In this article, you will learn how to list education on a resume, including high school education, ongoing education, and incomplete education. Learn how to write and where to put the education section in a resume with detailed writing guide and examples.
No matter you're a fresher or an experienced job seeker, don't miss the extra tips specially included in the article!
What to put under the education section on a resume?
You might be wondering whether you should include high school education on your resume, or you are interested in finding out what education details should be put into the resume education section.
Here’s the deal.
The most essential information you need to include in a resume education section are:
- The “Degree”
- Your "Majors"
- The "Year of graduation"
- The “School” you have attended
- The "Honors & Awards" you have earned
These honors & awards can range from Dean’s List to Latin honors, such as “magna cum laude” or “cum laude” can be added to your educational background.
You could also choose to add other educational details into your resume.
Here are 5 optional education details you can add in the resume:
- Your "Minors"
- Your "GPA" (Grade Point Average)
- "Details & location" of your school
- The "Extracurricular activities" you have taken part in
- Any professional "Licenses & Certifications" you have earned
Is it necessary to list high school education on a resume?
Putting your high school education on resume should only be done if you are a high school student, or it happens to be your highest attained education level. When you put your high school education on your resume, you should focus on the skills and knowledge you learned to help overshadow your lack of work experience.
How to put education on a resume with no degree?
Formal education today, can seamlessly be replaced by alternative training and learning offered by MOOCs (Massive open online courses) and e-learning providers. This is particularly useful if you do not have a degree to put on your resume. Numerous prestigious universities offer online courses for free and issue completion certificates.
Additionally, you could add any niche credentials that you obtain. These can help make up for your lack of experience while also demonstrating the fact that you have updated hands-on skills. You can also write down relevant on-the-job training you have received, including industry certifications, online courses, conferences and more.
How to list education on a resume?
Writing the education section of a resume is actually straightforward. In the majority of cases, you simply need to highlight the school first. One thing to note is that only the higher institution that awarded that degree should be added when listing education on resume.
Specify what your field of study and degree are in the resume education section.
This can be done by either spelling out the full title such as “Master of Science” or using the initials “MS”. You should also list your majors or minors after your degree.
At no point should you forget the dates when listing education on resume. This means you should include the year in which you began the degree and the year of graduation.
💡 If you happen to earned your degree more than 5 years ago, it is suggested not to add the graduation date on the resume to avoid age discrimination. (in U.S.)
When it comes to the date format, it doesn’t have to be specific to the day. You simply need to write down the year & month of the start and end date. Another thing to note when writing your major/minor is that you need to be consistent with the chosen date format. If you write the month and year for one program, you have to do the same for others.
Resume Education Format
How to format education on a resume? You can utilize the resume education format below to effectively list your academic qualifications. Bear in mind that except for the essential education details, you should only add information that relates to the role you are applying for.
The School ． The City, Country ． Duration of Study
The Degree, The Major
- GPA (Grade Point Average)
- Relevant coursework or student activities
- Academic honors & awards
- Extracurricular activities
- Thesis topic & outcome
When it comes to the ideal order of listing education on a resume, you should follow the instructions:
- Begin with the highest educational attainment.
- Use reverse chronological order (the most recent ➡ the oldest).
- Omit the high school education on a resume if you've had a college degree.
💡 Being a graduate in your field has the ability to boost your credibility as a prospective employee. This is why it should be placed above your undergraduate degree!
Where to put education on a resume?
It can be quite confusing to know if you need to put your education at the top or the bottom of a resume.
For freshers (fresh graduates)
If you have just graduated from university and you are entering the job market for the first time, your education is likely to be the peak of your resume. It is recommended to list the education section of your resume above your work experience section.
💡 For freshers, it is suggested to put the education section ABOVE the work experience section on a resume.
If you are still in university or recently graduated, you are more likely to have additional credentials related to the job you are applying for as a student, rather than as a professional. You might also be concerned that your past job titles (such as part-time jobs) could cause hiring managers to overlook the achievements and qualities listed below, even if those are essential to the role you intend to work in.
This is why it is important to first list your education before your experience. You should see it as the very first step to convince prospective employers that you have the required qualifications as a fresher.
For experienced job seekers
If you are an experienced job seeker or a general job seeker (with more than 2 years of relevant work experience), it is always best to add the resume education section at the bottom, typically below the skill and work experience sections.
💡 For experienced job seekers, it is suggested to put the education section BELOW the work experience & skills sections on a resume.
While it might be tempting to include a whole lot more about your education in the resume, you should keep the educational background & details short and concise. By design, resumes intend to tell a lot using a limited amount of information. This is especially true when it comes to the education section on the resume of an experienced job seeker.
