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Should You Put High School on a Resume? (Diploma or Not)

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Are you scratching your head and wondering: should I put high school on a resume? Well, that depends a lot on your career.

Your resume is an ever-changing document that reflects your experience. The answer that works for you now might not be the right answer a couple of years from now. So let’s answer this question of the high school degree on a resume for every scenario out there, from now until the cows come home.

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.

Here’s more insight into where your high school education makes a difference:

Should You Include High School on a Resume?

If you are a high school student, college student, fresh graduate with no work experience, or if your high school diploma is your highest education, you should definitely add your high school education to your resume.

Listing your high school education helps overshadow your lack of work experience by focusing on your knowledge and interests.

When do you stop putting high school on a resume? Once you gain any other form of higher education, you should take your high school off your resume.

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

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

How to List High School Education on a Resume

If listing your high school on your resume is the best option for you, you need to know how to do it right.

Remember to include the name of the school, its location, and the year you graduated. This is what your high school education resume entry should look like:

Cactus High School, Glendale, AZ

Graduated in 2018

That’s it!

There’s no reason to mention your high school diploma since, unlike college, you cannot finish high school without receiving a diploma, so it comes as a given.

But what if you never graduated? 

That will look a little different:

Cactus High School, Glendale, AZ

Attended 2016-2018

Short and to the point.

Lying on your resume about having a high school diploma is never a good idea. Recruiters do background checks and will verify if what you listed in your education section is true.

Read more: How to Make Your Resume Education Section Stand Out

High School GPA on a Resume

If you’re adding your high school diploma, you should probably also add your GPA to your resume too, right?

Not necessarily. You should include your high school GPA on the resume if:

  • Your high school GPA was really impressive (above 3.5).
  • You shouldn’t include your high school GPA if:
  • Your high school GPA is lower than a 3.5.
  • You’re a college or university student long enough to potentially list that GPA.
  • You have a couple of years of work experience.

Here’s an example:


Cactus High School, Glendale, AZ

Graduated 2019

GPA 3.8


Read more: Where to Put a GPA on a Resume

Key Takeaway

Depending on where you are in your educational and career journey, adding your high school education to your resume might be a good idea.

Keep this in mind when thinking about adding your high school to your resume:

  • Include your high school education only if you’re still in school or it’s your highest level of finished education.
  • Don’t add your GPA unless it will knock the recruiter’s socks off.
  • List your high school education properly, depending on whether you graduated or not.

That’s all there is to it!

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.

Thanks for reading! Still have questions about how or when to add high school to your resume? Let us know down 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.

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Oliwia Wolkowicz
Oliwia is a writer and career expert with a solid background in consulting. At Zety, she writes dedicated, advice-driven guides to help readers create great resumes and cover letters to land the job of their dreams.

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