Best Way to List Education on a Resume (with Examples)

how to list education on resume

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Best Way to List Education on a Resume: Knowing how to put education on a resume is an essential part of writing your resume. Though it may seem simple enough, where you put your resume education section on the page and what you include in it can make a big difference to employers.

In this article, we’ll help clear up any confusion by walking you through each step of listing education on your resume and providing solid examples you can follow.

Decide where to put education on your resume

The first step in writing your resume education section is deciding where on your resume it should go.

How prominently you should display your education depends upon how relevant it is to the job you’re applying for.

If you’re a recent college graduate, are currently pursuing a degree, or lack relevant professional experience but have a degree related to the job you want, then your education should be featured toward the top of your resume.

Best Way to List Education on a Resume

Here’s an example of a resume with the education section featured near the top:

An example of where to list education on a resume.

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If you have more than a couple of years of relevant work experience, employers will be more interested in this than in your education history. In this situation, you should list your education below your work experience section.

Here’s an example of a resume with the education section featured below the professional experience section:

An example of where to list the education section on a resume.

Download This Free Template

Best Way to List Education on a Resume

Choose what education information to include on your resume

After deciding where your education section should go on your resume, you need to decide which details are best to include about your educational background.

There are a few standard details you should always include in your resume education section. These are your:

  • institution name and location
  • degree name/major (and minor, if applicable)
  • graduation date (or anticipated graduation date)

Beyond this basic information, there are numerous additional details you can choose to include if you want to highlight some of your relevant academic achievements.

Some additional details to consider listing in your education section are your:

  • GPA (if above 3.5): Including a high GPA on your resume demonstrates that you’re capable of producing high-quality work and managing your time well.
  • Honors and academic awards: Listing that you graduated with honors (with distinction, cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) or awards (such as making the Dean’s list) shows employers that you’re responsible and diligent.
  • Scholarships and grants: Including merit-based scholarships and grants indicates to hiring managers that you’re driven and worth investing in.
  • Thesis: A completed thesis is definitely an accomplishment worth showing off, particularly if the subject matter is relevant to the industry you’re applying to work in. It can also be a good way to demonstrate solid research skills and perseverance.
  • Relevant coursework: Including information about relevant coursework you completed shows employers that you have foundational knowledge and skills to build upon.
  • Extracurricular activities: If you took part in clubs or sports that demonstrate relevant skills, include these extracurricular activities in your resume as well.

It’s important to use your judgment about what information is relevant to the job you’re applying for. For example, you should only list relevant coursework on your resume if the course topic is directly relevant to the job you’re applying to.

Best Way to List Education on a Resume

Additionally, only list your high school education on your resume if it’s your highest degree. If you have a Bachelor’s degree or higher, it’s best to leave your high school off your resume and focus on your most relevant qualifications.

Learn how to format education on your resume

There isn’t really a right or a wrong way to format your resume education section, as long as you list all necessary information clearly.

Here are a couple examples of how to list college on your resume:

May 2017
New York University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, Communications

New York University, New York, NY
B.A., Communications, May 2017

If you want to list a double major on your resume, make sure the most relevant major comes first.

Best Way to List Education on a Resume

Now, here’s an example of how to format your education section with additional information:

May 2017
New York University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, Communications
Honors: Cum laude (GPA: 3.8/4.0)
Dean’s List for 4 semesters

Thesis: Teenagers, Texting, and Interpersonal Relationships
Relevant Coursework: Language and Identity, Media and Values, Mass Media Law
Active member of the Wagner Student Association and the NYU Arts and Culture Network

Resume education section examples

Listing education on your resume is generally pretty simple. However, there are some situations that require specific formatting or information.

If you’re still unsure how to put your education on your resume, here are some examples demonstrating the proper way to list different types of education:

How to list current education on your resume

Listing education that you’re currently pursuing on your resume isn’t all that different from listing a completed degree, although you may not be able to include as much detail.

There are a few options for how to list current education on an undergraduate resume. Instead of listing a graduation date, write your expected or anticipated graduation date, years of attendance, or simply “in progress”.

Here are some examples:

Current education on a resume example

New York University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, Communications
Expected graduation date: May 2023

New York University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, Communications
2019 – Present

How to list high school education on your resume

If you’re a high school student or don’t have a higher education degree, you should list your high school education on your resume.

Here’s an example of how to list your diploma:

High school diploma on a resume example

High school Diploma, 2019
Abraham Lincoln High School
New York, NY
(GPA: 3.8/4.0)

If you’re still attending high school, leave out a graduation date and instead write [start date] – present.

If you received a General Education Development certificate outside of high school, list the GED on your resume, the institution where it was attained, and the year you attained it.

How to list incomplete education on your resume

If you started college but didn’t finish, you should still list your unfinished degree on your resume. Instead of listing a graduation date, list the years you attended.

If you completed relevant coursework, you can list the courses or number of credits that went towards a specific degree.

Here are a couple of examples:

Incomplete education on resume example

New York University, New York, NY
2017 – 2019, GPA: 3.7/4.0

Relevant Coursework: Language and Identity, Media and Values, Mass Media Law

New York University, New York, NY
2017-2019, GPA: 3.7/4.0
Completed 80 credits towards a B.A. Communications degree

How to list continuing education on your resume

If you’ve taken courses or workshops to pursue professional growth, these are a great addition to a resume. Listing continuing education on your resume demonstrates to employers that you have relevant skills as well as being passionate, driven, and self-motivated.

If you only have one or two courses to list, include them in your resume’s education section. If you have several, however, it may be worth creating a dedicated “professional development” section.

Here’s an example of how to list a continuing education course in your education section:

Continuing education on resume example

Professional Certificate
Facebook Social Media Marketing
Facebook via Coursera, 2021

New York University, New York, NY
Bachelor of Arts, Communications
Expected graduation date: May 2023

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