, leave your high school diploma off of your resume — high school diplomas only need to be used if it’s your highest form of an educational degree.
~ written by Lucy Fox
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