Employers usually pay less attention to your college coursework and GPA if you've already had working experience as a profession. Typically, the school’s name and the degree program are sufficiently enough to highlight the significance of your education to the hiring managers.
Here are a few examples:
- Yale University (New Haven, US)．2010 - 2012
MA in International Relations
- Yale University (New Haven, US)．2006 - 2010
BA in Economics
🎓 MA in International Law (Australian National University, AU) - 2008 ~ 2010
🎓 BA in International Relations (University of Georgia, US) - 2004 ~ 2008
How to write education on a resume?
(high school, current, and incomplete education)
For most people, writing the education section of a resume happens to be the easiest endeavor. You simply need to write the institution you graduated from, the graduation date, and of course, the degree and it is done.
However, for some applicants, it is not as simple.
For example, how do you write the resume education section if you happened to switch schools a couple of times before finishing the degree? How do you write the education section if you are still continuing your study? What if you were unable to finish a program?
High School Education on Resume
How to list high school education on a resume? If a high school diploma is the highest education level you have attained, it should be listed as the following:
Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology (VA, U.S.)
2016 - 2020
- GPA: 3.9/4.3
- Honors & awards:
- 2018 Academic All American
- National Honor Society Scholarship
- Outstanding Service Project Awards
- Extracurricular activities:
- Volleyball Team Captain
- Experiment in International Living (Africa and Latin America)
However, if you happen to still be in school, you simply need to change the second line alone:
GEAR Innovative School．Bangalore, IN (Expected to graduate in 2022)
- GPA: 4.0/4.3
- Honors & awards:
- Global Leader of Education Award
- India School Merit Award
- Extracurricular activities:
- Cricket Team Captain
- Vice President of Student Council
Current Education on Resume
If you are still studying you simply need to add “in progress” next to the particular course, or include the "expected year of graduation".
🎓 B.S. in Engineering (in progress)｜Massachusetts Institute of Technology
🎓 High school (2015 - 2019)｜Massachusetts Academy of Math & Science
Incomplete education on resume
If your degree is unfinished, you should not be ashamed of this fact.
Not adding the education to your resume could be a waste of the working capital you can present in front of a hiring manager. To list an unfinished education on a resume, you should list your institution’s name, in addition to the start and end dates to show that you are clearly not enrolled.
The next step would be to write the number of credits you have earned towards that program, or the knowledge you've learned. Your high school information should also be added underneath it if you have no other educational credential.
🎓 Indian Institute of Technology Delhi
2018 - 2020: Completed 30 credits towards B.S. in Engineering
🎓 The Shri Ram School, Delhi
2015 - 2018｜GPA: 10
8+ Education Resume Examples
B.A. in English Language (Minor in Teaching) 2016 - 2019
University of Lyon (Lyon, France)｜GPA: 3.84
- Extracurricular activities - Exchange Program in Copenhagen, Denmark
- Relevant coursework - Contemporary Literature and Culture
- Award & honor: Magna Cum Laude
B.A. in Business Administration｜University of Georgia (2014 - 2018)
Minor in Finance
- Treasurer at Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB)
- 2016 Cum Laude winner
🎓 UCLA (Los Angeles, CA)｜2010 - 2015
- Master degree
- Major: Linguistics
- Minor: English Literature
- GPA: 4.0
- Extra-curriculum: President of Modern Literature Club
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering｜Johns Hopkins University｜2015
- Systems Physiology
- Biomedical Systems Analysis
- Quantitative Experimentation and Design
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering (Expected to graduate in 2021)
Stanford University (Stanford, California)
Awards & Honors:
- Dean’s List All semesters
- SGF Fellowships 2015
- Magic Grants 2014
B.A. in International Relations｜NYU (NY, U.S.)
2005 - 2010
B.A. in Sociology｜Minor in Early Child Development
University of Groningen (Netherlands)．2016
🎓 Georgia State University (Georgia, U.S.)｜2012 - 2016
- Degree: Bachelor
- Major: Journalism
- Minor: English Literature
- Awards: Summa Cum Laude
- Relevant coursework:
- Fundamentals of Journalism
- Internet & New Media
- Editing Techniques
- Ethical Journalism
- Global Journalism
If there happens to be quite a lot of information that you have to include in your education section of the resume, you should definitely consider segmenting that section using subsections. The larger section should contain your degrees and schools, while other sections can contain other pertinent information such as Certifications, Professional Development, Honors & Awards.
No matter what you put on your resume, it is important that you are completely honest at all times. Not only does lying paint a negative picture of you, but it can also be quite easy for a prospective employer to confirm if the education information you have provided in your resume is true. Your transcript can easily be checked, so if your GPA is not the best, it is better to completely omit it, rather than randomly fudge the numbers. Always be honest.