Friday, March 26, 2010

Resumes: 5 Great Tips to Organize Your "Education" Section

Reprinted with permission from

The first thing to know about your Education section is that it probably goes FIRST on your resume (after your header of course). Why? Because it’s what you’ve done most recently, so it is most relevant to your potential employer. (There may be limited exceptions to this rule for recent graduates who have an extensive and relevant work history. If you think you are one of those people, ask an expert for advice.)

The following are five useful tricks for organizing your Education section – so you pack in lots of information without taking up half the space on your resume:

1. What should the basic format be?

a. List your educational institutions in reverse chronological order, just as you do with your employment history.

b. The most important part of each school section is the name of the school you attended. Put it in bold and/or Small Caps, followed by the city and state. Use the same format you use for your employers.

c. Next put the degree you received. If you are anticipating a degree, write “Candidate for B.A,” “B.S. expected,” or “M.A. anticipated.” Fill in the appropriate degree of course.

2. Do I need a separate line for my GPA and for each of my honors?

If you need to save space, there is no need to put your GPA and honors all on separate lines. You can combine these onto one line, and you can even put them on the same line as your major. How you combine things will depend on how much room you have on other lines. Here are some possibilities:

a. BA in Political Science, cum laude, 2006 (GPA: 3.41)

b. Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, concentration in Psychology, May 2005

Major GPA: 3.73; Cumulative GPA: 3.68

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