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An Education on Education Print
Written by Abby Kohut   

Many candidates struggle with the order in which to place certain important items on their resume. Today I will provide you with an absolute education on Education.

If you graduated school more than five years ago, list your educational credentials below your experiences. Work accomplishment becomes more valuable to a potential employer than education as your career grows. There are three exceptions:
  1. If you recently received a new degree such as an MBA you may want to list it near the top of your resume to highlight your accomplishments.
  2. If you are changing careers and the position you are targeting is more relevant to your degree than it is to your work experience. In this case, you may want to put your degree near the top. For example, if you graduated in Accounting, took a customer service position just to get your foot in the door and are now applying for accounting positions, put your education near the top to highlight your credentials.
  3. If you have a PhD or a technical degree that you believe will enable you to command a higher salary or title, you may want to put your education before your experience.

As much as you may have been proud of your GPA when you graduated, once you are out of school for five or more years it is much less relevant to many companies. You absolutely should not list your GPA if it was below 3.0. Given that a 4.0 is a recognized accomplishment, that is one number than can be listed forever.
Always list any honors you received with your degree such as Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude, or Dean's List. You should be proud of the work that you put in to achieve these distinctions and should display them accordingly.

Once you have enough work experience there is no need to list the specific coursework related to your degree. Early in your career your courses can help employers understand the details of your knowledge when they are trying to place you into an entry-level position.

If you have taken other training classes or have received certifications in your field, these should absolutely be listed on your resume. Be careful to spell them correctly as employers will do searches on these keywords.

If you did not graduate college, PLEASE, please, please, do not lie about it on your resume. Time and time again I have seen candidates who claim to have graduated be rejected for a job once their background check unveils this lie to the HR department. If you completed some college coursework, you may list it as "Completed 125 credits towards a BA in Manager of Information Systems at California State University, Chico." Own up to the reasons why you did not start or finish high school or college – there is typically a good reason behind it and while not every employer understands them, the one who decides to hire you will.

Absolutely Abby’s Advice:
Your education is one of your achievements. All of those tests you took, those papers you wrote, and those computer programs you tackled put you on the path of progress. Be proud of these accomplishments but also learn to explain why you may have fallen short in certain cases. Keep learning as your career grows and you will find yourself again and again at the head of the class!
  • Tired of all the rejection? If you're interested in learning the Absolute truth about why you're struggling, sign up for a one hour "Capture a Recruiter" phone session today. Reach out to me today with any questions and for an absolutely amazing discount coupon!

Drawn from my 18 years of experience and research in recruiting and Human Resources, my blog posts are intended to provide insight into what corporate recruiters and Human Resource professionals look for when they are evaluating your qualifications. Simply reading these blogs will not guarantee you success. However, consistently applying the strategies mentioned, as well as developing your own personal interview style, will greatly enhance your chances of victory amidst the competition. I wish you the best of luck with your search as you begin to take charge of your career!