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How to List Education on a Resume in 2024 (With Examples & Tips)

Not sure what degree to list? If you should include a GPA? It just so happens that there's a variety of ways to effectively list your eduction.

Ed Moss

The education section of a resume may not always be the star of the document but knowing how to properly list your education can be essential for advancing into the next phase of the hiring process.

In this guide, we will cover all the ins and outs of crafting an education section for your resume. 

We'll cover the following:

  • What to Include in an Education Section?

Tips for Listing Degrees (College, High-School, GED)

Listing incomplete education.

  • Where to Include Education on a Resume?

What Employers Look for in an Education Section

Beautiful resume templates to land your dream job.


What to Include in an Education Section

As we've covered, different formats of resumes may require different information to be included within an education section.

In general, there is some basic information that should be included within the education section of a resume:

  • The name of the school — "e.g. Georgia Institute of Technology"
  • The location of the school
  • Your degree ( high-school diploma, GED, associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, etc. )
  • Graduation year ( if applicable )
  • Major field or department of study (if applicable )
  • Minor field or department of study (if applicable and relevant )
  • GPA ( If you're a student or graduates who held lower GPAs, this bit of information may be good to omit unless specifically requested by the employer )

Here's what that looks like for and university grad:

Georgia Institute of Technology • Atlanta, GA B.S. in Computer Engineering, 2006 - 2010 GPA: 3.9/4.0

For high-school students, you can do something like the following:

Georgia Institute of Technology • Atlanta, GA High School Diploma, Graduated in 2010 GPA: 3.9/4.0

Remember, including a GPA  is optional. Only add it if it's required by the job listing or it's relatively high. If your GPA is low (under 3.5), it's better to just leave it out.

Listing Education with Limited Work Experience

In resumes that have limited or no work experience , as may be the case with college students or recent graduates, the education section may be a good opportunity to show off educational achievements instead.

Additional information that can be included in longer education sections can include:

  • Internships completed as part of a curriculum 
  • Academic awards or sponsorships
  • Relevant coursework
  • Academic assistantships with professors or other academic professionals

As covered, in documents such as CVs the education section could be fairly lengthy.

However, the education section for most resumes will be one of the shortest sections.

This is mostly because standard resumes will be used for entry-level or mid-level positions, while longer-form resumes like the CV will only come into play for more prestigious or hard to obtain positions. 

It is much more important to show either a robust work history or detail relevant and transferable skills, using your education as support rather than the main point of interest. 

Here are some quick tips for deciding what educational information to include in a resume:

1) When including professional hobbies and extra curricular activities, it is important to keep relevance in mind

Incorrect: Do not include information about sports clubs or other clubs that cannot be connected back to your qualifications for a job.
Correct: If you held leadership positions in clubs or other extra-curricular activities, this can be useful information to include to highlight non-paid leadership or management experience.

Keep your descriptions simple and concise

Incorrect: Including long-winded and wordy paragraphs explaining the relevance of a certain piece of information. If a piece of information is relevant, it should be easily explained in one, simple sentence.
Correct: Use bullet points to separate bits of information to keep your resume easy to read or skim.

The readability of a resume can be the defining factor of whether or not a job recruiter or potential employer moves the candidate into the next phase of the hiring process.

As such, using clear and concise wording and formatting is essential for not just the education section, but for all sections. 

Here are a few tips for different formatting options depending on the level and type of education you have completed.

1) Adding High School and GED on Resume

  • If your highest level of education is a high school diploma or a GED, this should still be included as there are many jobs that are open to high school graduates as well as college graduates.
  • Generally, this type of education section should be kept short and sweet. Listing that you have received either a diploma or a GED should be sufficient.
  • If you have recently graduated high school or received your GED, including additional high school-related achievements may be beneficial (such as leadership positions, honor roll awards, athletics, etc.)

2) Adding Associate’s and Bachelor’s Degrees on Resume

  • When listing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree on a resume, always include the name and location of the institution, as well as the date or expected date of graduation.
  • While the education section should still be kept short, inclusion of any collegiate level academic achievements, such as honor societies or dean’s lists, can be useful to include.
  • Don’t go too crazy including coursework of extracurricular information – stick to including the most relevant information. 

3) Adding Graduate School or Doctoral Programs on Resume

  • Graduate and doctoral students may feel inclined to always include this information; however, it is important to be wary of including too much academic information in scenarios where it may render you overqualified for the position.
  • Graduate and doctoral information is more likely to come into play for candidates seeking higher level positions at the management level. 
  • For candidates seeking jobs in academic or scientific fields, a CV-style resume and longer-form education section providing higher level of details regarding graduate or doctoral programs may be necessary.

4) Adding Certifications on Resume

  • In some cases, a candidate may not have attended college but may have completed a trade school or other program that resulted in various certifications. These certifications should be included when relevant.
  • Certifications such as CPR or First Aid can be useful to include in most resumes, although they should perhaps be saved for a separate certifications section .

5) Listing Incomplete Education on Resume

Incomplete education can be tricky to include in a way that sounds positive — as such, if you have incomplete education, be wary of your wording and avoid words such as “incomplete” or “unfinished.” Instead try to do the following:

  • Include relevant coursework or credits earned during your duration of education before the point of departure from the institution.
  • Omit any wordy or lengthy explanations of why the education is incomplete. 

However, we've seen this be a common problem that many candidates have. Continue reading below to see how to effectively list education that is left incomplete. ‍

In some cases, a job applicant may have a partially-complete or incomplete educational credential they want to list on their resume.

Incomplete education can result from a variety of circumstances, including:

  • A person who is still in the process of earning their diploma, GED, or degree, but has not yet earned the credential or graduated.
  • A person who started a degree and completed relevant coursework, but ultimately did not finish the degree program.
  • A person who chose a different career path than what they studied for, but still has relevant coursework for the new career path.

When listing incomplete education on a resume, it is important to stay highly mindful of how you are wording your limited educational credentials — as words such as “ unfinished ” or “ incomplete ” are not ideal to include within a resume. 

Here are some quick examples on how to properly list incomplete education in the education section of a resume:

For applicants who are in the process of completing a degree, it is important to note the expected timeframe of completion.

Incorrect: ‍ B.S. in Communications University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Not yet complete
Correct: B.S. in Communications University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Expected graduation May 2021

For applicants who began a degree, but ultimately did not complete the degree, it is key to be mindful of how you frame the education you did receive. 

Incorrect: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC

Why is this incorrect? Sure, this example indicates you, at some point, attended a university.

However, it provides no insight as to what relevant coursework or studies you may have completed.

Here's the correct way to describe your educational experience instead:

Correct: University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC Completed 20 credits towards a BS in Communications

Alternatively: This could be a good opportunity to include a bulleted list of relevant coursework.

For applicants who did not complete high school, it is important to note if you either earned a GED or are in the process of earning a GED.

Incorrect: ‍ Watauga County High School Boone, NC Incomplete
Correct: General Educational Development Diploma Earned May 2021 — OR — Expected to earn May 2021

Generally speaking, the majority of jobs will require applicants to have earned at minimum a GED certification in order to qualify.

In some cases, an applicant may lack a degree but may be certified by a trade school.

For instance, a beautician would want to include any beauty and health related certifications or licenses earned under the education section. 

Take a look at this resume example of a college student below to see how to do this.

College Student

Where to Include Education on a Resume

When it comes to placing your educational credentials on a resume, there are many considerations to make.

Resumes can serve a variety of purposes and, as a general rule of thumb, should be tailored for specific jobs . 

It is also important to take into consideration the level of education you have completed, as this will impact how it should be presented as well.

For instance, a job applicant seeking a position in academia would have a much heavier emphasis on education and academic-related achievements — than someone seeking a job in a corporate environment.

Ultimately, not all resumes are the same, so the placement of the education section will differ depending on the type of resume being used and the intention behind its structuring. 

Choosing the right resume format

There are several different types of resume formats to choose from, but the main ones that are used are as follows:

1) Reverse-Chronological

‍ Emphasis is placed on the most relevant work experience, listing jobs from most recent to oldest. Education can be placed before or after the work experience section. However higher degrees that qualify a candidate for the position may be beneficial to mention sooner rather than later. 

2) Functional

‍ Functional resumes place a much heavier emphasis on skillsets and areas of expertise. This format of resume is typically used by job applicants lacking the relevant work experience or educational credentials. In this format, the education section may lead if the applicant has educational credentials but limited work experience but should follow after the skills section if education is limited. 

‍ Hybrid resumes combine the reverse-chronological work experience ordering with the emphasizing of skills. This can help to supplement resumes of applicants who may have some relevant work experience but still need to beef up their resumes with a skills section . The placement of the education section will depend on how applicable or high level the credentials are and should generally be kept brief. 

4) Curriculum Vitae (CV)

‍ CVs are a type of long-form and multi-page resume used most commonly by applicants seeking positions in either academic or scientific fields. In a CV, the education section will be a prominent component and should appear early in the document. This type of education section should include all credentials, published works, projects, awards, or other academic achievements — no details should be spared. 

The below example of a Physician Assistant's resume is listing education in the bottom-right corner as it's using a reverse-chronological resume format to shine on it's work history.

Data Analyst

Employers can gather a variety of information about a job candidate from an education section, including:

  • A job applicant’s work ethic, reflected through GPAs or other grade-related information
  • Relevant skills or training an applicant has received through their schooling
  • Name recognition of specific universities, such as ivy leagues, that may give a candidate a leg up on the competition
  • Insight into a candidate’s interests or talents based on academic-related extracurricular activities included 

Understanding what employers are looking for in an education section included on a resume is key to understand how much or how little information to include.

What an employer is looking for will vary depending on the nature of the job being offered. 

For instance, an entry-level communications job at a corporation is likely to require a bachelor’s degree in communications or a related field.

Comparatively, a job in the welding industry may require the completion of a trade school program but not require a four-year degree. 

It is of the utmost importance when you are applying to various jobs that you read the job descriptions provided carefully, as this is where you will find the necessary information regarding what educational credentials are required of eligible candidates.

This will also help you to tailor your education section according to what credentials or qualifications you have that meet the requirements of the job. 

In general, what an employer is mostly looking for is simply that an education section exists on a resume.

The majority of employers will want candidates who have shown a commitment to their education, reflected through the inclusion of an education section.

For candidates lacking a completed education, it is still considered best practice to include some information regarding what level of education was reached before the point of incompletion, as well as the inclusion of any relevant coursework and knowledge gained from the time the candidate spent pursuing further education. 

Here is a quick rundown of a few key factors to consider for applicants who may be unsure how much information to provide in an education section for a specific employer or position:

  • The education section should prove that you have the credentials necessary to complete the job at hand.
  • Oversharing of education can be detrimental in some situations, as overqualified candidates may not be considered by employers.
  • Job descriptions will always be the best place to look for indicators regarding how much educational background information an employer is looking for.
  • Never lie or over-exaggerate — while not all employers double-check applicants’ educational histories, many still do, and dishonesty can cost you the position in the long run.

Physician Assistant

Final Thoughts

Unless you are crafting a longer-form resume, such as a CV, the education section will generally be a fairly short summary of your academic credentials and achievements.

Education sections can be longer in some cases where job applicants may have hefty academic backgrounds but limited work experience.

Ultimately, the key to making a strong education section is to include only the most relevant information.

Always avoid deceptive wording, as employers can fairly easily run academic background checks if need be. 

