How to Best Present a Partially Completed College Degree?

Posted in Career Blog

When it comes to addressing the education section of your resume, it may seem as if this is the one section that is easy because it is as straightforward as possible: list your institutions of education, the degrees achieved, and the dates of start/completion. While this may be the case for many candidates; there are still others who have either yet to complete their college education or never completed their course or degree for accreditation. What do these candidates put down on their resume to make it look more positive, and at least get the opportunity for a possible interview?
There are a whole host of reasons perhaps that you do not have a full degree or accreditation to mark down on your resume, when it comes to the education section of your resume. For whatever reason that it is-whether you are still in school, dropped out, or got kicked out-it all looks the same to a potential employer-negative, unless you know how to present this information in a light that is more favorable. Here are some helpful tips:

1.Use Your Cover Letter: The first tip in making the resume education section look less ominous is to explain why you have not finished the course or degree that you began. This will take some doing in some cases to make a negative turn of events look more positive; but it is possible. If, for example, you had a baby, say so; but also, that you were planning on going back at some point. If you dropped out, be up front, but be sure to mention what you have learned from this time of youth, and that you wanted to complete this education at some point-something along these lines.

2.Use Years: Though you should always be prepared with more details were an interview or inquiry warrants it from an employer, it is perfectly acceptable to omit the month of beginning and finishing-to steer attention from the fact that you did not finish.

3.Talk in Credits: Also, instead of saying that you did not graduate; structure the section on your resume for education in the matter of credits. So, for example, you can list that you gained so many credits between year a and b towards a specific kind of degree. If you had minimal credits, it can make your decision more viable-depending on what that was; and if your credits were considerable, it shows that you made it through most of the education that they might be expecting-both of these more positive than “didn’t graduate”.

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