What's the best way to include your education on your resume? In the education section of your resume, list the schools you attended, the degrees you attained, your GPA if you're a student or a recent graduate, and any special awards and honors you earned.
You should tailor the education section of your resume to fit your circumstances, including whether or not you're still a student, and the nature of any academic achievements you've accrued. By including the right information, you can impress your employer and secure an interview.
What to Include in the Education Section of Your Resume
Here's an overview of what to include when you're adding education to your resume.
School and degree. The essential information to include in the education section are your degree(s) and the schools you attended.
Major and minor. You can also give more specific information, including your major and minor, as well as the year you graduated, although the latter is not required.
Your GPA. Include your grade-point average (GPA) if you're currently a student or are 1-2 years out of school and your GPA is strong (about 3.0-3.5 or higher, depending on your major). You may also want to consider including your in-major GPA if it's higher than your overall GPA.
Honors and awards. Include any honors or awards you have received in school. These can range from Latin honors (such as cum laude or magna cum laude) to dean’s list and other awards.
You can also include extracurricular clubs, charitable groups, or Greek organizations where you were active and/or held a leadership role.
Certifications, continuing education, and professional development. Include any professional development courses and certifications. You can list any licenses you have unless you have a separate section of your resume where you include this information.
Where to Put the Education Section of Your Resume
Current students, recent college graduates, or career changers may want to put the education section towards the top of their resume. This is because students typically have limited work experience and want to highlight academic success.
If you have been out of school for at least a couple of years, you can move this section to the bottom of your resume. By this time, you have enough work experience to highlight that you don’t need to rely on your education.
Tips for the Education Section of Your Resume
Consider subsections. If you have a lot of information to include in the education section of your resume, consider breaking this section into subsections. The main section might include your schools and degrees, and then you can have other sections such as “Awards and Honors,” “Certifications,” and “Professional Development.” If you held a leadership role in a school-affiliated organization (such as a club, sport, or Greek organization), you could list that below the "Awards and Honors" line.
Provide specifics (if useful). If the sub-college of your university is well known and relevant (e.g., say you graduated from the hospitality school of your university and are applying for a job in hospitality), you can include that before you include your university name. For example, you could write, “School of Hospitality, XYZ College.”
When you can leave out your GPA. If you're a student or recent graduate and your GPA wasn’t great, but you have other accolades, you can leave the GPA out and put something else, like “XYZ Award Recipient” unless the employer requires a minimum GPA. Once you've been out of school for few years, you can take your GPA out of your resume altogether.
You can leave out high school (after a while). Once you've been in college for a year or so (or once you're in some other sort of continuing education), you can leave your high school degree and GPA out of your resume. However, you should mention your high school diploma (or GED) if it is your highest degree.
When you can leave out your graduation date. You aren't required to list your graduation date on your resume—but if your degree was earned over 10 - 15 years ago or you're an older job seeker, it's a good idea to omit the date you graduated.
Tell the truth. It's very easy for an employer to confirm whether or not the education information in your resume is true or not. If they have requested a copy, they can simply check your transcript. If you're not happy with your GPA, leave it out, but don’t make it up. Be honest.
If you're a college student or graduate and unsure about what details to include in your resume, check with your career services office for guidance.
Resume Education Section Template
You can use the following template to help structure the education section of your resume. Keep in mind that you can change and remove any of this information to fit your own circumstances and the job for which you're applying.
Year of graduation
Degree, major, and minor
Awards and Honors
Include any academic achievements here, including Latin honors, honors within your major, and more.
Include any professional or educational certifications you've received.
Include any professional development experiences, including courses (both online and in person) and seminars. You might also mention here if you're a member of any relevant professional organizations. If you hold a position within the organization, mention that as well.
Education Section Examples
Resume Education Section Example #1
Bachelor of Arts in English, department honors
Resume Education Section Example #2
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
Awards and Honors
Summa cum laude
ABC Award for outstanding journalism major
Level 1 Strategic Communication Certification
Conference Coordinator, XYZ Journalism Association of America