Check out our resume templates to get your creativity flowing and get started on your ideal resume today. 

Browse more resume templates that fit your role

Ed Moss is an author for Easy Resume

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how to write educational resume

What to Include in Your Education Section

The education section on a resume gives hiring managers a glimpse into your academic achievements , interests, and skills.

It can demonstrate your commitment to learning, your ability to succeed in a structured environment, and the relevant knowledge you've acquired.

The information you should include in this section, though, varies based on things like your career level, the exact job you're applying for, and how recent your education is.

This means you don’t always have to be super detailed. Some of the information about your education is optional, and some of it may even be redundant if you have relevant work experience, so you should only use it if you think it can give your resume a boost.

Let’s start with the details most employers expect to see:

Essential Information

  • Degree Name. Include the type of degree and the relevant major. (E.g.: BFA in Graphic Design)
  • University Name. Add the name of the institution you studied at. (E.g.: University of Saint Andrews)
  • Location. If the university isn’t well known or the name doesn’t specify where it is, include the general location. (E.g.: St Andrews, Scotland)
  • Years Attended. Usually, only the years you attend there are enough, but the mm/yyyy format is also popular. (E.g.: 09/2018 - 06/2021)

Optional Information

  • Honors and Awards. If you’ve received any acknowledgments, list them here. (E.g.: Dean's List, Summa Cum Laude, Merit Scholarships, Valedictorian)
  • Relevant Coursework. List three to five courses that directly apply to your target job. (E.g.: Marketing 101, Marketing Strategy, PR Basics)
  • Thesis or Dissertation. We recommend including this for graduate-level degrees in research-heavy fields.
  • Minor. If relevant, include any additional areas of study. (E.g.: BA in Creative Writing, Minor in Journalism)
  • Grade Point Average. Only include your GPA if it's 3.5 or above on a 4.0 scale. Anything lower can undermine your application.
  • Extracurricular Activities. Mention any clubs or organizations that seem relevant. (E.g.: Debate team, Theater Club, School Newspaper)

Here’s an example of an education section that includes information from both categories:

education on resume

Getting ready to find a job? Start by learning how to write a resume with our detailed guide!

How to Format Education on Your Resume

Now that you have an idea of what to include in your education section, let’s explain how you should do it.

In terms of structuring your education section, follow a reverse-chronological order ; this means, list your latest educational entry first and then go backward from there.

And remember – if you have a relevant university degree, there’s no need to waste precious space on your resume by listing your high school education .

As a general rule, if you’re an experienced professional and you have a Master’s degree, you can also omit your undergrad degree. Hiring managers are a lot more interested in your work experience section, so your education section should only focus on the basics.

However, if you’re a recent graduate , you might want to include more details to give your resume an extra kick. It’s always a good idea to leverage your education if you don’t have enough relevant work experience.

Now, regardless of your level of experience, add the name of your degree at the very top of the entry in your education section.

The same degree can be written down differently, for instance:

  • Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Culture with a Minor in Teaching
  • BA in English Language and Culture, Minor in Teaching
  • B.A. English Language and Culture (Major), Teaching (Minor)
  • BA, English Language and Culture

Here’s an example of what the formatting in your education section should look like:

how to list education on a resume

If you graduated from a famous university with a good reputation, you can highlight that first. For example, list “Harvard University” before the name of your degree.

Where to Place Education on Your Resume

Another important thing to consider is where to position the education section on your resume.

This mostly depends on where you are in your career. Do you have a lot of relevant achievements in the field, or are you looking for your first job ?

As a rule of thumb, the top third of your resume should be reserved for your accomplishments , which are most relevant to the job you are applying for.

So before you place this section on your resume, ask yourself: is your education your biggest selling point to the hiring manager?

Most of the time, it won’t be. Work experience is way more important for just about any position above entry level, so it should be listed first.

Let’s look at an example of a resume that puts this into action:

education on resume examples

As you can see, this architect resume starts by listing their relevant work experience and then includes a detailed entry of their most recent degree.

When Does Education Go Before Work Experience?

While your work experience section is generally more important, there are a few cases where you should list your education first.

These include:

  • You have no work experience. When you have absolutely no work experience yet, you should focus on your academic achievements instead.
  • You just graduated college. If you don’t have relevant work experience, you’re often better off not listing it. For example, if you’re applying for an entry-level office job, the part-time teenage jobs you had won’t be anywhere near as relevant as your recently earned BA in Marketing.
  • You are currently studying. If you’re in the process of earning a degree that’s relevant to your targeted field, it’s better to list education before work experience. For example, if you’re making a career change , you would want your new education to be the first thing the hiring manager sees.
  • You recently earned a new degree. Getting a fresh MSc, Ph.D., or MBA in your field is worth showing off. For example, if you’ve been a line manager for years but earned an MBA to qualify for an executive position, your education section should go first.
  • You are applying to academia. Usually, when applying for a research or teaching position in academia, you’ll need an academic CV , not a resume. In that case, your education will always come first.

Not sure if you need a CV or a resume ? Check out our guide to learn what the difference between the two is and when to use which.

cv vs resume example

Use a (Free) Resume Template

Creating a resume can be a hassle.

You have to find a template that works with your favorite text editor, set the page margins, adjust the line spacing, choose a professional font , and all while making sure you never go past page one.

What if there was an easier way?

This is where our resume builder comes in!

Novoresume lets you choose from 16 professional resume templates , each crafted with feedback from HR professionals around the world, and create the perfect resume in minutes.

Just look at how one of our resume templates compares to a basic text editor resume template:

novoresume vs normal resume

16 Examples of Education on a Resume

Looking for inspiration?

We’ve compiled a list filled with real-life examples of how education can be listed on a resume, with practical examples for different types and levels of education:

#1. High School Education

If you’re a high school student, you might have some volunteer experience or extracurriculars you can show off. In that case, you can start by listing those sections, so long as they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For example, if you volunteered with your local branch of the Red Cross, that’s a good experience to have when you’re applying to work at a shelter.

In most other cases, the education section would take the upper hand, and it would look something like this:

High School Diploma

Chapel Hill High School

2017 - 2021

  • Courses: AP Science, Mathematics, Advanced Chemistry

If you’re still in high school, you can disclose it in your resume by writing down your expected graduation year or otherwise specifying that you’re currently still there.

2021 - Present

#2. General Education Development

If you were homeschooled or haven’t graduated high school, the previous example won’t apply to you.

But if you still received a General Education Development certificate, you can mention that in your resume in the following way:

GED Diploma

Durham Literacy Center

Just like with high school education, you can include the location of your school or GED center, as well as any relevant courses, if you have enough space.

#3. Associate Degree

If you went to a community college or opted for a vocational program, you can list it in your education section the same as any other undergraduate degree.

Associate degrees are typically cheaper and take less time than a bachelor’s degree. They tend to be focused on specific occupations and place more emphasis on daily job functions. Other than that, they follow the same formatting as any other educational entry.

Let’s look at some real-life examples of different types of degrees at this level.

First, an Associate of Arts degree:

AA in Business Designation

Community College of Denver

2015 - 2016

Summa Cum Laude

Next, here’s how you would list an ongoing Associate’s of Applied Science degree:

AAS in Medical Assisting

2018 - Present

Some associate degrees are what’s known as “transfer degrees.” Here, the long-term goal is to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program.

Similarly, if you’ve completed accredited courses at a community college that can go towards a degree, you can list them under your education section, like this:

Medical Assisting Certificate

  • 30 credits completed

#4. Certificates

Certificates can be included on your resume, either as part of the education section or in a dedicated section.

Unlike broad academic degrees, certificates can show specialized expertise and commitment to professional development. They tend to demonstrate more focused, essential skills that are directly applicable to a particular job or industry.

Treat these entries the same as any other: list the name of the certificate, the institution or organization that issued it, and the year you obtained it.

Here’s an example of how to list a professional certificate in an education section:

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

American Institute of CPAs

And here’s how they would look in a separate section:


  • Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) - National Academy of Sports Medicine, 2020
  • Certified Nutrition Coach - American Nutrition Association, 2023

But there are also other certificates you could list , such as after specialized software courses:

  • Maya Autodesk: Advanced 3D & Animation Udemy, 2022
  • Creation of Pixel Art Scenes for Video Games Domestika, 2023

#5. Undergraduate Degree

There are different ways to list a bachelor’s degree.

Let’s take a look at three different cases for a candidate with an engineering degree.

First, if you’ve graduated from university and received the degree, list it according to the following template:

B.Sc. Mechanical Engine ering

University of California, Berkeley

2002 - 2006

If you obtained a double major, you would write it down as:

B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering

If you have two or more majors, keep in mind that you should list the major that’s most relevant to the job you are applying to.

For example, if you majored in Applied Languages and International Relations, you should focus on the languages for a job as a translator.

Lastly, if you’re still attending college, just omit the finishing year when filling in your education section and add “Present” instead, like so:

But there are also different ways you can specify that you’re still studying. Instead of “Present,” you could write:

  • 2021 - Current
  • Expected Graduation: 2024
  • 2021 - 2024 (expected graduation)
  • 2021 - In progress
  • To Be Completed: 2024

#6. Graduate and Postgraduate Degrees

Graduate-level education is, in general, more detailed since it requires participating in a more focused area of research on top of your graduate-level work. 

At this level, you probably contributed to the field with a dissertation of your own, which you should include in your resume.

Here’s an example:

Ph.D. in Brain and Cognitive Sciences

University of Rochester

Dissertation: Imaging, Computational Analysis, & Neural Representations in Young Children

Graduate and postgraduate education often includes scholarships , fellowships, or outside funding involved, which you might want to include in addition to all the general information about your degree.

Here are some real-life examples:

MBA in Business Administration

University of Maine

  • Avangrid Scholarship
  • Magna Cum Laude

When it comes to honors and awards, there are different ways you can list them to save space on your resume. Here’s an example that mentions them but leaves more space for the dissertation title:

MSc. in Information Systems

WU Vienna University of Economics & Business

Salutatorian, Summa Cum Laude

2015 - 2017

Dissertation: Leveraging User-Generated Content for Advertising Purposes Through Information Systems

And if you’re still studying, don’t forget to check out our student resume templates to get started on your job hunt.

#7. Unfinished Education

Even if you didn’t graduate from university, you can still mention it in your education section. Just be strategic about it.

If you have several years of relevant coursework from a degree program that relates to the job you're applying for, it can show that you’re knowledgeable even without the final credential.

B.Sc. in Civil Engineering

34 credits completed

2018 - 2019

However, if you only have basic courses or your degree isn’t relevant to the role, you might be better off skipping it altogether. There’s no need to draw attention to an unfinished degree if it won’t help you impress the hiring manager.

Need more examples? Check out our 90+ resume examples for different professions .

Do you still wonder something about education on a resume? Check out the answers to the most frequently asked questions here:

#1. How Do You Put Your Degree on a CV?

Adding your degree to your CV is pretty much the same as adding it to your resume.

List your degrees in reverse chronological order, with the most recent degree on top. Always include the essential information, such as the degree name, your major, the name of the university, and the years you attended. If relevant, you can include your GPA, thesis title, study abroad experiences, and academic honors.

#2. How Do You Write Down Your Bachelor’s Degree?

