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How to Write an Education Summary?

1. What is an education summary?

Simply put, an education summary is the section on resume where you list your degrees and relevant academic accomplishments.

It’s true that depending on the job, employers don’t care about your education nearly as much as for your professional accomplishments nowadays. However, having a degree still carries significant weight and you should always put education on your resume.

2. Where should I place my education summary?

Every great resume should be structured as if to provide the most relevant information first. The importance, role, and the position of the education summary on your resume varies depending on where you are in life:

  • Student or fresh graduate: Your degree is probably one of the strongest cards you can play. In such case, you should put your education section just below your resume summary. You should also fill it with as much relevant information as you can.
  • Seasoned professional: Your education is going to be much less relevant than your previous job positions. The more extensive your experience the shorter your education section will be. Put your education summary closer to the bottom of the page, just below your employment history.

If you’re a fresh graduate, check out our complete guide to writing a great college student resume.

3. How do I write my education summary?

In the end, listing your education on a resume is no rocket science. In theory, all you have to do is to list the accomplishments that are relevant for a given position. Still, there are a few tips you should follow if you don ’ t want your education section look like a complete mess:

  • The rule of relevancy. This applies to every other part of your resume: Always highlight the most relevant qualifications a position first. When in doubt, list them chronologically from the most recent to the least recent one.
  • Dates are optional. If you don’t want to disclose your age, you should know that you don’t really have to include any dates in your education section. Still, keep in mind that recruiters might sometimes view it with suspicion.
  • Coursework, theses, and awards. Since your resume should always be tailored to each job application, only list the accomplishments relevant for a given position.
  • Societies. If you were on the committee of a student society, this is the place where you can finally brag about it (a little). Activities like these showcase your soft skills and proactive personality.
  • GPA. Only list your GPA if it’s higher than 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. If your overall GPA is lower than that, mention your major GPA.
  • Degree type. You can either spell it out in full (for example, Master of Arts) or use just an abbreviation like MA, BSc, PhD. If you’re yet to graduate, include your graduation date.

RESUME EXAMPLE: Education Summary

University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Scotland
BA in Business and Marketing, Expected Graduation June 2017

  • Academic accomplishments: GPA 3.8 / 4.0, Dean’s list, Received 2nd place in the university’s business plan competition
  • Relevant coursework: Marketing Management, Survey Research, Strategic Internet Marketing, Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing Analytics

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