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A Quick Guide to Education Placement on Your Resume

Where should your education go on your resume? Here’s a quick guide to get you started. [TWEET]

As you piece together the information on your resume, you may start to wonder where that information needs to go. In terms of resume format, should you include your qualifications at the top of the document or is that better left for the end? Do you include your contact information on each page? There are many pieces to the puzzle, but the question I am asked most often is whether or not to list your education prior to your experience or after your work history.

The answer is this: it depends. While that may not be the answer you want to hear, it is the truthful response. Read below for several ‘rules’ and questions that we can apply to the education section that will guide you in its placement within your resume format.

First – have you graduated college within the last six months to one year?

If so, then it is appropriate to list your education prior to employment experiences. This is because you most likely have limited professional experience and your education is the core competency that you wish to highlight for an employer.

Secondly – have you graduated from a well-known college or university?

For example, if you graduated from Harvard or Princeton, this is information that should be highlighted in your resume. Depending upon the position and the employer, these types of universities will provide you with an additional advantage over other candidates.

Next – how many years of professional experience do you have in your desired field?

If the answer is one or more years, then the education section can go after the professional history in the resume format. In this case, focus on highlighting your skills, accomplishments and abilities at each position. For those who have many years of professional experience, education becomes less important as you move forward in your career.

Remember, there isn't one resume format that fits all job seekers. Be strategic when placing your information and showcase your strongest assets and experiences first. Recruiters and hiring managers have precious little time and you'll want to ensure the front-loading of pertinent information.

Need help with your resume? Our TopResume writers can help!

Photo credit: David Joyce/Flickr

Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!

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Write your resume like a pro.

TopResume's resume worksheet is just like the one our pros use. Download it now for free and start getting more interviews!