There are different ways that a bachelor's degree can be written down on your resume. Usually, there’s no need to spell out the full degree name, so there are ways you can abbreviate it for your resume. These include:

BA (Bachelor of Arts) BS (Bachelor of Science) BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration) BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)

Just use the specific abbreviation that matches your degree type. (E.g.: BSc Computer Science, BA History, BBA Economics, etc. )

#3. What If I Have an Education Gap or Took Time Off from Studies?

Treat any gaps in your education the same as you would treat an employment gap . Be upfront with the hiring manager and list the start and end dates to account for the time of the gap on your resume.

Use your cover letter to briefly explain the gap without going into too much detail. Hiring managers are understanding, and reasons like health, family, or professional experience are all common to justify education gaps.

#4. How Far Back Should I Go When Listing My Education History?

Generally, you only need to list basic information about your education if you graduated a long time ago. Your work experience and more recent achievements will have a lot more weight than details about your time in college 14 years ago.

For most professionals, listing just your highest degree is more than enough. However, an academic CV for scientific or research-heavy roles might need a more comprehensive educational background.

Key Takeaways

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our article!

We’re confident you’re an expert on how to list education on a resume by now, but before we part ways, let’s quickly wrap up our main points:

  • Your education section belongs after your work experience section, though there are some exceptions.
  • If you don’t have any work experience, recently earned a relevant degree, or if you’re applying for a research-oriented position or in academia, the education section should be listed first.
  • When listing your educational entries, use a reverse chronological order. Start with the most recent degree you have and go backward from there.
  • If you have some sort of higher education, there’s no need to list your high school education.
  • Unless your GPA is exceptional, don’t list it. It might undermine your resume otherwise.
  • There are different ways to list your education, depending on the type of school you went to and what you want to highlight. Scroll back up if you want to see some examples.

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  • Resume and Cover Letter
  • How to List Education on Your...

How to List Education on Your Resume (with Examples)

10 min read · Updated on March 27, 2024

Marsha Hebert

Use your education to show you have the knowledge to land the job

Your education is an essential detail to include on your resume, as it indicates that you're trained in your field. Even if your formal education isn't directly related to your current career path (perhaps you made a career change, for instance), it's still worthwhile to show that you succeeded in a high-level learning environment.

As with much of resume writing, the content and format of your resume Education section is fluid and will depend on where you are in your career. Still, it's important that you get it right to prove you're qualified for the job you want.

In this article, you'll learn how to list education on your resume and see examples that you can use for inspiration as you craft your own. 

What to include under Education on a resume

It sounds simple – you list the degrees you've obtained and the schools where you got them. 

But, wait! There's more.

In some instances, it may be appropriate to include your GPA, some relevant coursework, or even give a nod to some major project you worked on. Much of this depends on whether you're fresh out of school or have some experience under your belt. 

Here are some other things to consider when writing the Education section of your resume:

Does your education section go at the top or bottom of your resume?

Do you include a degree if you're still working on it?

Does high school belong on my resume?

Let's start with the basics.

1. Degree earned

When you finally graduated and received your diploma, what did it say? For example, you may have achieved a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Whatever it was, it's the most important education detail you can put on your resume, because it's the official evidence of your education.

One of the most important things to remember is that you should list your degrees in reverse chronological order. That means you start with the most recent one (which is likely to be your highest) and work backward. Also, once you get into college there is no reason to add high school. Employers know that you have to finish high school to get into college, so they'll assume you graduated. 

Remember that one degree type can be applied to a variety of fields of study. For example, a Bachelor of Science degree can be earned for both physics and computer science. Therefore, in addition to the degree itself, you must include the major for which the degree was earned. This way, a hiring manager knows exactly what topics you've studied.

If you completed any minors or concentrations, you can include those too.

3. University, college, or institution

Add some context to your education by listing the university, college, or institution where you went to school. This is especially important if you attended a well-respected program in your field, because it will make you seem all the more impressive.

4. Years attended

The timeframe that you were in school is generally something you don't need to worry about including unless you're still in school or graduated within the last year. Additionally, you might add the dates you were in school if you need to take care of a gap in employment. Outside of these conditions, you should leave off the timeframe you were in school.

Whether or not you include your GPA in the Education section of a resume depends on many factors. If you earned your degree 20 years ago, your GPA is likely a defunct measure of your current abilities. If you earned your degree recently, however, adding your GPA can be a great move – but only if it's 3.5 or higher. You can also indicate any distinctions you earned based on your grades, such as summa cum laude , if applicable.

6. Extracurricular activities

If you were in an honors society, you can list your membership. If you were part of a fraternity or sorority, it's a toss-up. While you might think this is a good inclusion because it demonstrates you were participating in service-related activities or so on, Greek rivalries can extend way past college years and you wouldn't want to accidentally tip off your hiring manager that you belonged to a rival group.

7. Certifications 

Outside of formal education, you may also have taken the initiative to earn supplementary certifications or complete online courses that are relevant to your field. Highlight these in your resume Education section, especially if they are on niche or high-level topics that prove your expertise far beyond a more generalized curriculum.

Here's an example of what all that looks like:


Bachelor of Business Administration | ABC University | 2021-2024

Dean's list - summa cum laude

President - Marketing Club


Project Management Professional (PMP) | Project Management Institute

Conditions to consider, aside from the basics

Some of those basics may be optional - as we mentioned, you wouldn't include the dates of your degree program if you've been out of school for more than a year. When you begin to craft the Education section of your resume, there are other things to consider as well.

You completed high school

Attending college may not be among the goals you've set for your life. That's okay!

If you decide to graduate high school and go straight to work, your career can still be rich and full. At this point, though, a lot of people ask if they should include high school on their resume. 

A few rules of thumb about adding high school to the Education section of your resume:

Exclude high school altogether if you go to college

Exclude high school if you've attended trade school

Include high school if you have no additional education, professional development, or certifications

Include high school if the job description specifically mentions that you need a high school diploma

Include high school if you're applying for a job while still in high school

This is what the Education section of your resume would look like if all you have to put in it is high school:

Diploma or GED [whichever is appropriate] | DEF High School

Graduated: 2023

Relevant courses: Accounting, Business Law, and Ethics

Just because high school is the highest education you've obtained, doesn't mean you can't take the opportunity to inject some relevant keywords into your resume. 

PRO TIP: Check out our article on tailoring your resume to different jobs to understand how important relevant keywords are when writing your resume.

You have an undergrad degree

Once you graduate from college and start searching for your first entry-level position, it's assumed that you'll remove any information that refers to your high school activities and focus on your new undergrad degree.

Go back to the basics to build your Education section when you earn your Bachelor's degree. 

Include your degree and major

Add the name of the school where you obtained the degree

Throw in some extras, like achievements, coursework, and affiliations

The last point – about adding extras – is extremely important if you have little to no work experience . Adding that you were a Resident Advisor or won first place in a robotics competition could be the thing that puts your resume at the top of the yes pile. 

You have an advanced degree

Once you enter the world of Master's degrees and PhDs the Education section of your resume becomes more robust and might include things like the title of a dissertation, fellowships or internships. 

As before, always start with your highest degree and work backward. Here's an example of an Education section with advanced degrees:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) – Leadership Studies | CCC University 

International Student Scholar

Dissertation: Exploring the Relationships of Principal Preparation Programs and Leadership Styles on School Accountability Indices

Master of Arts (MA) – Counseling | BBB University 

Bachelor of Science – Psychology (cum laude) | University of AAA

You started college at one place but finished somewhere else

If you attended college at one institution – perhaps a community college – and then completed your education in another place, you only need to list the university where you completed your degree. All the employer wants to know is which college supplied you with your degree at the end of your education; they don't necessarily care or need to know how you arrived at this place. Save that resume space for more important information.

You didn't attend or finish college

If you attended college but didn't graduate, you may want to list the relevant courses you took, especially if you made it to some of the higher-level classes, to demonstrate the skills you built or the disciplines you were exposed to during your coursework.

You're still pursuing a college degree (undergrad or grad program)

If you're still attending college for either your undergraduate or graduate degree, you can simply add an expected graduation year to this information. You can add a list of a few courses you've completed if 

They're higher-level courses that are relevant to your job goals

You don't have a lot of relevant work experience to market on your resume.

You earned your degree more than 5 years ago

If you earned a degree or certification more than 5 years ago, place your Education at the bottom of your resume and remove the graduation date. It's important to demonstrate you've earned the degree, but there's no need to draw attention to how long ago this occurred.

Doing so will allow you to focus your resume on your skills, accomplishments , and professional history. For those who have many years of professional experience, education becomes less important because you should be moving forward in your career.

Where does the Education section of your resume go?

If you're new to the workforce and your new degree is your best selling point, the Education section should appear toward the top of your resume , because 

You most likely have limited professional experience to list on your resume

Your education is the core competency that you wish to highlight for an employer

After you have a few years of relevant experience under your belt, the education section gets shifted to the bottom of your resume, and your work history will get pushed farther up on the page.

Key takeaways

Presenting your education on your resume in a thoughtful way will open a lot of employment doors. Here's what you should keep in mind as you write the Education section of your resume:

You list education on your resume in a certain way based on what stage of your career you're at

The main components of your Education section are degree, major, school, years attended, and certifications

Tailor your Education section based on keywords and qualifications mentioned in the job description

Be honest about ongoing education or degrees you've decided not to complete

Your Education section is fluid

Remember, there isn't one resume format that fits all job seekers. Be strategic when placing your Education information by considering where you are in your career and how it will help you to land the jobs you're after. 

Find out if you are showcasing your education on your resume - get a free resume review from TopResume.

This article was updated in December 2023. It contains work by Amanda Augustine and Lauren Settembrino  and Heather Rothbauer-Wanish .

Recommended reading:

Resources for In-Demand Job Skills You Can Learn Online

How To Speed Up the Resume-Writing Process

The Most Essential Trait You Need to Land Any Job

Related Articles:

Do Hiring Managers Actually Read Cover Letters?

How to Create a Resume With No Education

Why You Lose When You Lie on Your Resume: Learning From Mina Chang

See how your resume stacks up.

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  • Career Blog

How to List Education on a Resume: 30 Examples & Tips

how to write educational resume

In today’s competitive job market, having a strong education section on your resume can be a game-changer. Highlighting your educational achievements not only demonstrates your knowledge and expertise but also showcases your commitment and dedication towards personal growth and career development.

The ultimate purpose of this article is to guide job seekers in presenting their education credentials effectively on their resumes. Through a comprehensive compilation of 30+ real-life examples and practical tips, this piece aims to help applicants in crafting a compelling education section that will impress hiring managers and land them their dream job.

Whether you’re a recent graduate, a mid-career professional, or a seasoned executive, this article provides valuable insights and actionable advice that are proven to enhance your resume and increase your chances of getting hired. So, stay with us, and be ready to learn how to shine a spotlight on your educational background and leverage it for your next career move!

The Basics of Education on a Resume

When it comes to creating a winning resume, the education section plays a significant role. This section is particularly important for recent graduates or those looking to change careers. Employers want to see that you have the skills and knowledge necessary to perform the job, and education serves as a reliable indicator of this.

Importance of Education Section

The education section is often used as a method of filtering out candidates. Employers want to see a clear progression of your academic qualifications, as this demonstrates a commitment to learning and personal development. Failure to include this section can result in your resume being discarded without further consideration.

How to Format Education Section

The education section should be listed in reverse chronological order with your most recent qualification first. This format makes it easier for employers to see your academic progress and the relevance of your education to the current job position.

