How Do I List Education On A Resume?

Posted in Career Blog

There is a place and a manner for which you should always list your educational experience on a resume. Depending on what you have to offer in this regard, as well as what other career experience you have will determine how and where you should place these qualifications.

Though there are a number of formats that you can use for a resume, most all resume formats that are standard to the career world, will have the applicant list their educational experience first. When we say first, we mean the first piece of qualification information. So, prior to this, you would list your name and contact information, an objective if you choose to use one, and then would come the educational experience.

In some cases, however, you will see many applicants list their career history information first (the details of past positions), and you may wonder what the different is. The general rule of thumb is that you should list the type of experience (education or career history) that carries the most weight as solid experience first.

Education First

The kind of candidate that would probably insert education first in their qualification section of the resume would likely be a recent graduate or someone with minimal in the field experience-such as someone offering an entry level of career experience. Especially in the case of someone with minimal “real world” experience, the applicant should offer as much detail on their education as possible-as this is the bulk of what they have to offer an employer. What does this mean? List not only dates of enrollment and graduation, school name, degree obtained, and major studied; but also, list achievements you may have had in school, such as dean’s list, honor roll, and a GPA over 3.0. Moreover, include any relevant coursework or course titles that may apply, as well as minor fields of study to your education section. If you have activities or extracurricular events to add, make sure to apply these to a special “activities and achievements” section listed after your career experience section.

Education Second

On the other hand, if you have solid career experience with even just a couple of positions in your chosen field of study, you should list your education second on your resume-as it is a backdrop for your most valuable asset-your in-field career experience. This said, list all applicable ionformation i.e. name of school, location, degrees and/or accreditations achieved, and relevant coursework-but make sure to only include the most potent of information-as this aspect of your qualifications is secondary. Moreover, the general rule of thumb when listing your education on your resume is to only list high school information when there is no higher education to report; otherwise omit it, and then list educational experience from most recent. Here is a look at what your educational section should look like on your resume:


1999-2003   Stanford University; Stanford, CA

Bachelors of Art; English Major

Magna cum Laude; GPA 3.2

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