If you have completed your Objective (which is optional, by the way) as outlined in our post “How to Write Your Resume Objective,” you are ready to start on your Education section.

One of the goals of your resume is to show employers what you have done with your time. This is certainly the case with your Education section. Whether you have only a high school diploma or a doctorate, you use this section of your resume to tell employers what, when, and where you studied, and all of your achievements during that time.

Information in your Education section will be arranged from the most recent to the least. Writing this section is easiest if you think of it in terms of the following list:

School Name

This should only be the full name of the school(s) at which you studied. You shouldn’t use the school’s initials, unless they are initials with which the employer would be familiar.

For example, unless you live in Northern Utah, the initials UVSC probably don’t mean much to you. USC, on the other hand, is well known and would be readily recognizable on a resume.

Degree/Certificate Earned

Right after your school name, tell them what degree you earned. High school diploma? Associate of Arts? Bachelor of Science? Nursing certificate? Whatever you earned in school, include it in your Education Section, like so:

“Citrus College, Associate of Arts”
“University of Northern Colorado, BA”
“Alabama State University, Bachelor of Science”
“Mountainland Applied Technology College, Electrician Certificate”

Major & Emphasis

Next, tell the employer what you studied in connection with your degree or certificate. This may be just your major or, if you think more detail is beneficial, your major and emphasis. These can formatted like this:

“University of Phoenix, BA, English, Technical Writing”
“ITT Technical College, Associate of Science, Computer Programming”
“University of Kansas, MBA, Marketing”

School Location

This will be the city and state of the school(s) which you attended, as seen below:

“University of Idaho, MA, Dance Theatre, Boise, ID”
“Capella University, Bachelor of Science, Accounting, Seattle, WA”

Of course, if you completed your degree or certificate online, you can leave out the location, as it doesn’t apply.

Dates Attended

The year you started and the year you finished will be sufficient to give employers an idea of your time in school. For example:

“University of Miami, BS, Exercise Science, Miami, FL 1997 – 2001”
“Kaplan University, AA, Construction Management 2008 – 2010”

Even if you took breaks in between semesters or terms, you need only provide the year you started and the year you ended. Anything more will just be distracting.

Relevant Courses

This is optional depending on how much room you have in your resume. If you don’t have a lot of work experience, but you want to show employers that you still have some skills, you can add a list of courses you took that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Here’s an example:

“University of Miami, BS, Exercise Science, Miami, FL 1997 – 2001
Courses taken include:

  • Advanced Yoga Technique
  • First Aid Instruction
  • Aquatic Technique”

Extracurricular Activities & Awards

Again, if you have extra space in your resume, you can include details on any clubs, humanitarian groups, athletic teams, or other organizations that you participated in outside of your courses. If you earned any honors or awards (or even a high GPA) during your degree program, you might include that here, like so:

“University of Idaho, MA, Dance Theatre, Boise, ID 2006 – 2010

  • Magna cum laude (GPA: 4.0)
  • President of Medieval Club
  • Red Cross Volunteer”

Ultimately, you want to end up with an Education section that displays your educational and extracurricular achievements. It will be important that this stands out, especially if you don’t have a lot of work experience to show off.

Once your Education section is complete, continue on to your Work Experience section with this helpful post.

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