Format for education section:

What to Include in Education Section

The education section should include the following:

Degree: State the degree you obtained or are currently in the progress of obtaining, for example, Bachelor of Science (BSc), Master of Arts (MA).

Major: Indicate the field of study in which you took most of your academic courses, for example, Business Administration, Mechanical Engineering.

University: Mention the institute or university from which you earned your degree.

Graduation Date: Include the date of your graduation or expected graduation date if you are still pursuing your education.

What Not to Include in Education Section

There are specific details that you should avoid including in the education section that may work against you. Some of them are:

GPA: Unless you have recently graduated and have a high GPA, it is best to leave this information off your resume.

High School Diploma: Unless you have no higher education or in junior level, don’t include high school education.

Coursework: Unless it is directly related to the position you are applying for, it is not relevant to list your coursework.

The education section is your chance to show your credentials and qualifications to your potential employers. Ensure that your education section is properly formatted and reflects your academic achievements clearly. By following the above guidelines, you can present your educational background in a professional and impressive way.

Where to Place Education on a Resume

When it comes to listing your education on a resume, the placement can be just as important as the information itself. Here are some of the best options for where to place your education section:

At the top of the resume : If you are a recent graduate or your education is directly related to the job you are applying for, placing your education section at the top of your resume can help to draw attention to your qualifications.

After your work experience : If you have several years of relevant work experience, placing your education section after your work experience section can help to showcase your skills and experience first.

In a separate section : You can also create a separate section for your education, which can be especially helpful if you have multiple degrees or certifications. This can also help to make it easy for recruiters to find your education information quickly.

Tips for selecting placement options:

Consider the job requirements : When deciding where to place your education section, consider the job requirements and whether your education is a significant factor in the hiring decision.

Highlight your strengths : If your education is a strong selling point for you, make sure to highlight it in a prominent position on your resume.

Keep it concise : While it’s important to include your education information, don’t overdo it. Keep your education section concise and relevant to the job you are applying for.

How to make your education section stand out:

Include relevant coursework : If you have coursework that is relevant to the job you are applying for, make sure to include it in your education section.

Highlight any honors or awards : If you received any honors or awards during your education, make sure to showcase them in your education section.

Quantify your accomplishments : If you have any accomplishments from your education, such as publishing a research paper or completing a thesis, try to quantify them with specific numbers or details.

The placement and presentation of your education on your resume can play a significant role in your job search. By carefully selecting the placement and making your education section stand out, you can increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Listing High School Education on a Resume

When it comes to including high school education on a resume, it’s important to understand that it’s typically not necessary for most job positions. However, if you are early in your career or lacking in higher-level education, you may want to include it. Here are some tips for including high school education on your resume:

How to Include High School Education on Resume

  • Start with your most recent education and work backwards. List your high school education at the bottom of your education section, following any college or vocational training you may have completed.
  • Be concise. Simply list your high school name, location, and the year you graduated.
  • Highlight any academic achievements or honors. If you received any academic awards or honors during your high school education, include those on your resume.
  • Limit the amount of detail. Unlike college education, high school education does not require a lot of detail. Keep it brief and to-the-point.

Tricks to Make High School Education More Professional

If you are concerned about how including high school education on your resume may come across, here are some tricks to make it more professional:

  • Use your high school education to show transferable skills. Even if the education itself may not be relevant to the job, there may be skills you learned during that time that are transferable to the job you are applying for. For example, if you were heavily involved in a sport during high school, you may have developed leadership and teamwork skills that are applicable to many job positions. Highlight these skills on your resume.
  • Show continuous learning. If you have not pursued higher education, but have taken classes, workshops, or courses since high school, include them on your resume. This shows that you have a commitment to continuous learning and professional development.
  • Focus on your experiences outside of education. If you are concerned about how your high school education will be perceived, focus on highlighting experiences outside of education. If you participated in clubs, sports teams, or community organizations during your high school years, include them on your resume. These experiences can demonstrate important soft skills such as leadership, communication, and teamwork.

By following these tips for including high school education on your resume, it can help you present yourself in the best possible light to potential employers. Remember, the most important thing is to demonstrate your unique skills, experiences, and qualifications in a way that will make you stand out from other candidates.

How to List Bachelor’s Degree on a Resume

When it comes to listing your Bachelor’s degree on your resume, there are a few techniques that can help you highlight this accomplishment and make it stand out to potential employers.

Techniques to Highlight Bachelor’s Degree on Resume

Use a clear and concise format:  When listing your Bachelor’s degree, make sure it is easy to find and read. Use a straightforward format that includes the name of your degree, the name of the institution where you earned it, and the date of graduation.

Include relevant coursework and honors:  If you completed coursework or received any honors related to your Bachelor’s degree, be sure to include them on your resume. This can help demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in a particular area.

Emphasize relevant skills and experiences:  Instead of simply listing your degree, try to tie it in with your relevant skills and experiences. For example, if you majored in marketing, make sure to highlight any marketing-related projects or experiences you’ve had.

Quantify your achievements:  Whether it’s a high GPA, a specific project you worked on, or an award you received, try to quantify your achievements related to your Bachelor’s degree. This can help make it stand out and demonstrate your accomplishments.

Sample Sections to List Bachelor’s Degree

Education section:  This is the most common section to list your Bachelor’s degree. Simply include the name of your degree, the name of the institution, and the date of graduation.

Skills section:  If your Bachelor’s degree is relevant to your desired job, you can include it in your skills section to emphasize your expertise.

Experience section:  If you completed any related coursework or had relevant experiences while earning your Bachelor’s degree, you can list them under the appropriate job or experience in your experience section.

Example of Listing Bachelor’s Degree in a Different Format

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Institution: XYZ University, City, State Graduation: May 2022

  • Proficient in programming languages such as Java, C++, and Python
  • Strong understanding of algorithms and data structures
  • Experience with database management systems


Software Development Intern ABC Company, City, State June 2021 – August 2021

  • Developed and tested software modules for a web application using Java and HTML/CSS
  • Collaborated with a team of developers to troubleshoot and debug issues
  • Participated in code reviews and implemented improvements based on feedback


  • Introduction to Computer Science
  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Database Management Systems

By presenting your Bachelor’s degree in a different format, you can highlight it as a separate section and provide more details about your skills, relevant experiences, and coursework. This alternative format allows the degree to stand out and provides a comprehensive overview of your educational background and related accomplishments.

How to List Associate’s Degree on a Resume

Strategies to highlight associate’s degree on resume.

Listing your associate’s degree on a resume requires a strategic approach. Here are some strategies you can use to highlight your associate’s degree:

  • Place your associate’s degree prominently: Be sure to mention your associate’s degree in the education section of your resume. You can either add it directly under your high school diploma or create a separate section for your associate’s degree.
  • Highlight your skills: Your skills are a crucial part of your resume, and you can use them to showcase your qualifications. Emphasize the skills that you gained as part of your associate’s degree program, such as critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication.
  • Showcase your GPA: If you excelled in your associate’s degree program, showcase your GPA prominently on your resume. A high GPA can show potential employers that you are a diligent learner and have a strong work ethic.

Sample Sections to List Associate’s Degree

Here are some sample sections you can use to list your associate’s degree:

  • Associate’s Degree in Business Administration, XYZ College, 2018-2020
  • High School Diploma, ABC High School, 2014-2018

Certifications and Education

  • Associate’s Degree in Accounting, XYZ College, 2018-2020
  • CPA certification, 2021

Example of Listing Associate’s Degree in a Different Format

Here’s an example of how you can list your associate’s degree in a different format:

Professional Summary

As a diligent and detail-oriented professional with a background in business administration, I have gained essential skills in critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving through my associate’s degree program.

By strategically highlighting your associate’s degree, you can impress potential employers and show them that you have the skills and education necessary to succeed in your desired role.

How to List Master’s Degree on a Resume

When listing your master’s degree on your resume, it’s important to do so in a way that highlights your education and makes it easy for potential employers to see your qualifications. Here are some tips for highlighting your master’s degree on your resume:

Tips for highlighting master’s degree on resume

Start with your highest degree: When listing your education, start with your highest degree first. In most cases, this will be your master’s degree.

Be concise: You don’t need to include every detail about your master’s degree on your resume. Keep it concise and relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Use bullet points: Use bullet points to make your education section easy to scan. This will help potential employers quickly see your qualifications.

Include relevant coursework: If you took coursework that is relevant to the job you’re applying for, include it in your education section.

Sample sections to list master’s degree

Here are some sample sections to list your master’s degree on your resume:

  • Master of Science in Computer Science, XYZ University, 2020
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, ABC University, 2018

Academic achievements

  • Graduated with honors
  • Recipient of the Dean’s List award

Professional development

  • Completed coursework in curriculum development and instructional design
  • Facilitated professional development sessions for other educators

Example of listing master’s degree in a different format

Here’s an example of how you could list your master’s degree on your resume in a different format:

Professional experience

Director of Marketing, ABC Corporation

  • Led the development and execution of marketing campaigns for a leading technology company
  • Managed a team of five marketing professionals
  • Increased website traffic by 25% through targeted content marketing strategies

Master of Science in Marketing, XYZ University

  • Coursework included: Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Analytics
  • Recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Student award

By listing your master’s degree in the education section of your resume, you’re able to highlight your academic achievements and qualifications. However, you can also choose to list your degree in other sections of your resume, such as your professional experience section, to show how your education has prepared you for your work.

How to List PhD on a Resume

If you have earned a PhD, it is important to highlight this achievement on your resume. Here are some steps to help you effectively list your PhD:

Include your degree title: Begin by listing your degree title, such as “Doctor of Philosophy” or “PhD” after your name at the top of your resume.

Highlight your field of study: Under the education section of your resume, include the name of your university, the dates of your attendance, and your field of study.

Detail your dissertation: Highlight your dissertation topic and provide a brief summary of your research under your education section.

Emphasize your contributions: If you were actively involved in any research or publications during your PhD program, consider creating a separate section to highlight these achievements.

Here are some sample sections you could use to list your PhD on a resume:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, XYZ University, 2016-2022
  • Dissertation: “The Effect of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy on Anxiety Among Children and Adolescents”


  • Conducted empirical research on the effect of mindfulness-based interventions on stress levels among university students
  • Published several articles in peer-reviewed journals related to social behavior and mental health in adolescence


  • John Doe, Jane Doe, & Sam Smith. (2021). “Impacts of Social Media on Mental Health in Adolescents.” Journal of Adolescence, 87, 35-41.

If you want to highlight your PhD in a different format, consider these tips:

  • Create a separate section for your education, research experience, and publications.
  • Use bullet points to list your relevant achievements and responsibilities.
  • Keep it concise but specific – employers want to see your accomplishments, but they don’t want to read a thesis.

Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work, XYZ University, 2014-2019

  • Dissertation: “The Role of Social Support in Reducing Depression Among Adults with Chronic Illnesses”
  • Conducted a mixed-methods research project on the experiences of individuals with disabilities in accessing healthcare services
  • Presented research findings at several conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals
  • John Doe & Jane Smith. (2019). “Barriers and facilitators to accessing mental health care among individuals with disabilities.” Journal of Social Work in Disability & Rehabilitation, 18(1), 30-40.

Listing your PhD on a resume is an essential aspect of showcasing your expertise and qualifications. By following these steps and examples, you can effectively and clearly highlight your achievements and make a positive impact on potential employers.

