resume tips (part 7): education section.

  • resumes
  • March 31, 2017

How you list education on your resume is critical. This is particularly true at the beginning of your career (as you grow and acquire more experience, naturally, education becomes less important than what you've actually done in your field). Given that importance, questions abound. How should you format this vital section? Is it separate from, say, training and certification? Do you list education in progress on a resume? And most basically, you've probably asked yourself: "Should I include education on my resume?"

There are several smart ways to treat the education section on your resume, and we'll break them down for you here.

where to include your education section

person with experienceif you have five or more years of experience in your industry, you should put your education after your work experience. otherwise, put it before.

  • If you're changing careers — and your previous experience does not correlate to the position for which you are applying — you can list your education before your experience. This is an especially wise move if you're currently taking classes or training relevant to your new career.
  • If you're in scientific or academic fields, or have a doctorate or other advanced degree that's relevant to your career, consider putting your educational background before your professional experience.

how to format the education section of your resume

  1. Title this section "Education".
  2. Start with your highest degree earned and list school name, location, date completed (or expected graduation date) and degree.
  3. It's a good idea to mention any awards, recognitions and honors, as well as your GPA if it's above 3.0 (unless your school does not follow a traditional four-point scale).
  4. List your highest level of educational attainment, whether that’s college, high school or GED information.

college degree it's perfectly fine to include college on your resume if you didn't graduate — just omit the degree.

education section examples.

University of Your State, Anytown, GA, May 1999
Major: Accounting, Minor: Management
Alpha Delta Gamma Honor Society, Dean's List, GPA: 3.8
University of Your State, Anytown, GA, May 2019 (expected) Major: Accounting

training and certifications

  • Include this information underneath your education, unless your degree is not relevant to the position for which you are applying.
  • Title this section "Professional Development" or "Certifications and Training."
  • List all relevant training or certification together with where it took place and when.

training and certification examples.

  • Certified Public Accountant, June 2020
  • Excel Masterclass, XYZ Accounting, June 2019
  • Ecommerce Solutions Training, XYZ Accounting, March 2018

No resume is complete without educational information — and hopefully, armed with the insights from this article, you should feel confident about what to include, how to format it and more. For still more granular insights into the resume-building process, head on to the next article in this series: step 8: additional information.