Writing a resume seems pretty straightforward – you just list all of your credentials, experience and education, and a prospective employer will see that you’re a great fit for the job, right? In reality, there is a bit of an art to deciding what to include on your resume and how to organize it. And the education section of your resume is no exception. Keep reading for tips on how to put together the type of clear, concise resume education section that employers like to see. And be sure to check out our Q and A at the end in which a CEO provides an employer’s perspective on crafting a resume education section.
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How to Organize Your Resume Education Section
University of California at Berkeley
Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology
- Recipient of Anthropology Honors
- President of campus anthropology club
George Fox University
Majored in Political Science
Adding High School
Resume Education Section Insights from an Employer
When evaluating a resume, what do you look for in an applicant’s education section?
Reviewing the education section of resume can at first present itself as obvious. The normal factors such as degree of education, area of study, etc. are all very important, but it’s more important to see that applicants have done their homework on the role they’re applying for and actually taken the time to add value to this section. Did they include applicable volunteer experience that’s relevant to some of the finer details for this position? Is there a course they took on their own accord that makes them even more qualified for this type of role? These are a few of the factors beyond the “traditional” education section that demonstrate the applicant is not riding on a possibly dated degree, but instead shows growth potential.
What do you wish applicants knew about writing their resume’s education section?
It’s vital for applicants to know that holding degrees is not always the most qualifying factor. When looking at the education section of a resume, it’s important to show how they’ve put their education to use in a real-life situation. Bring a sense of uniqueness to your voice in the education section, or break down which parts of the whole educational experience qualify you for this role in the cover letter. You may not immediately appear to have certain education qualifications. Rather than just submitting a ill-fitting resume impulsively or even dismissing it entirely, save the job listing and take the time to review what other qualifying factors may be acceptable.
What factors distinguish an excellent resume education section from a lackluster one?
It’s extremely important that each application is customized. Every piece from each section in the resume all the way to the cover letter should be written to fit the specific role the applicant is applying for. An excellent education section shows me the applicant has researched the business, maybe even networked in and discussed the role with someone from my company. I can see this when “nontraditional” pieces of education have been included throughout the resume. To me, this is valuable education that would have otherwise been missing if the applicant hadn’t invested time to research before applying. Lackluster education sections are those that follow a standard resume outline. There’s high school, technical school or college degrees listed, but nothing that notes they’ve gone the extra mile to show how their education and experience has made them the perfect fit for the job.