How to List Certifications and Licenses

When it comes to creating a resume, highlighting your education is a key component. However, it’s not just your degrees that can impress potential employers. Listing certifications and licenses you hold can also make you stand out as a qualified candidate. Here, we’ll discuss what essential certificates and licenses to list on a resume, how to format and list them properly, and provide sample sections to make your resume stand out.

Essential Certificates and Licenses

When it comes to listing certifications and licenses, there are many to choose from. However, certain certifications and licenses are more relevant to specific career paths. Here are the essential certificates and licenses that you should list on your resume based on the industry you’re in:

  • Healthcare: CPR certification, BLS certification, CNA certification, RN license, AHA certification, etc.
  • Education: Teaching license, administrator license, TEFL certification, etc.
  • Information technology: Microsoft certifications, CompTIA certifications, Cisco certifications, etc.
  • Finance: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification, etc.
  • Law: Bar admission, legal secretary certification, notary public commission, etc.
  • Real estate: Real estate license, certified residential specialist (CRS) certification, etc.

Formatting and Listing Certifications and Licenses

When listing certifications and licenses on your resume, it’s essential to format them properly. Here are some tips to ensure that you list them correctly:

  • Place relevant certifications and licenses in an area of your resume that makes sense. If you’re in healthcare, you may want to include them under a “Certifications” header after your education section. If you’re in finance, you could list your CPA license under your “Professional Development” section.
  • Always list the most recent certification or license first, followed by the less recent ones in descending order.
  • If the certification or license has an expiration date, make sure to list it along with the certificate’s title, followed by the issuing institution and the date it was earned.

Sample Sections for Listing Certifications and Licenses

Now that you know the essential certificates and licenses to list and how to format them, here are some sample sections that you can use on your resume for some inspiration:


  • BLS Certification, American Red Cross, Exp. 04/2022
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Certification, State of California, Exp. 12/2023
  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) Certification, American Heart Association, Exp. 06/2024
  • Teaching License, State of New York, Exp. 06/2027
  • Administrator License, State of Illinois, Exp. 06/2029

Information Technology

  • CompTIA Security+ Certification, CompTIA, Exp.

How to List Relevant Coursework on a Resume

When crafting a resume, it is important to showcase all aspects of your education and relevant experiences. One way to do this is by including relevant coursework on your resume. In this section, we will discuss why including coursework on your resume can be helpful, the importance of relevant coursework, how to format it, and provide examples of sections to list relevant coursework.

Why Include Coursework on Resume

Including relevant coursework on your resume can be helpful in showcasing the skills and knowledge you have gained in your academic career. If you do not have much work experience or are applying for a job in a field that you studied in school, including coursework can show the employer that you have a solid foundation in the industry.

Importance of Relevant Coursework on Resume

Listing relevant coursework on your resume can demonstrate to the employer that you have gained valuable knowledge and experience in a particular subject area. This can be especially important if the job you are applying for requires specific skills or knowledge that you gained through your coursework. Additionally, it can show your dedication and interest in a particular field or subject.

How to Format Relevant Coursework

When formatting relevant coursework on your resume, it is important to keep it concise and relevant. You should only include coursework that is relevant to the job you are applying for, and ensure that the information is easy to read and understand. Consider highlighting the relevant coursework in a separate section, or within the education section of your resume.

Example Sections to List Relevant Coursework

Below are some examples of sections to list relevant coursework on your resume:

Education Section

Bachelor of Science in Marketing

  • Marketing Research Methods
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Marketing Communications

Relevant Coursework Section

  • Web Design and Development
  • Digital Security

Including relevant coursework on your resume can be a valuable addition, especially if you are new to the workforce or transitioning to a new field. Use the tips provided to format your relevant coursework in a clear and concise way, and showcase your skills and knowledge to potential employers.

Listing Education Based on Career Level

When it comes to listing your education on a resume, it’s important to consider your career level and tailor your education section accordingly. Depending on your level of experience and the job you’re applying for, you may need to highlight different aspects of your academic background.

Tailoring Education Section to Fit Career Level

For entry-level positions, your education may be the most important section of your resume, especially if you have limited work experience. In this case, you should list your education and any relevant coursework, certifications or awards related to the job you’re applying for at the top of your resume.

If you’re a more experienced professional, your work experience will likely take center stage on your resume. However, your education can still be valuable to showcase, particularly if you completed advanced degrees or specialized training.

For senior-level positions, it’s common to list your education at the end of your resume, after you’ve highlighted your extensive work experience. At this stage of your career, employers are likely more interested in your professional achievements and leadership experience than your academic background.

Example Sections to List Education Based on Career Level

Entry-level example:.

  • Bachelor of Science in Marketing, XYZ University
  • Relevant Coursework: Marketing Research, Consumer Behavior, Advertising and Promotion, Digital Marketing
  • Dean’s List, Fall 2018 – Spring 2021

Experienced Professional Example:

  • Master of Business Administration, ABC School of Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Management, XYZ University
  • Relevant Coursework: Strategic Management, Operations Management, Corporate Finance, Marketing Analytics
  • Certified Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Awards: Outstanding Graduate Student, ABC School of Business

Senior-Level Example:

Professional Experience

  • Director of Sales, XYZ Corporation
  • Vice President of Marketing, ABC Company
  • Chief Revenue Officer, DEF Inc.

Education on a Functional Resume: Tips & Samples

When it comes to creating a functional resume, highlighting your education can be incredibly important. Whether you’re a recent graduate or have years of experience under your belt, your educational background can demonstrate your qualifications and expertise in your chosen field.

Importance of Education in a Functional Resume

Including your education on a functional resume can help you stand out from other job seekers. It can demonstrate that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in your desired position, and it can also show that you value ongoing learning and professional development.

When listing your education on a functional resume, be sure to include any relevant degrees, courses, certifications, or training programs that you’ve completed. This can help demonstrate your expertise and show that you’ve taken the initiative to further your education and skills.

Techniques to Highlight Education in a Functional Resume

One technique for highlighting your education on a functional resume is to create a separate “Education” section. This section should include the name of the school or institution you attended, the degree or certification you earned, and the year of completion.

When listing your education, be sure to include any relevant coursework or honors that demonstrate your expertise in your field. For example, if you’re applying for a position as a software engineer, you might include coursework in programming languages or computer science.

Another technique for highlighting your education on a functional resume is to incorporate it into your work experience section. For example, if you completed an internship or apprenticeship during your education, you might list that experience under a relevant job title.

Sample Sections to List Education in a Functional Resume

Here are a few sample sections that you might use to list your education on a functional resume:

  • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, University of XYZ, 2014-2018
  • Relevant coursework: Business Law, Financial Accounting, Marketing
  • Marketing Intern, ABC Company, 2017-2018 (completed as part of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration program at the University of XYZ)
  • Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program, Red Cross, 2016
  • Relevant coursework: Patient Care, Infection Control, Anatomy and Physiology
  • Nursing Assistant, XYZ Hospital, 2016-2018 (completed as part of the Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program at the Red Cross)

By including your education in your functional resume, you can demonstrate your qualifications, expertise, and ongoing commitment to learning and professional development. These sample sections can help you highlight your educational background in a clear and effective way.

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How to Put Your Education on a Resume? [+Examples]

Kaja Jurčišinová — Staff Writer

The education section on your resume can be the most important part of your resume , but in some cases, it can also be almost irrelevant. It all depends on your degree and where you're in your career. That’s why it’s important to know where and how to put your education on a resume. 

To put it simply, the education section is the section on your resume where you list your degrees and relevant academic accomplishments. It’s one of the key resume sections that you can find on almost every resume ever written. 

So keep reading to know what mistakes to avoid and what to include in order to impress a potential employer. 

This guide will also explain:

Why include an education section on your resume?

  • What information to include in your education section?
  • Where should you place it on your resume?
  • How to write your education section?
  • ...as a high school graduate?
  • ...as a student/ fresh graduate?
  • ...as an experienced professional?
  • ...when you're changing careers?

Too long, don't want to read? Here's a video guide.

There’s a good chance that every resume you’ve ever seen had an education section. But why is it so? If in some cases education isn't relevant at all, why does everyone include it in their resumes? 🤔

  • Employers expect to see it. While this reasoning may sound silly, conventions are conventions. If you want to get hired, it’s crucial to meet your future employer’s expectations. And not including an education section on your resume can raise many suspicions about your background, or willingness to follow rules. 
  • Your job requires a specific degree. For example, you can't become a medical doctor without a medical degree. We all know that. The same goes for being a lawyer and many other professions, or people who aim at better-paid positions in corporates. 
  • Your educational background can help you stand out. This is especially true if you’re a fresh graduate or a student. Sure, adding a prestigious degree to your name can increase your chances, but that’s not all. Try to inflate your education section by mentioning your GPA, scholarships, awards, being on student committees, etc. Anything to help your future boss see your full potential.

What information to include in your education section? 

For each entry about your education, there's a set of information that recruiters expect to see. 

Information that's a must: 

  • The name of educational institution/s
  • Location of the schools/s
  • Starting and graduation year (if applicable) 
  • Level of study
  • Field of your studies
  • Obtained degree

Optional information: 

  • Your grade (you want to include this if your grade was good — if not, it's better to ignore it)
  • Any extra academic awards or recognition
  • Extra educational courses, classes, or training 
  • Study exchange programs (such as Erasmus or a year abroad) 
  • Final thesis
  • Scholarships
  • Other academic achievements

How to write your resume education section?

So how do you put that information in your education section? Follow these basic steps:

  • Write about your education in a reversed chronological order. Place your most recent education first and then continue with the previous ones (if applicable).
  • Always include the name of your school and its location. In most cases, list the name of your school first. This is the best thing to do especially if your degree has nothing to do with your desired role. The recruiter's attention will be drawn to the name of the institution instead of the study subject. 
  • Specify your degree and field of study. You can either spell out the full title, e.g. “ Master of Arts” , or use the initials “ MA” . If you have more than one degree from the same school, list your most recent degree first. Also, list your minors or concentrations after your major.
  • Don’t forget the dates. Include the year you began your studies and the year you graduated. Remember, you don’t have to include any specific dates if you seek to avoid discrimination based on your age.
  • Add other optional information. This applies to you if you’re a student or fresh out of school. Consider adding information such as good grades, awards, Dean's list, being a part of a committee, related school projects, etc. 

What does this look like in practice? Take a look at the sample below! 

education on your resume

Or to write your own education section, use the following template. Of course, include only the information that pertains to the job you want:

Education Section Template

Name of your school, location — dates of duration or year of graduation.

Degree, the field of study

(+ additional info that students and graduates can include):

  • Relevant coursework or student activities
  • Study abroad
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Grade point average (if it’s above 3)
  • Academic honors
  • The topic of your final thesis together with the outcome (if it’s related to the job)

what to include in your education section as a student

Where to place your education section?

So now that you know what to include in your education section, you must know WHERE to place it within your resume. 

Generally speaking, you should position it either before or after your work experience section . So, which placement is better for YOUR resume? 

Well, as with the rest of your resume, the rule of thumb is: always put the most important information first. Ask yourself — what's my best asset? What makes me stand out from the crowd of applicants? Is it years of experience in the field? Or the fact that I've just finished a really good school?

In other words, the location of the education on your resume is determined by the stage of your career. 

Are you a student or a fresh graduate? 

