Normally the education section of a resume comes near or at the end. The main exception is for recent graduates, who may not have work experience at all or in the field where they are applying. Their education may be their chief qualification.
But for nearly everyone else, the education section comes after the work history. It includes:
- The post-secondary school you graduated from, location of school, degree attained, and major or concentration; list the most recent degree first
- Any special awards or honors as long as they are still relevant
- Professional development courses and certifications
The fact that you graduated high school is not relevant once you attend college. If you took relevant courses toward a college degree, you should mention them even if you did not graduate.
Your GPA is relevant if it is over 3.0 and if it relates to college you attended in the last 5 years or so. Over time, your GPA becomes less and less important compared to your work history.
If you graduated in the last 10 or so years or your degree is pending, you should include the date of graduation. Consider the story you are telling if you want to use an older date. For example, if you are going for a senior position and you have detailed your career from the time of graduation, you want to include older dates. If you are only detailing your last 10 years or so of your career – with a summary of other years of your work history – leave the date of graduation out.
If your education is stronger than your work history, you should list the courses you took that show your understanding of the position you are applying for or the industry you want to work in. The closer the courses relate to the job, the better. You may want to give the GPA for your major as well as your overall GPA, especially if your GPA is higher in your major.
The biggest problem I encounter when helping clients with the education section is that they leave out important information, like professional development courses, and provide details about course work that are not needed after several years of work history. For a resume that gets high grades all the time, contact me today.