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7 ways to improve the education section of your resume

Updated: Sep 9

This is Part 2 of a series of posts on improving your resume. Let’s talk about education.

Your educational background is an important part of your resume. Some jobs may require a specific type of degree, and some employers may favor candidates who studied at certain institutions. Your degree, and your performance while obtaining that degree, signal to an employer that you are a qualified candidate.


Dos and Don'ts

  1. Confirm that your degrees and institutions are written clearly and correctly.

  2. If you are currently still studying or have graduated recently, your education section should be at the top of your resume.

  3. If you have graduated recently, you should include your score/GPA on your resume. If you have been out of school for several years, your work experience is more relevant than your college scores, so including a score/GPA is discouraged.

  4. If you have a Master's degree or higher, you should not include information about your 10th and 12th standards.

  5. If you participated in extracurricular activities in college - such as clubs or teams - list them in your education section instead of mentioning them separately.

  6. If you have multiple degrees, list the most advanced degrees and most recent degrees first. For example, a master's degree should appear above a bachelor’s degree, and a bachelor’s degree from 2020 should appear above your school information.

  7. Formatting is important, and using a tabular format for educational information is not recommended. Many employers use software to help them evaluate resumes, and that software often struggles to read information in tables.

Nivedita's resume


Let’s take a look at the education section of Nivedita’s resume. There's a lot we could help her improve.

Before

Our recommendations

  1. Write out her degrees and education institutions clearly and correctly.

  2. Remove the 'Marks/GPA' information from her resume. Nivedita completed her B. Com 12 years ago, and this information is less relevant than her recent work experience.

  3. Remove her 10th and 12th standard information. Those were over 15 years ago! If you are currently pursuing your Bachelor's degree, please continue to keep it.

  4. Add information about the extracurricular activities she participated in while in college. Including this information shows that Nivedita is self-motivated, pursues her own interests, and likely has experiences that other candidates lack.

  5. Place her bachelor’s degree below her more advanced, and more recent, degree.

  6. Reformat this section without using a table. This will improve her chances of getting through an applicant tracking system.

After

Here’s what the education section might look like if Nivedita took this advice.

Nivedita’s new education section looks great. Her information is presented clearly and correctly, and the formatting is much more consistent with the other sections of her resume. Nice job Nivedita!


Thanks for reading! Make sure to check our next post for tips on improving the work experience section of your resume.


View our previous posts in this series:

1 - Improve your resume: Contact information

2 - 7 ways to improve the education section of your resume

3 - 9 tips to improve the work experience section of your resume

4 - Should I add a summary or skills to my resume?

5 - Optional sections on your resume

6 - Finishing touches on a resume

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