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What Should I Say About My Education On My Resume?

Should you make the education section of your resume short and sweet or truly robust? We have the answers. [TWEET]

Your education section is one of the shortest sections on your resume. This is going to be the case even if you're a recent graduate. However, you can probably put more than just the name of your school, the year you graduated, and the degree you earned. There are a number of other details you might opt to include, but only if they are useful to you or apply to your situation. One of the most basic additions would be your concentration, if you had one. Some majors don't offer concentrations, while others do. Even if your school only let you formally choose one, if you earned multiple concentrations in terms of coursework, you can put down several.

Another basic addition is certifications. Once again, this only applies if you actually have any. Some people never get professional certifications. Others get them in lieu of a degree by attending vocational school. Still other people have a degree under their belt as well as professional certifications. These are usually applicable to people who are experts in technology or in very specialized disciplines.

One common question about the education section of the resume is whether or not you ought to include your GPA. It's recommended firstly that you consider time as a factor. If you earned your degree twenty years ago, it's expected that you've done plenty in the meantime to demonstrate your relevance in the workplace and that your GPA is pretty much a defunct measure of your abilities. If you earned your degree recently, however, including your GPA can be a great move, but only if it is 3.0 or higher. You also can put down your major specific GPA if that was higher than you overall GPA (you'll have to calculate it yourself). A lot of employers don't actually care about your GPA, though there are some who will only consider you if you exceeded a certain level.

What else can you put in your education section to enhance the value of your resume? If you were in an honors society, you can list your membership. If you were part of a fraternity or sorority, it's a tossup. While you might think this is a good inclusion because it demonstrates you were participating in service-related activities or so on, Greek rivalries can extend way past college years, and you wouldn't want to accidentally tip off your hiring manager that you belonged to a rival group.

There are other miscellaneous items to consider including in this section. If you completed an important project that demonstrates skills and abilities, you probably should mention your project and the role you played in it. Class projects can be very intensive and in some cases may make noteworthy contributions to your field of study or to the community. Many recent graduates overlook the value that these projects can add to their resumes. Don't worry too much if your education section is very brief; most education sections are, and that's good because it gives you more room for your other sections. You want to keep your resume down to 2-3 pages or less, so you need to be conservative with your use of space anyway.

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!