Fresh graduates and even experienced professionals struggle to find the perfect way to list their educational qualifications on their resumes. While you can be creative on some occasions, it is more important to have a strategic angle to anything you do in this particular case.
Whether you’ve graduated from a prestigious school, switched colleges during a 4 year degree program or left your thesis incomplete due to some reason, you need to be aware of some basic dos and don’ts for listing such information on your resume. The goal is to get what you want – the dream job you want. Read on to know more:
Do NOT Lie – If Unflattering Make it Positive
It’s not unnatural to have a tendency to disguise something about your education in your resume. If you feel that you may be hurt due to an incomplete degree, for example, you should strategically present this information as ‘Continuing degree program.’
Qualifications that Matter the Most Should Come First On Your Resume
As a standard rule, you should first list the advanced degrees on your resume followed by other certifications, diplomas and course programs. This reverse chronological order of listing educational qualifications on the resume works fine, except when you’re applying for a job that’s unrelated to the most advanced degree you have acquired. For example, if you have a Master’s degree in Psychology and are applying for a programmer’s position, you should list your diploma in the related field on the top. Check out some example resumes to see how others format there education section. Resumewiki.com and Monster.com has several good examples.
Grad Dates are Important Only If You Graduated Recently
Unless you are a fresh graduate or someone with 1-4 years of work experience, it is advisable not to mention dates on which you completed various degrees, diplomas etc. An interviewer is just interested in learning about the educational qualifications that you have. In fact, mentioning dates on your resume can even work against you if it’s been decades since you left grad school.
Just the Education Please, Not the Complete Trail
You need not mention various institutions you switched before finally graduating. The person reviewing your resume is not looking for all that information!
Let the Recruiter Know if You the Degree has not been formally completed
If a thesis required for the fulfillment of the award of degree stands incomplete, you should go ahead and list it on your resume. The reviewer is not going to judge you the ‘wrong’ way if you, instead of using a deceptive approach, mention the fact that you’re a candidate for a degree program (Masters in Marketing, for example) and your thesis at the moment is in the final stages of completion (mention a date).
The word ‘Honors’ Appeals More than Your GPA
Mentioning the fact that you were in an Honors program at a grad school or university can be more advantageous than listing your GPA, especially if it’s not that good!
It is usually advisable to list your education in the last portion of your resume. However, if you hold some excellent degrees or graduated from a prestigious grad school – you can make an exception and list it on the top of your resume.
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