If this is your case, then remember: your education is still probably your main strength. So play into it! 

Place the education near the top of your resume ; just below your resume objective/profile section. This way, your education will be the first thing that recruiters will see. 

But what if you worked during your studies? 

Even if the work experience wasn't in the field of your studies, you must have learned valuable skills. So make sure you include them in your resume. Place them right underneath your education. 

And if you've managed to land a cool internship related to your studies, even better! In this case, you may even consider placing it ABOVE the education section. However, make sure you do this only if the internship experience outshines your education. 

Are you an experienced professional?  

In this case, place your education section anywhere on the page, as long as you place the work experience section first. 

Just remember: you should always put the most important information first. At this point in your career, your education isn’t nearly as important as it used to be. Because of that, it should probably find its place near the bottom of your resume.

How to list your high school education on a resume?

So far, we mostly talked about how to list your college education. That’s because once you’ve already got your university degree, you can leave your high school degree out of your resume.

But what if you've never attended university? 

Well, it means that your resume’s education section is going to be pretty straightforward and it will focus on your high-school experience . 

All you have to do is list the name of your high school, its location, and the dates. There’s no reason to complicate it any further.

The exception is if you graduated less than three years ago. In this case, when you don’t have years of professional experience to lean on, add anything to your education section that shows off your skills and talents, such as: 

  • awards and unique achievements
  • competitions that you've attended
  • extracurricular activities
  • clubs and organizations you were a part of
  • good academic results

Feel free to include details about any projects or clubs you joined while at school. Focus on including specific examples to demonstrate your motivation and initiative.

Did you write for high school newspapers and published 16 articles? Then it deserves a mention in your education section!

The bottom line is simple: Look for anything that helps you show your enthusiasm and work ethic.

Think of clubs, organizations, extracurricular activities, or even volunteer work (even though volunteering may deserve its own separate section). All of these can count as major achievements if you don’t have work experience yet.

Pro tip: Make the education section relevant. Only include information that's related to the specific job opening that you’re interested in. Keep an open mind and remember that transferable skills can make a huge difference, too. In other words, tailor your resume .

How to put education on your resume as a student

How to write an education section if you're a fresh graduate or student

If you’re a student or you’ve just graduated, you probably don’t have much work experience to put on a resume yet. That’s normal. On the other hand, what you do have is academic experience. 

That means the education section should dominate your resume . Make it more elaborate in comparison to other sections and place it at the top of your resume.

During your studies, you must have learned and achieved more things than you probably realize. So — don’t make your education section only about the degrees obtained. Use this space to present all of your most notable academic accomplishments.

Consider including the following:

  • Academic awards: e.g. AP scholar, Duke of Edinburgh award, National Merit Award, President’s Award, school subject-based awards, etc.
  • Scholarships: e.g. athletic scholarships, scholarships for women, creative scholarships, etc.
  • Academic conferences and symposia: Don’t forget to mention the scope and name of the paper you presented at a conference.
  • Relevant student societies: e.g. debating societies or programming clubs. If you were on the committee of any kind of student society, make sure you include it as well. 
  • Dean’s list.
  • GPA: Only include if it was higher than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If your overall GPA was lower than that, mention your major GPA. Alternatively, mention your summa cum laude or magna cum laude. But if it wasn’t great, you can simply leave it out. And if you're out of school for a couple of years, you should take your GPA out of your resume no matter what.
  • Academic publications: This may not apply to you but if you have a Ph.D. (or working towards it), you’re expected to include at least one publication.
  • Extracurricular activities: Show that you're active and care! Doesn't matter if it's football, book club, or volunteering. All of these activities show that you are able to work with people and are interested in the world around you.
  • Relevant coursework: Demonstrate that you know plenty about the work that youre applying for. Academic knowledge matters, especially if you dont have hands-on experience yet. 
  • Projects that you've worked on: Are they related to the job you're applying for? Make sure you include it!
  • Final thesis: This matters especially if you've earned a good grade, it got published, or you've researched something related to your potential new position. 
  • Study abroad: It demonstrates flexibility and the fact that you can adapt easily to new environments. 

However, if you've acquired solid work experience already, you can also place your education section after it. Keep in mind — what ’ s more important comes first.

This can be, for example, a standout internship.


Having an internship on your student resume will automatically make you stand out from the crowd of student applicants. But you already know that. 

Whether the internship is paid or unpaid, doesn’t matter. The most important thing is that you can show you’re motivated and willing to work.

Once you’ve got an internship under your belt, make sure to place it in a separate resume section , as it deserves this special treatment. 

Now you may ask, where to place this internship section. Before, or after your education? 

Well, the most impressive information on your resume should be placed first. So, judge the importance of your internship: 

  • If it was a longer internship in a prestigious company, feel free to put the internship section before the education section. 
  • On the other hand, if you’re a student at an Ivy League school with an excellent grade average, a month-long internship experience in a local company should come second after your academic achievements. 

How to write an education section if you’ve never graduated (dropped out)?

Many people feel ashamed if they haven't finished their studies. Consequently, they make the mistake of not mentioning their studies at all. And as a result, they leave out years of valuable academic experience.  

Don't make this mistake. Dropping off of a university or taking a leave of absence is now a part of your story. And if you can sell it well, it doesn't even have to harm your chances of getting the job. 

So, always include unfinished education on your resume . It's better than leaving that period of time unaddressed. That's because gaps in your resume always make hiring managers a bit suspicious.

And if you’re just taking a break in studies ( so you don’t have a degree yet), also just put it on your resume. In this scenario, all you have to do is emphasize that you’re still working towards finishing your studies.

how to put education on your resume

How to write an education section if you’re an experienced professional?

Once you become an experienced professional, your education section takes a back seat to your professional experience. Your interviews will revolve around your work experience and professional achievements rather than your academic career.

This means that you can get away with simply listing your degrees in reverse-chronological order with basic info like university name, location, degree, and field of study — and leave it at that.

Feel free to remove more specific details about your education such as GPA, or extracurricular activities related to coursework, or even attendance dates.

How to write an education section if you’re changing careers?

Even if you’re completely changing careers and are moving away from your field of expertise, your education remains important. However, it’s also not as big of a selling point as the skills you possess. Because of that, you should position your skills and relevant experience above your education section.

The easiest way of doing this is to write a functional resume , as opposed to the more traditional chronological resume. This resume format allows you to place transferable skills first, and work experience and education second. 

You may be asking — what if my education isn’t related to the job I ’ m applying for at all? Should I still include it? And the answer is yes! 

Just make sure that you write the name of the institution first. By doing so, you can first draw attention to the fact that you attended a (prestigious) university. It's only then that recruiters notice your somewhat unrelated degree.

But you can impress the hiring manager with your education section anyway. Besides listing key information such as the name of the institution, degree, and dates, you should also consider including accomplishments that are related to the position that you're applying for. 

Think of any coursework, or student clubs and organizations involvement, where you gained transferable skills. You can also mention academic awards, even those that aren’t related to your new job, as they can help you impress the hiring manager.

how to put education on your resume

Final tips on how to make your education section stand out

  • Consider adding subsections. If you have a lot of information to include in the education section, consider dividing it into subsections. You can divide it into Basic information (schools and degrees), Awards and Honours, Certifications, School Organizations, or Volunteer Work.
  • Keep ATS in mind. ATS normally uses school rankings to assess candidates. If you’re still at school and have your university email address, use it to associate yourself with the school’s reputation. Make sure to include the full name of the school together with its abbreviation, e.g. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) .
  • Get certificates. If your academic background isn't something you can be really proud of, get an online certificate from one of the top universities like Harvard or Yale. Then you’ll be able to use the school’s name to your advantage.
  • Tell the truth. It’s very easy for hiring managers to confirm whether your education is true or not. Also, be honest about your grades. If you’re not happy with your GPA, instead of making it up, rather leave it completely out of your resume.
  • Tailor it to the position: Just like with the rest of your resume, tailor your education section to the job description. If certain courses or projects you completed align with the job requirements, make sure to highlight them. This shows the employer that you already possess relevant knowledge and skills for the job.

Oh, and if you have a LinkedIn profile filled with all the important details, including your academic background, skills, experience, and qualifications, you can easily  turn it into a polished resume with just one click.

The education section should be among the shortest ones on your resume (unless you're a student, a fresh graduate, or are applying for an academic position)

In most cases, it’s ideal if you keep the education section to 15-30 words max. Naturally, this varies depending on the level of education achieved. 

Feel free to list it under one entry, just make sure you make it clear that it's a double major (either state the fact openly or include & between the names of the two degrees, e.g. Biology & Psychology ) followed by the name of your school.

Not really. Even if the position you're applying for doesn't require any formal education, recruiters will still expect to see at least the most basic education section entry. So don’t make them suspicious of you and write down what you’ve got instead.

You can still list the degree and the school name, but instead of the graduation date, include the range of years you attended. However, it's crucial to indicate that the degree is not yet completed. For instance, "Bachelor of Arts: English Literature (In Progress) 2017 - Present."

Include this under your degree in the education section. You can either list courses directly related to the position you’re applying for. For example, “Relevant Coursework: Microeconomics, Business Law, Financial Accounting, Data Analysis."

Kaja Jurčišinová — Staff Writer

Kaja Jurčišinová

Kaja Jurcisinova is a fresh graduate and a junior copywriter at Kickresume. Kaja completed her undergraduate degree in Art History at the University of St Andrews in 2018 and graduated with a Master’s in Arts and Culture from the University of Groningen in 2021. She was an intern at multiple cultural institutions across Europe, including the Dutch Museum Association in Amsterdam, the Matter of Art Biennale in Prague, and the European Cultural Centre in Venice. At the moment, she resides in Visby on the Swedish island of Gotland.

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How to write a professional resume summary [+examples], how to describe your work experience on a resume [+examples], let your resume do the work..

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How To Write A Resume In 7 Steps (With Examples)

  • How To Write A Resume
  • Resume Skills Section
  • Resume Objective Section
  • Career Objective Section
  • Resume Reference Section
  • Resume Summary Section
  • Resume Summary Example
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Resumes are still the most important document in your job search . Generating a professional and interesting resume isn’t easy, but there is a standard set of guidelines that you can follow. As hiring managers usually only spend a short time looking over each resume, you want to make sure that yours has a reason for them to keep reading.

If you’re looking to write a resume, rewrite a resume you already have, or are just curious about resume format, then you’ve come to the right place. This article will go through the steps to writing an excellent resume, as well as offering examples for what sections of the resume should look like.

Key Takeaways:

A resume is a short document that details your professional history in a way that tailors your experience and skill set for the particular job you’re applying for.

Resumes follow a few standard formatting practices, which hiring managers and recruiters expect to see.

Highlighting your work experience, skills, and educational background with relevant keywords can help you get past applicant tracking systems and into more interviews.

How To Write A Resume

How to write a resume

Writing a resume involves using the proper formatting, writing an introduction, and adding your work experience and education. Stuffing your entire professional life into a single page resume can feel overwhelming, but remember that you’re distilling the relevant parts of your professional experience in order to catch the eye of the recruiter .

Formatting your resume. To start, use a word processor such as Microsoft Word or Google docs. Standard resume formatting calls for:

1 inch margins

10-12 point font

A professional, commonly-used font

Additionally, there are three resume formats that are commonly used. Most people should stick with a chronological resume format , but the combination resume format and functional resume format can be effective for more advanced workers or those who have significant gaps in their resume.

