How to List a GED on Your Resume and Job Applications

Your GED can open up many job options

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Many students who don't finish high school the traditional way choose to take the General Educational Development (GED) test to receive a GED diploma or certificate. Students must earn at least 580 cumulative points out of 800 total possible points, or 72.5 percent, to receive their GED. You can list your GED on a resume in the Education section of your resume.

What Is the GED?

The GED consists of a series of tests for individuals who have not graduated from high school.

The tests measure proficiency in science, mathematics, social studies, reading, and writing at the high school level. A GED is also known as a high equivalency degree.

The GED credential certifies that individuals who pass the exam have the equivalent knowledge and skills as a high school graduate. When a person passes the GED, they receive a GED diploma or certificate, which equates to a high school diploma.

Increasing Employment Options

For job seekers who haven't graduated from high school, completing the GED can show employers that you have the same credentials as a high school graduate. You can list your GED on your resume and job applications, just as you would list high school, college, other relevant classes, and continuing education courses.

State Equivalency Exams

Some states have their own equivalency exams. For example, California has the California High School Proficiency Exam (CHSPE) for high school students in California who wish to leave high school early.

Students who pass the CHSPE exam receive a Certificate of Proficiency from the State of California. A CHSPE degree legally equates to a California high school diploma.

Listing a GED on Your Resume and Job Applications

Regardless of the type of high school equivalency certificate or diploma you have, you can list it on your resume in the Education section.

It will replace the standard listing for the high school from which an individual graduated.

If you have graduated from college or are attending college after earning your GED, you don't need to list your GED on your resume. You only need to include your college education in the Education section of your resume.

  • If you have significant work experience, you don't need to list education on your resume.
  • If you don't have continuing education or work experience to include on your resume, you should list your GED in the Education section.
  • You will need to list your GED diploma on job applications.

The following shows an example of a ​GED certificate listing on a resume:

Education

  • General Educational Development Certificate

The following shows an example of a GED diploma listed on a resume:

Education

  • General Educational Development Diploma

For Work in Progress

When you are still working on the GED but haven't yet obtained your certificate or diploma, you can list your GED in progress as follows:

Education

  • General Educational Development Diploma, Currently Enrolled

OR

Education

  • General Educational Development Diploma (In Progress)

How to List a California Certificate of Proficiency

List a California Certificate of Proficiency on your resume as follows.

Use this format for any other special GED equivalency. Begin with the appropriate abbreviation and spell out all the words inside a set of parenthesis.

Education

  • CHSPE Certificate (Certificate of Proficiency from the State of California)

The Value of a GED

It's important to get your GED if you didn't graduate from high school. A GED will give you a certificate that counts as a high school diploma, and it serves as your path to more options as you join or continue in the workforce.

  • Many employers seek applicants with at least a high school diploma or GED, even for entry-level positions.
  • Apprenticeship programs typically require apprentices to have graduated high school or to have a GED to be considered for the program.
  • Most colleges require applicants to have a GED or a high school diploma.

Without a GED or high school diploma, it will be difficult to find decent employment.

It's especially hard when unemployment is high and there is a lot of competition for the jobs that are available.

High School Diploma Comparison

According to the American Council on Education, about 96 percent of U.S. employers accept the GED credential as equal to a traditional high school diploma.

In general, most employers in private industry and government, as well as admissions offices in colleges and universities accept a GED certificate or diploma as they would a high school diploma. You can join the military with a GED, but the requirements are more stringent than for candidates who have graduated from high school.

It's important to list your GED on your resume if you haven't attended college. It shows the employer that you have the same credentials as a high school graduate.