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Education on Resume - How to Write the Education Section on Resume: The 2018 Guide

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

Mandela has left us with a very powerful line.

But writing a education section on your resume can be difficult. Considering what field of study to include and worrying about the unfinished degrees can take a lot of your time!

Be it a high school resume, a college student or a working professional, do NOT worry! We have got you covered.

Our professionals at Hiration have got you perfect templates for your resume. Check out our 20+ free customized resume templates here.

In this blog post, we will cover the following topics:

Ordering the section

Ordering your resume education section can be tricky! Follow the tips below for an amazing education section on your resume.

The two possible places for your resume education section can be:

  • Before your work experience section
  • After your work experience section

Before your work experience section

You should put your resume education section before your work experience section in the following cases:

  • Just graduated: You can consider putting your resume education section before your work experience section if you have just graduated from high school or college.
    This helps you build a good resume because you will be having more educational background than work experience at that point of time.

  • Starting a new education: If you were a professional and recently planned to get a new degree, it is advisable to put your resume education section first. It is immensely important if your new degree is relevant to the job description.

  • An academic resume: You resume education section should be positioned above the work experience also when you are submitting an academic CV.
    For academic posts/ fellowships, the education matters more than the outside work experience.

After your work experience section

You should put your resume education section after your work experience section in the following cases:

  • Seasoned professional: If you are a seasoned professional, you should put your resume education before your work experience section.
    Employers find your educational experience much more relevant in your career.
  • High school graduate/fresher: If you are a fresher or high school graduate, you can place your resume education before your work experience section.
    Employers will look for your educational experience in your career.

Educational Information

Choosing the correct resume education template is also very important!
Professionals at Hiration tell you how to write education on resume. Check out out coolest templates here.

Follow the cool tips below to write a very effective resume education section:

  • Put your highest degree first.
  • Follow reverse-chronological order for other degrees.

If you are a distinguished professional with tons of experience, it is not recommended to add your high school information.

The information that must be added on your resume education section is:

Type of degree you received
Your major/minor
Name of your institution
Location of your institution (Area,Country)
Year of graduation

Quick tip: Stating your GPA is optional. You should only add it if you have a decent score.

Following are the resume education examples:

BA in English Literature
Harvard University | Cambridge, US | 2017
3.8 GPA

Stanford University | Chicago, US | 2013
Masters in Computer Science
4.0 GPA

A quick resume education checklist would be:

  • Spell out your degree as “Master of Science” or just use initials “MSc.”
  • Use periods to separate initials “B.A.” or leave it like “BA”.
  • Write the name of your major as “MA in Business Administration” or separate your degree from your major with a comma as “MA, Business Administration.”
  • Order the information in various ways. If your degree is not directly related to the job description, focus on university rather than the course.
  • Make sure your format remains consistent for all the entries in your resume education section.

For high school students

High school students should place the resume education section at the beginning of your resume. It should be ideally placed before the work experience.

No Work Experience

For high school resume with no work experience, you can list the following parameters:

  • GPA (if above 3.0)
  • Relevant Courses (Courses that are related to the job profile)
  • Honors/Academic Achievements
  • Clubs/Organizations (Extracurricular activities)
  • Positions of Responsibility

You can highlight the important steps in your academic career by creating a section of “Major Achievements”. It gives a detailed look at your skills and abilities.

You can include volunteer work also. It presents you as an active person. You appear as someone who learns quickly and manages a job efficiently.

Some Work Experience

If you have actual work experience, you can keep the education to a minimum. You should describe the work duties and achievements in detail.

  • Briefly detail your academic activities like clubs, athletics, dance etc as they are important indicators of your character.

If you already have work experience as a high school scholar, it helps you get jobs much more easily in the future.

For college students

As a college student or recent graduate, place your resume education section at the beginning of your resume.
The length of your resume section depends on the amount of work experience you have

No Work Experience

For the lack of work experience, make your resume education stand out, follow the following steps:

  • Convey your organization skills, charisma, interpersonal ability, and active lifestyle
  • Include your activities like clubs, major group projects, or your participation outside of academic life

Some Work Experience

If you already have work experience, focus on it more than resume education section. It shows that you are familiar with the pressures and expectations of the professional world.

  • Keep your resume education section to a minimum
  • Feel free to list your activities, but emphasize on your work experience

For working professionals

If you are a working professional, your resume education section is just an evidence of your degrees.

  • Your resume education section should be placed below the Professional Experience section
  • Be straightforward, do not include unnecessary details
  • State your educational degree with your field of study and best achievements
  • Try to avoid positions of responsibility, awards, recognitions
  • Try to include a vast skill set, list your trainings, certifications

Special cases

Degree in progress

If you are still in high school/or pursuing a degree, write as:
Expected to graduate in 2019

You can use the following phrases to describe education in high school resume:

  • In progress
  • Expected + year
  • Expected Graduation + year
  • To be completed + year

Unfinished degree

  • If you did not graduate high school, write the name of your school and the years you attended as:
    Attended school from 2013 - 2015
  • If you did not finish a college or university level degree, write the credits you managed to get as:
    Completed 63 credits toward MA in Physics

Awards, publications and trainings

If you want to show off your skills and achievements, add honors, awards, trainings, certifications, licenses, extracurricular activities you did during high school.

  • Pick activities that illustrate the keyword skills listed
  • Mention an honors program, graduated with Latin honors (magna cum laude or summa cum laude), if any
  • Acceptance into honors societies (campus, national, or international)
  • List your publications under your degree
  • Include a coursework description, add classes that are relevant to job profile.
  • A course of study that has a particular skill set
  • List your recent extracurricular roles/ positions of responsibility
  • Avoid adding controversial activities (political or religious)

Highlighting soft skills

If you have certain soft skills, you can add it to your resume education section. Mention your participation in any activity that highlights these skills.

Following is the list of skills employers prefer on a high school resume:

  • Ability to Work on a Team
  • Leadership
  • Communication Skills (Written + Verbal)
  • Problem-solving Skills

Optimizing resume education for an ATS

Many companies and schools have started using the Applicant Tracking Systems. They help to filter out the undesirable applicants. This program goes through resumes and looks for keywords specific to the job profile.
If you want your resume to make it past an ATS, you need to keep in mind the following things:

  • Use a clean format.
  • Ensure that this program can read your full resume.
  • Minimize the use of tables, graphs, or pictures
  • Use keywords relevant to your job profile to describe your experiences, skills, and accomplishments

You can also use powerful action words to make your resume stand out. Check out this blog post by Hiration to learn their use.

Get you resume reviewed by our professionals before sending. Check out our Online Resume Builder here.

Full Example Template

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science
University of California, Berkeley, CA | 2017
Relevant Coursework: Business Communication, Systems and Circuits Designing, English Language Studies, Analog and Digital Designing, Embedded Systems
Extracurricular Activities: Captain of the Tennis Team

Think of your resume education section as an opportunity to stand out! For any doubts or queries, give us a shout out in the comments.