Write a resume header . It doesn’t matter if you have the best resume in the world if the hiring manager can’t contact you. Every single resume should include the following contact information:

Your full name. First and last.

Your phone number. Use a personal phone number, and make sure your voicemail is set up properly.

Your email address. Nothing inappropriate — [email protected] is a safe choice.

Location. City, State, Zip Code is fine, but you can include your full mailing address if you think it’s appropriate.

Your social media (optional). LinkedIn is the obvious one you’d want to include, but make sure your profile looks good. If you have an online portfolio , either on a personal blog/website or on a site like Journo Portfolio , feel free to include that here as well.

Your job title. Also optional, but can be useful for applicant tracking systems.

Resume introduction. You have four options for your resume introduction: a resume objective, summary statement, resume profile, or qualifications summary. For most job-seekers, a resume summary statement is the best choice. Regardless of which resume introduction you choose, avoid first-person pronouns (I/me/my).

Resume objective. A resume objective is the goal of your resume. Since the objective of every resume is to land a job, this is not the most original or impressive opener you can have.

On the other hand, it’s a good choice for an entry-level applicant or someone who is changing career paths . This should be a 1-3 sentence summary of why you’re motivated to get the position you’re applying for.

Who should use a resume objective: Entry-level applicants, career-changers, and recent college graduates.

Resume summary. This is the best opener for most job-seekers. As the name suggests, a resume summary highlights the most salient aspects of your resume.

It should include your current position, how many years of experience you have, some of your biggest achievements, and possibly your career goals. This should be a 1-3 sentence spiel and should include some quantifiable experiences.

Who should use a resume summary: Most job seekers; anyone with quantifiable accomplishments to emphasize and a broad range of skills.

Qualifications summary. A bullet point list (4-6 points is the sweet spot) of your qualifications for the position. It’s best used by applicants going for jobs that require a fixed skill set. It’s not a great choice for entry-level applicants who lack quantifiable achievements.

You’ll notice that a qualifications summary takes up more space than a resume objective or summary, but it can actually save the hiring manager time if you provide a bunch of valuable information right off the top.

Who should use a qualifications summary: Those applying to a job with requirements for certain skills and job-seekers who have a lot of experience in their industry and/or field.

Resume profile. A resume profile is similar to a resume summary, but goes into more detail about your accomplishments at your current or former job, while also telling the reader about your career goals. Think of a resume profile as a section that pulls all the best parts of your work experience section into one place.

Who should use a resume profile: Anyone with significant accomplishments under their belt, expertise in a niche field, or applying to a job in the same industry that they have lots of experience in.

Resume headline. Resume headlines aren’t necessary, but you can include one alongside any of the four types of resume introduction listed above. A resume headline comes between your contact information and the resume introduction of your choice.

Headlines can be used by entry-level applicants and experienced job-seekers alike. The important point is that your headline should be short and to the point. Additionally, you should use title case when writing your resume headline (capitalize words as you would for a book title).

Who should use a resume headline: Any job-seeker who wants to showcase their experience or unique value right off the bat.

Work experience. Your work experience section is the place to let hiring managers know that you have relevant experience that would allow you to handle the job you’re applying for.

If you’re using the chronological resume format, your work experience section would come after your resume summary/objective. In a funcitonal reumse, it would follow your skills section. Either way, work experience should be listed in reverse-chronological order (most recent experience at the top).

When listing your work experience, you should include all of the following information:

Job title. Start by stating the position you held at the company. These are easy cue for the hiring manager to look at and determine whether your past positions would help you succeed at their company.

Company Info. Include the name of the employer, the location where you worked, and perhaps a brief description of the company, if it isn’t a well-known name.

Dates Employed: Use the mm/yyyy format if you want to be sure that most applicant tracking systems (ATS) will pick it up. Whatever format you use for dates, be consistent, or your resume will look sloppy.

Job Description. Don’t just list your job’s responsibilities; hiring managers and recruiters already have an idea of your duties based on the job title. Instead, list your most important and impressive responsibilities/achievements at the job with bullet points. Determine which of these are most relevant for your new role based on the job description.

Ideally, each bullet should be no longer than a single line. However, two lines is acceptable, if used sparingly.

Always start with a strong action verb, followed by a quantifiable achievement and a specific duty. For example: “Developed ad campaigns for clients, increasing sales by an average of 27%.” Each job title should include 3-5 bullet points.

The order that you include this information can be changed around, as long as you are consistent throughout your resume. However, the bullet points detailing your job’s achievements should always be the last item for each entry.

It’s important that you tailor your resume’s work experience section to the job you’re applying for. We recommend reading the job description carefully and highlighting the action verbs in one color and the skills, adjectives, and job-specific nouns in a different color.

Educational background. In almost all cases, your education section should come after your professional history. If you’re a recent college graduate with limited work experience, you may choose to put your educational achievements first.

Like the section on your professional history, educational experiences should come in reverse-chronological order, with your highest level of education at the top. If you have a college degree, you don’t need to add any information about your high school experience. If you didn’t finish college, it’s okay to give a list of what credits you did complete.

Each educational experience can be listed in the following format:

Degree/Program Name College/University Name Dates attended

You don’t need to add anything else, especially if your resume is already impressive enough. But if you’re struggling to fill up the page, or you feel that aspects of your educational experience will help make you a standout, you may consider also including:

Minor. If you think it rounds out your not-exactly-relevant-to-the-job major nicely.

GPA. Only if it was 3.5 or higher. Otherwise, it’s not going to do you any favors to include this.

Honors. Dean’s List, Cum Laude, etc.

Achievements. If you wrote a killer thesis/dissertation that showcases intimate knowledge relevant to the job to which you’re applying, you can include its title and a very brief description.

Extracurricular activities. Only include if they’re relevant. For example, if you’re applying for a management position and you were president of your student government.

Certifications/Licenses. If the job you’re applying for requires/likes to see certain certifications or licenses that you have, you may include them in this section as well.

Skills section. Your impressive skills should be scattered logistically throughout your professional history section, but you should also include a section solely dedicated to highlighting your skill set . Skills can be broken down into two categories:

Hard skills are skills you learn through training and indicate expertise with a technical ability or job-specific responsibility.

Soft skills are your personality traits, interpersonal abilities, and intangible qualities that make you more effective at your job.

Your resume should have a healthy mix of hard and soft skills, as both are essential to job performance. However, since soft skills are harder to prove in the context of a resume, we recommend leaning more toward hard skills. Additionally, whenever you list a soft skill, make sure that it has a correlating item in your work experience section.

For example, if you say you are skilled in collaboration, you should mention a time when a team project was a major success somewhere in your work experience section.

Optional sections. If you still have space left or there’s more you want to show off that doesn’t quite fit in any of the above sections, you may consider adding an additional section covering one or more of the below categories:

Language . Being bilingual is always impressive, and can be included on a resume for any company. Highlight this more if your position involves liaising with international distributors and/or clients. Don’t lie about your proficiency level.

It may be best to not mention it if you’re not particularly proficient speaker . Such as if you took courses in school, or haven’t really managed to gain fluency. It can end up looking like an attempt to inflate your credentials, which you want to avoid.

Volunteer experience . Always a good thing to include. It shows you’re a team player who behaves in a way that promotes the greater good, without thought of personal gain. Especially good for entry-level candidates and those applying for jobs at a non-profit. If you have gaps in your work history, you can also consider including volunteer experiences in your work history section instead.

Personal projects. A personal blog, published works, or a portfolio of your past projects are all good things to include. They show you take initiative, enjoy and take pride in your work, and that you can handle the responsibilities of the job, if relevant.

Certifications/licenses. If you didn’t include these in your education section, this is another good place to list relevant certifications or licenses that you have.

Interests . This is largely just a space filler if your resume is light in other areas. However, if your hobbies are directly related to the job that you’re applying for, it’s not a bad idea to include them. And it might draw a recruiter’s attention if you end up sharing some of the same interests as they do.

If you have several seemingly random items that are valuable, but don’t warrant creating a whole separate section for, you can also make a section called “Additional Experience.” Here you can include all of the above categories in one place. Just make sure that each item is clear and easy for readers to understand.

Resume samples

Now that we have a good idea of how to write a resume, let’s take a look at some example resumes:

resume example zippia resume builder

Jack Pilgrim Washington , DC 14015 – (555) 444-3333 – [email protected] – www.linkedin.com/jpilgrim Resume Summary Graphic designer with 3+ years of experience creating and implementing promotional materials and social media graphics. Worked with sales and marketing teams to increase inbound calls by 23% YoY through compelling digital media. Adept at planning, managing, and prioritizing multiple deadlines at once, and thrives in fast-paced work environment. Work Experience Creative Designs | Washington, DC Lead Graphic Designer | June 2018-Present Worked with sales and marketing teams to create landing pages, sales proposals, and supporting media elements to drive sales by over $250,000 per quarter Trained, managed, and mentored team of 4 junior designers to fulfill 40+ project orders on a weekly basis Conducted UX research through surveys, usability testing, and data analysis to plan content marketing strategy, driving organic search traffic by 12% Presented proposals, results, and status updates to set of 4-7 clients, ensuring customer satisfaction at or above 95% for 3 years straight Happy Place | Alexandria, VA Junior Graphic Designer | July 2016-May 2018 Translated client needs and branding strategies into design and content strategy, increasing client retention by 22% Reduced project turnaround time by 8% by Utilizing web-based ticket system for completing and archiving finalized pieces Posted digital artwork to network IPTV using web interface to produce high-end info-graphics and other materials Happy Place | Alexandria, VA Marketing Intern | September 2015-July 2016 Assisted marketing team with data collection, analysis, and presentation using Google Analytics Drew up storyboards for new marketing campaigns alongside sales team, increasing brand awareness through social media Wrote 500-1000 word articles to pair with graphical elements on page, leading to a 40% boost in engagement on company website Education Savannah College of Art and Design | Savannah, Georgia May 2016 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design Skills Adobe Creative Suite Typography HTML/CSS WordPress Collaboration Organization
Allison Neederly Chicago, Illinois , 60007 | (333) 222-1111 | [email protected] | www.linkedin.com/allison.neederly Resume Summary Dedicated customer service representative with 4+ years experience resolving customers’ needs in-person, online, and over the phone. Top achiever at XYZ Inc. with a 100% customer satisfaction rate for Q1 of 2020. Friendly personable, and knowledgable about company’s products and services. Relevant Skills Customer Service Responded to upwards of 200 customer queries daily with XYZ Inc., reducing the average wait time by 56% and increasing customer satisfaction rates by 13% Ability to resolve conflict and create a positive atmosphere for shopping for both new and existing customers through technical proficiency Expert product knowledge and communication skills, and experience training and mentoring new customer service staff Web Chat and Phone Skilled in 3 web chat platforms for helping online customers resolve their queries quickly and accurately Achieved fastest call resolution rate at XYZ Inc., with an average resolution time of under 5 minutes per customer Performed outbound calls for customer satisfaction surveys, as well as writing web-based surveys for 10,000+ customers Troubleshooting Detailed product knowledge allowed for customer technical issues to be resolved at rate within top 5% of all customer service associates at XYZ Inc. Created manual for step-by-step directions for troubleshooting that was implemented for team of 100+ customer service reps Positive attitude took average tech-related negative response from 1/5 stars to 4/5 stars, increasing trust in brands and services Work Experience XYZ Inc. | Philadelphia, PA Customer Service Associate New Look Global | Burlington, VT Junior Customer Service Representative L.L. Bean | Burlington, VT Sales Associate Education University of Vermont | Burlington, VT May 2012 Bachelor of Arts in Humanities
Priya Laghari New York, NY | (222) 111-0000 | [email protected] | www.priyabizdev.com Resume Profile Strategy Development: Grew John Deere’s international sales by 13% by tapping into undeserved countries in Southeast Asia Management: Oversaw a team of managers representing marketing, sales, and product teams. Streamlined collaborative, cross-functional communications through agile and scrum management system CRM: Developed, customized, and implemented new customer relationship management database for accounts totaling over $10M in value Work Experience Business Development Manager 01/2015-Present Microsoft | Redmond, WA Developed product strategies and roadmap for Google AdWords, increasing inbound traffic by 26% YoY Reduced time training on new software by 50% for new and existing employees by implement e-learning programs Spearheaded digital marketing campaign worth $1M that saw a return of 200% in first year by qualifying leads earlier in the sales funnel Regional Sales Manager 11/2012-01/2015 Big Things Inc. | St. Louis, MO Managed territory encompassing 29 regional locations with an annual revenue of approx. $55M Worked with C-level executives to plan business strategies, resulting in 20% reduction in overhead costs Increased client retention by 12% in first year by implementing a CRM approach based on account profiling and elevating levels of relationship selling Account Manager 02/2009-11/2012 Solutions Corp. | Chicago, IL Implemented and developed CRM strategic plans, increasing retention of long-term clients by 22% Maintained 50+ accounts totaling over $35M in value Generated leads through one-on-one consultation via phone inquiries, online check-ins, and meeting office walk-ins Relevant Skills CRM: Proficient with Salesforce, Zoho, and HubSpot; some experience with Keap. Used various CRM software over a decade to successfully manage customer relations and quick to adapt to new software and tools that aid in quality of customer experience. Salesmanship: Negotiated and closed over several deals worth $1M+ and skilled in upselling and cross-selling. Adept at working closely with marketing and product teams to maximize the efficiency of the sales funnel for both inbound and outbound traffic. Presentation: Represented Microsoft Northwest Region at quarterly board meetings, ensuring all stakeholders were kept abreast of new developments and opportunities. Also deliver monthly presentations to big clients and vendors to maintain positive relationship. Data analytics. Expert at integrating data from various analytics platforms, including Google, Microsoft Power BI, and SAP BusinessObjects Education Colgate University | May 2008 MBA Fordham University | May 2006 Bachelor’s Degree in Business

