What to Include in the Education Section of a Resume
What's the best way to include your education on your resume? In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, your GPA if you're a student or a recent graduate, and any special awards and honors you earned.
You should tailor the education section of your resume to fit your circumstances, including whether or not you're still a student, and the nature of any academic achievements you've accrued. By including the right information in the education section of your resume, you can impress your employer and secure an interview.
What to Include in the Education Section of Your Resume
The essential information to include in the education section is your degree(s) and the schools you attended.
You can also give more specific information, including your major and minor. You can also include the year you graduated, although it's not required.
Include your grade point average (GPA) if you're currently a student or are 1-2 years out of school, and if your GPA is strong (about a 3.5 or higher).
Include any honors or awards you have received in school. These can range from Latin honors (such as cum laude or magna cum laude) to Dean’s List to other awards. You can also include extracurricular clubs, charitable groups, or Greek organizations where you were active and/or held a leadership role.
Include any professional development courses and certifications. You can list any licenses you have unless you have a separate section of your resume where you include this information.
Where to Put the Education Section of Your Resume
Current students or recent college graduates will likely want to put the education section towards the top of their resume. This is because students typically have limited work experience and want to highlight academic success.
If you have been out of school for at least a couple years, you might move this section towards the bottom of your resume. By this time, you have enough work experience to highlight that you don’t need to rely on your education.
Tips for the Education Section of Your Resume
Consider subsections. If you have a lot of information to include in the education section of your resume, consider breaking this section into subsections. The main section might include your schools and degrees, and then you can have other sections such as “Awards and Honors,” “Certifications,” and “Professional Development.” If you held a leadership role in a school-affiliated organization (such as a club, sport, or Greek organization), you can list that below the Awards and Honors line.
Provide specifics (if useful). If the sub-college of your university is well known and relevant (e.g., say you graduated from the hospitality school of your university and are applying for a job in hospitality) you can include that before you include your university name. For example, you could say “School of Hospitality, XYZ College.”
You can leave out your GPA. If you're a student or recent graduate and your GPA wasn’t great, but you have other accolades, just leave the GPA out and put something else, like “XYZ Award Recipient.” Once you're out of school for a couple years, you should take your GPA out of your resume altogether.
You can leave out high school (after a while). Once you've been in college for a year or so (or once you're in some other sort of continuing education), you can leave your high school degree and GPA out of your resume. However, you should mention your high school diploma (or GED) if it is your highest degree.
Tell the truth. It's very easy for an employer to confirm whether or not the education information in your resume is true or not. He or she can simply check your transcript. If you're not happy with your GPA, leave it out, but don’t make it up. Be honest.
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Resume Education Section Template
You can use the following template to help structure the education section of your resume. Keep in mind that you can change and remove any of this information to fit your own circumstances and the job for which you're applying.
Year of graduation
Degree, Major, and Minor
Awards and Honors
Include any academic achievements here, including Latin honors, honors within your major, and more.
Include any professional or educational certifications you've received.
Include any professional development experiences, including courses (both online and in person) and seminars. You might also mention here if you're a member of any relevant professional organizations. If you hold a position within the organization, mention that as well.
Education Section Examples
Resume Education Section Example #1 (Text Version)
Bachelor of Arts in English, Department honors
Resume Education Section Example #2 (Text Version)
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
Awards and Honors
Summa cum laude
ABC Award for outstanding journalism major
Level 1 Strategic Communication Certification
Conference Coordinator, XYZ Journalism Association of America