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How to List Education on a Resume [+ Examples]

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How to put education on a resume? Creating a proper education section of a resume can surely boost your chances of getting hired. And that’s more valuable than getting an A!

Read on and find out everything you need to know about listing education on your resume.

This article will tell you how to put your education on a resume in every case:

  • How to write education on a resume as a professional.
  • Where should education go on a resume and what to put in an education section. 
  • How to list high school education on a resume, even if you never graduated.
  • How to list education on a resume if you’re still in college, never graduated from college, or did graduate from college.

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

After reviewing 11 million resumes created with our builder, we’ve collected valuable insights from users spanning different industries and levels of experience. Here are the top takeaways to help you design a more effective resume:

Data-Backed Insights From Actual Resumes

  • 57.84% of resumes made with our builder are over 300 words, 28.23% are between 101 and 300 words, and 5.35% are under 100 words.
  • 3.59% of our users have no work experience, while 28.86% report having less than 3 years of experience.
  • Resumes typically list an average of 12.56 skills.
  • On average, resumes include 2.61 previous jobs.

Were you looking for resume examples for jobs in education? See:

1. Start with Essential Information on Your Educational Background

Let's start with the basics—what to include in your resume education section:

  • Your most recent degree (or education in progress)
  • The name of your school
  • Location of your school
  • Dates attended and graduation date (or expected graduation date)
  • Your GPA (only if it's above 3.5)
  • Your field of study and degree major
  • Any academic honors, relevant coursework, or making the dean's list
  • Relevant extracurricular activities, study abroad programs, and accolades

The information from the last two bullet points is an optional part of a resume education section, but more on that later.

The education section is just one part of a successful resume. Find out how to write a job-winning resume in our guide: How to Make a Resume in 2024

2. Select Relevant Info for Your Resume Education Section

For the most part, the education section of your resume is the easiest to write. Follow the tips below for a perfect resume education section.

If You're a Seasoned Professional

You can limit yourself to listing just the basic information about your highest level of education. There’s no need to delve too deeply into details like relevant coursework and so on.

43 million adult Americans have federal student loan debt. But what if you went to college and then realized that you didn’t want to join them and that $37,000 worth of the average student debt wasn’t for you? That doesn’t mean you can’t use what you completed.

You can still put unfinished college education on your resume. All you have to do is write in the credits you did manage to get. List your unfinished college education after high school education like this:

Education on a Resume: Example 

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

2005–2007 Completed 60 credits toward BA in Psychology

Cherryville High School, Cherryville, OH

Graduated in 2005

If you paid for it, it’s yours. If the coursework is relevant, you can put it on your resume.

If You're a College Graduate

Skip your high school education if you’re a college graduate. Listing education on a resume should not take long, as it’s usually the shortest resume section.

If you’ve got little to no work experience, including some extra details in your education section is a good idea:

If you’ve graduated from an honors program, graduated with the highest honors (magna cum laude or summa cum laude), or were the valedictorian or salutatorian of your class, put Latin honors on your resume next to your degree in your education section like in the example below:

Education on a Resume: Examples of Honors

Honors BS in Biology, Valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Graduated in 2012

Other honors and awards could include:

  • Any academic award or scholarship.
  • Academic honors besides being in an honors program, including making the Dean’s List or acceptance into honors societies (campus, national, or international).

You can make a separate Honors and Awards section if you feel that you have too many awards to list or want to draw special attention to them. The same goes for academic publications for Ph.D. students. You can either list your publications under your degree, or add a separate section if there are several you’d like to mention on your non-academic resume.

Also, if you have a degree in a different field, you can show that you took courses relevant to your professional field as well. For example, you’re applying for a job in marketing but have a degree in psychology. Did you take any business or communication classes? Those would be good to put in your coursework description.

Education on a Resume: Examples of Relevant Coursework

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The University of California, Berkeley, CA

September 2018–June 2022

  • Relevant Coursework: Business Communication, Social Psychology, English Language Studies, Grammar and Editing

You can also list extracurricular roles if you’ve graduated within the last three years and need to flesh out your resume. Just avoid adding anything controversial (political or religious).

Want to include a different kind of education on your resume? This guide will help you out: How to List Continuing Education on a Resume

If You're a Student

And what if your higher education is still in progress? Put it on your resume like this:

How to List Ongoing Education on a Resume (Example) 

BA in English Literature in Progress

Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

Here is a handy list of phrases you can use to describe degrees that are still in progress:

  • In progress
  • Anticipated + date
  • Expected + date
  • Expected Graduation + date
  • To be completed + date

Remember that the length of a student's resume should be short and not exceed one page. Adding sections (e.g., Hobbies and Interests) can be great if you're struggling to fill up space. But don’t add so much extra information to your resume that your resume spills over onto a second page.

A coursework description is another nice thing to add to a student's resume. Make sure that you choose courses that are relevant to the job for which you are applying.

Here is a list of skills employers like to see on student resumes:

If you participated in any activity that would highlight these skills (or took part in a study abroad program), you can add it to your education section, like in the following example: 

How to List Current Education on a Resume: Example 

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

The University of California, Berkeley, CA

Expected graduation in 2025

  • Relevant Coursework: Business Communication, Social Psychology, English Language Studies, Grammar and Editing
  • Extracurricular Activities: Captain of the Lacrosse Team

When considering what should you include on a student resume, stick to things that show off your skills and achievements. That can range from honors, awards, and extracurricular activities to any work you had during high school. You’ll want to tailor your resume to the job description. So, pick activities that will illustrate the keyword skills listed there. 

