You should include an Education section on your resume but how detailed should it be?
If you are a recent college or high school graduate or a rising senior, then you should include your graduation year; if you have recently graduated with a high GPA (say, over 3.5), include the GPA if you want to. For everyone else, the year and GPA are not needed.
If you graduated with a high school degree years ago, your work history is now more important than information about your high school. However, if you did not attend college, you should still list your high school. If you have attended or graduated from college, in most cases, do not list your high school. There are exceptions, and you may want to speak to a resume professional to discuss if you are confused.
If you graduated or attended college years ago, you still should list the name and location of the college(s), the degree(s) (A.A., B.S., MBA), and your specialization (“B.A. in business communications”) but omit any high school information entirely.
Here, again, the closer you are to graduation and the less work experience you have in your field, the more important it is to mention the courses you have taken that apply to the position you want.
The further from graduation and the more work experience you have, the more you should concentrate on work, as opposed to academic, accomplishments.
There are two exceptions:
- If you did not achieve a degree but took courses toward a degree, you may want to briefly mention those courses or at least state that you have “30 credits toward an A.A.”
- If you have taken professional courses (for example, in lean manufacturing) or been selected for training by a company you worked for (for example, management training), that information should be on your resume. The knowledge you bring into a company is invaluable.
Your college or high school career might have included volunteer, sports, or other activities that you are proud of. Be careful about listing them unless they have some bearing on the work you want to do. For example, if you want to enter the nonprofit world and you raised significant funds at an event at your school, you may want to include that achievement in your resume. Also, if you are a recent graduate, you should include your volunteer work. Many employers look for volunteer experience when they hire students for their first jobs.
If you worked your way through high school or college, received a prestigious scholarship, or were selected out of many students for an opportunity, that information may be relevant in showing your determination and the high regard in which others hold you. Just be careful of holding on to high school or college honors too long: resume space is limited, and you want to leave room for your most current and relevant accomplishments.
Attended College and Did Not Graduate
List any college experience on your resume. Even if you did not complete your degree, the courses you took gained you valuable knowledge and experience which will be useful for employers. Also, there are ways to list this type of college experience on a resume that can help you get through barriers such as initial Applicant Tracking System (ATS) scoring scans. Robin’s Resumes® understands these strategies and can help you with them.
At Robin’s Resumes®, we write Education sections that bolster a candidate’s appeal. Contact us today.