For more resume examples and templates:

Resume examples by job

Google docs resume template

Resume templates

Resume builder

Resume Headers Samples:


Tip : Never put your contact info in the header of your document; some applicant tracking systems might miss it.

For more on how to write a resume header:

Resume Header

Resume Titles

Resume introduction examples

Entry-Level Resume Objective.

Recent graduate with a bachelor’s in Marketing from the University of Virginia seeking an entry-level role in content marketing. Excellent copywriter with 2+ years experience editing content as a member of the UVa Writing Center.

Career Change Resume Objective.

Eager to apply 7+ years of experience with customer success management to make successful outbound B2B calls, deliver customized business solutions to new and existing customers, and provide expert product knowledge in the role of Account Manager for XYZ Inc.

Example Resume Summary Statement.

Accountant with over 8 years of experience in the medical industry. Adept at advising on management of cash deficits, reconciling departmental accounts, and creating new accounts and codes. Coordinated invoice preparation system for ABC that reduced contractor overhead by 19% YoY.
English teacher with a love of language and 6 years of experience teaching high school students. Developed new curriculum that boosted freshman reading comprehension scores by 12% and created after school book club for AP Lit class, resulting in 100% of participating students achieving a 5 on the AP Lit test.

Example Qualifications Summary.

Executive assistant with 5+ years experience helping maintain efficiency in an office of 25 employees Communicated directly with internal and external stakeholders, helping Senior Vice President manage projects worth $5M+ Proactively managed office schedules, identifying and prioritizing changes to ensure client satisfaction Recognized in a company of 500 for “Outstanding Achiever” in May 2019

Example Resume Profile.

Detail-oriented IT Specialist with 4 years of experience overseeing and improving the infrastructure of IT systems. Adept at building and running troubleshooting systems and testing services. Decreased security risk by 47% through continual optimization, while also improving the speed of client portal by 22%. Excellent communicator both internally and for client-facing discussions. Achieved 98%+ customer satisfaction ratings through weekly and monthly check-ins with accounts valued cumulatively at $500,000.

Entry-Level Resume Headline.

Bilingual College Graduate with 80 WPM Typing Speed and Tutoring Experience

Experienced Resume Headline.

Business Development Specialist with 6+ Years Experience Scaling Start-Up Tech Teams

For more on resume introductions:

Resume objective statement

Resume summary statement

Resume summary statement examples

Qualifications summary

Sample resume work experience sections

sample resume work experience section

Work Experience XYZ Industries | Seattle, WA Marketing Associate | May 2019-Present Delivered weekly presentations to client-base to communicate brand messaging, increasing client retention by 11% Served as liaison between marketing and product teams, resulting in projects finishing 2 weeks early, on average Leveraged Excel skills to create and maintain spreadsheet to track consumer insights, emergent trends, and inform decisions of marketing team through competitive analysis Managed team of 5 contractors to juggle multiple priority projects simultaneously, never missing a deadline Initiated an affiliate referral program that PR team went on to turn into a revenue-generating stream valued at $30,000 annually ABC Corp | Seattle, WA Marketing Intern | September 2018-May 2019 Developed, maintained, and processed 20+ digital consent forms and distributor forms Worked collaboratively with a team of 10 marketing professionals, closely aligning our goals with the PR team Provided data analysis using Google Analytics and performed keyword research to increase blog traffic by 56% over six months Answered up to 50 customer queries by phone and email each week

For more on building the perfect resume work experience section:

Resume work experience section

First resume (no experience)

Examples Of Education Resume Sections

Graduated recently from a 4-year program.

Western Illinois University | Macomb, Illinois May 2020 Bachelor of Arts in Sociology | Minor in Psychology 3.95 GPA magna cum laude Dean’s List all semesters

Two degrees.

Fordham University | Bronx, New York April 2016 Master of Chemical Engineering Stony Brook University | Stony Brook, New York April 2014 Bachelor of Science in Chemistry

Anticipated graduation date (not yet graduated).

DePaul Univeristy | Chicago, Illinois Bachelor of Arts in History – Degree anticipated May 2021 Current GPA: 3.8

Older job seeker (graduated 10+ years ago).

University of Chicago | Chicago, Illinois Bachelor of Business Administration

High school graduate (no college degree).

Johnston High School 2016-2020 Head of Computer Club

More on crafting the perfect resume education section:

Education resume section

GPA on resume

Dean’s list

Magna cum laude

Examples Of Skills For Resume

Examples of hard skills include:

Examples of soft skills include:

Here’s more information on how to incorporate skills into your resume:

Resume skills section

Hard skills

Soft skills

Top skills for professionals

Skills-based resume

Resume writing FAQ

What is a resume?

A resume is a one to two-page document that focuses on professional experience, past achievements, education and certifications, and specific skills tailored to the job you’re applying for.

Almost every job application requires a resume, and hiring managers use them as a first impression in determining which applicants get a shot at an interview.

Whether you’re fresh out of college or have 30 years of professional experience, this guide should help craft a resume that stands out from the crowd and get you one step closer to landing your dream job.

What is the format for writing a good resume?

Most people will want to use a chronological or reverse-chronological resume format. This format is compatible with most applicant tracking systems (ATS) and is easy for employers to read. Additionally it helps highlight your experience, which helps prove your qualifications.

How far back should a resume go?

A resume should go back no further than 10 to 15 years. However, it is important that all your information is relevant. Therefore, do not include job experience that is irrelevant to your application, even if it’s fewer than 10 years old. Save that information for later discussions.

Should you personalize your resume for each job?

Yes, you should personalize your resume for each job you apply to. Many recruiters use ATS now, which will search for keywords in a resume and reject those that don’t have them. That means that the skills you choose to highlight as well as your opening, such as your resume summary, should be altered to suit each job you apply to.

You don’t need to rewrite the entire resume for each job, but it does show attention to detail and initiative to make sure that your resume is customized. It also makes it more likely that you’ll get past the first step of the process.

State of New York Department of Labor – Resumes, Cover Letters and Job Applications

Harvard University – Create a Resume/CV or Cover Letter

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Matthew Zane is the lead editor of Zippia's How To Get A Job Guides. He is a teacher, writer, and world-traveler that wants to help people at every stage of the career life cycle. He completed his masters in American Literature from Trinity College Dublin and BA in English from the University of Connecticut.

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  1. How To List Education on a Resume (With Examples)

    Listing your education on a resume should be strategic and concise. It's essential to highlight the most relevant and recent educational experiences that align with the job requirements. Focus on providing key details such as the degree earned, institution name and graduation year. Emphasize any honors, scholarships or academic achievements ...

  2. How to List Education on a Resume in 2024 (With Examples & Tips)

    In general, there is some basic information that should be included within the education section of a resume: The name of the school — "e.g. Georgia Institute of Technology". The location of the school. Your degree ( high-school diploma, GED, associate's degree, bachelor's degree, etc.)

  3. Education Resume Examples and Writing Tips

    Education resume summary example. Created and implemented 47 high-quality lesson plans over a 9-month period. Copy to clipboard. Numbers give employers insight into what you can achieve as a professional. Including them makes your application more believable (and compelling). 2. Highlight your teaching certifications.

  4. Resume Education Section Writing Guide and Examples

    Here's an example of a resume with the education section featured near the top: If you have more than a couple of years of relevant work experience, list your education below your work experience section. For most jobs, your education is less relevant to your ability to do the job than your hands-on work experience.

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    1. List in reverse chronological order. Rank your highest degrees first and continue in reverse chronological order. And remember, when ranking your educational achievements, it's not necessary to list your high school graduation if you have completed a college degree. If you haven't completed college, list your high school education.

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    University, college, or institution. Add some context to your education by listing the university, college, or institution where you went to school. This is especially important if you attended a well-respected program in your field, because it will make you seem all the more impressive. 4. Years attended.

  9. How to List Education on a Resume in 2024 + Examples

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  10. How to List Education on Resume in 2024 [Tips & Examples]

    Add the degree earned if you completed it. Include the school name, city, and state. List the program or major if the schooling is yet unfinished. Add extras to make the education section soar, such as honors, awards, relevant coursework, and minors. Use a second educational entry if the first one is unfinished.

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    In terms of a layout, a resume's education section includes: Name of the institution. Degree. School location. Date of graduation. GPA (only when over 3.0) When wondering how to list education on resume: Start with your highest qualification and work your way back in reverse-chronological order.

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    Writing the Education Section of a Resume (5 Key Tips) Here are the common guidelines to follow when listing education on a resume: Always include the following information: the degree you received, your major, the name of your school, its location, and your graduation year. Start with your highest educational attainment.

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    Here is a guideline of how to list education on a resume: 1. List your professional degrees. The degree is a vital piece of information as it helps recruiters assess if you have the essential qualifications for the role. Start by listing your latest degree. You can either mention the complete name or shorten it. 2.

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