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Format Your Resume Education Section Properly

Now that you know what the education section of a resume must include, let’s talk about the formatting. Make sure that the way you format the entries in your education section remains consistent. It will make for a visually pleasing resume. Always put your highest degree first and add all other degrees in reverse chronological order.

You can format the education section of your resume like in the example below:

Education on a Resume Example

Education

2009 MA in English Literature

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

3.7 GPA

2007 BA in English Literature

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

4.0 GPA

However, you don’t have to use this exact resume education section format. Remember that:

  • You can either spell out your degree: “Master of Arts” or just use the initials “MA.”
  • You can either use periods to separate initials: “M.A.”, or not: “MA.”
  • You can write out the name of your major, “MA in Psychology,” or simply separate your degree from your major with a comma: “MA, Psychology.”
  • You can order the information in various ways.

For example, the candidate above graduated from Harvard. As a literature major, she may feel like her degree isn’t directly related to the job for which she’s applying. That can happen when you’re an English major.

In that case, she may want to lead with the fact that she attended Harvard:

Listing Education on a Resume (Sample) 

Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

MA in English Literature

Graduated in 2009 with a 3.7 GPA

For most of you, putting your education on your resume is that straightforward. If you want to add extra information, you can.

Pro Tip: Putting a GPA on a resume is optional. You should only add it if you graduated within the last three years and if it was above 3.50. Otherwise, lose it. Most hiring managers won’t care what your GPA is.

4. Consider the Best Spot for Education on a Resume

If you are a seasoned professional, put your professional work history section before your education. Hiring managers will find your work experience much more relevant at this point in your career.

Put your education above your work history if you're a student or recent graduate with little experience. If you have over a year of work experience, your education should come after your employment history. Don't forget about relevant coursework, honors, and making the dean's list.

In most cases, resumes open with the work experience section, as it's more relevant and important to recruiters. But there's nothing wrong with breaking this rule if your education is much more impressive than your experience.

Education goes above work experience, too, when you're writing an academic CV. For academic posts or fellowships, your education matters way more than your experience outside of academia.

Pro Tip: If you want to save time and find out how to write a great resume for your profession, take a look at our guides and examples of resumes here.

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

The thing to remember is that there are no hard and fast rules about how to add education to your resume:

  • You can put your education section before or after your work experience section.
  • You can add as much or as little information as you need.
  • For students, your education section can do the heavy lifting until you’ve gained enough professional experience.
  • Even if you didn’t finish a degree, the courses you did finish are yours to put on your resume.

Think of your education section as an opportunity to position yourself ahead of the rest.

Do you have any other questions about how to put your educational background on a resume? Let me know in the comments.

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

Sources

Frequently Asked Questions about the Resume Education Section

How to put education on a resume?

If you have a couple of years of relevant work experience, just list your highest level of schooling, including the field of study, the name of the school or college, and the graduation year. However, if you’re writing a resume with no work experience, it’s wise to include extra information that shows your key skills, such as:

Visit our blog to see resume education section examples—we have example resumes for every industry. If you’re ready to get an outstanding resume, head over to the Zety resume builder: just pick a professional resume template, fill it with your information, and be ready to apply for your dream job in minutes.

Where to list education on a resume?

If you’re an experienced candidate, place your education below your work experience resume section. If you have little to no experience, change your resume order and put education at the top of the page, below the resume objective. In the absence of professional achievements, your education is probably your strongest asset. For more information, see our guide: What Should a Successful Resume Look Like?

How do I list education on a resume if I'm still in college?

The good news is that you can list unfinished college education on a resume—it’s easy, too. Just list your degree as you normally would, remembering to add your expected graduation date and your high school education (name and location of your high school, plus graduation year). Make sure to update your resume once you’ve graduated from college! Check out our college student resume guide for more information and to see a great resume example for students.

How do you list a double major on a resume?

You can list your majors in the same entry in your education section, e.g. BSc in Economics & Mathematics, or BA, Double Major in Psychology and Sociology (followed by the name of your college and the graduation date). For more details and examples, see this article on listing minors, majors, and double majors on a resume.

Do you put high school education on a resume?

You only need to put your high school education on a resume if you never went to college or if you’re still in the process of getting your degree. If you have a Bachelor’s or a Master’s, however, there’s no need to mention high school.

Should you add GPA to your resume?

Mentioning your GPA on a resume is only a good idea if it is high enough to impress recruiters (so, 3.5 or higher on a 4-point scale) and if you have fewer than 5 years of professional work experience. If you’re an experienced candidate, however, your GPA is probably an unnecessary addition: recruiters will be much more interested in your recent professional achievements than your academic grades from several years ago.

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Danuta Detyna, CPRW
Danuta Detyna is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career advisor writer who specializes in everything related to crafting resumes and cover letters. She has extensive experience in the field and is dedicated to providing practical and effective advice to help you advance your career. Drawing on her legal background, she places great emphasis on thorough research and accuracy when creating career guidance articles. Her ultimate goal is to equip you with the knowledge and tools you need to achieve greater professional satisfaction.
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