How to write a great resume education section, with examples
First, thoughtfully and honestly consider your educational background.
Prepare your content:
- List the school(s) you attended, their locations, and the years you attended.
- Write down your degree(s) and the area of concentration.
- If you don’t have a degree, write where and when you got your diploma.
- If you are a student working toward a degree, then write down your major, the school you attend, and any coursework that matches the job to which you are applying.
- On-the-job training counts! Note any training you had, where, and when.
- List any certifications you have, where and when you got them, especially if necessary for the job.
- If you don’t have any formal education, certifications, or on-the-job training, then think of relevant classes you have taken, where and when you took them.
Then review the job description:
- Does the job require a college degree?
- Does the job description say equivalent experience is appropriate if you do not have the required degree?
- Do you need specific certifications?
Match your answers as best you can to the job’s education requirements and highlight special achievements if they make sense for the job. It’s critical to be honest about your education. Most employers run background checks, and discrepancies will cost you the job.
Use the examples below as guides.
If you’re a recent graduate
If you graduated from high school, technical school, or college within the last three years, then place your education section above your work experience section, like so:
- The name of your school
- Years attended
- Location of your school
- The degree you obtained (if applicable)
- Your field of study
- Your GPA, if it is above a 3.4
- Relevant honors and achievements, coursework, and activities
LA Vocational Institute, January 2018 – May 2020
Los Angeles, CA
Medical Assistant Certificate
Outstanding Student Award, 2019
If you attended more than one school and transferred from one to the other, display the school you graduated from. If you graduated from multiple schools, then show the more prominent or relevant one.
If you graduated more than three years ago
If you’ve been working for several years, then employers will be more interested in your work experience than your education. Place your education below your experience. It’s acceptable to remove details like dates attended and GPA but keep relevant honors or notable achievements. If you have advanced degrees, then list them from highest rank down, in reverse-chronological order. List certifications and other coursework under separate headings.
Moore College of Art and Design
Master’s of Art in Education (MA)
Professional Development Fellowship Award
Union League Civic and Arts Foundation Award
Bachelor of Visual Arts (BFA)
Ralph DuCasse Studio Art Award
Pennsylvania Teacher Certification, Art Education K-12, October 2017
Professional Development Courses and Workshops
Artful Thinking in the Museum and Classroom, Philadelphia Museum of Art June 2018
Mixed Media Techniques, Visual Arts Education Summer Institute, July 2018
Don’t add your high school if you graduated from a college, technical or vocational school.
If you are attending school
It’s perfectly OK to list in-progress studies on your resume. Include work you’ve completed, the degree you’re working toward, and when you expect to graduate.
Place your education section above your work history.
Miles Community College
Miles City, MT
Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Small Business Management (in progress)
Diploma expected May 2023
Relevant Coursework Completed:
- Business Law
- Interpersonal Communication
If you did not complete your education
If you have some formal education but did not receive a degree, don’t worry; your education counts! List the name of the school and relevant coursework. Certifications, awards, training and professional development courses or workshops will add weight to this section.
University of Wisconsin-Madison May – August 2011
Completed coursework: Elements of Data Science, Essentials of Analytics, Statistics, Basics of Coding
New York University, September 2013 – May, 2014
Completed 28 credits in Social Sciences
Here’s What People Are Saying About Us
Certificates and training
If you are looking for work in a hands-on industry such as restaurant, construction, maintenance, beauty, or public servant, use your education section to display your job-related certificates, licenses, and on-the-job training.
Boise Technical College
Licensed Journeyman Electrician, June 2010
IBEW Apprenticeship Program
Electrician’s Apprentice, August 2007
- Certified Electrical Safety Technician
- SGS Electrical Installations Certification
- NTT Electrical Codes and Standards Certification
Resume education section do’s and don’ts
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