How to List Your Education on a Resume in 2024 + Examples

Elevate your resume with our expert guide on listing your education, whether you’re a recent grad or a seasoned professional. Discover simple steps to showcase your academic achievements and make a lasting impression on employers. Start crafting a resume that stands out today and moves you closer to your dream job!

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Why Education Matters On a Resume

Your education is more than just a list of schools; it’s a reflection of your dedication, skills, and ability to meet goals. Employers view your educational background as a key indicator of your knowledge base, problem-solving abilities, and potential for growth.

Whether it’s a degree, certification, or relevant coursework, what you’ve learned sets the foundation for your career. This section of your resume can significantly influence your job prospects, especially if you’re entering fields that require specific educational qualifications or are highly competitive.

A resume is your professional story, tailored to convince employers you’re the right candidate for the job. Think of your resume as your personal marketing tool, designed to sell your strengths and unique offerings.

The education section, while varying in placement based on your experience level, is crucial in painting a complete picture of your capabilities and background.

When to Emphasize Your Education On Your Resume

The emphasis you place on your education depends largely on where you are in your career.

For recent graduates or those with limited work experience, education should be front and center, showcasing academic achievements, relevant projects, and courses that prepare you for the job market.

As you gain more professional experience, the education section might shift towards the end of your resume, with work accomplishments taking the lead.


How Your Level of Experience Affects Your Education Section

Your professional journey dictates how you present your educational background. New entrants into the workforce can use their education to fill in for the lack of extensive work history, highlighting transferable skills and academic successes.

Conversely, seasoned professionals should succinctly list their educational credentials, focusing more on demonstrating a proven track record of career achievements.

Remember, the goal is to tailor your resume to highlight the most relevant information that aligns with the job you’re applying for.

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How to List Education On a Resume

Listing your education on your resume requires essential bits of information so that employers can understand better what makes you an exceptionally qualified candidate.

Degrees and Certifications

Start with your highest degree or most recent certification and work backward. Include the degree type (e.g., Bachelor of Science), major, the name of the institution, and graduation date.

For certifications, list the certifying body and the date of certification. This straightforward approach ensures clarity and highlights your educational achievements.

Relevant Coursework, Honors, and Awards

If you’re new to the workforce or changing careers, detailing relevant coursework can showcase your knowledge and readiness for the role. Similarly, academic honors and awards signal excellence and commitment.

Keep this section concise, focusing on courses and recognitions directly applicable to the job.

Educational Institutions and Dates of Attendance

For each degree or certification, include the name of the educational institution and your dates of attendance or graduation.

This information provides employers with a timeline of your educational journey and helps verify your credentials.

Reverse Chronological Order

List your educational achievements in reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent.

This format aligns with how recruiters typically review resumes, allowing them to understand your latest and most relevant educational experiences quickly.

Layout and Design Tips

          • Consistency: Use the same font and styling as the rest of your resume to maintain a professional and cohesive look.
          • Brevity: Be succinct. Include only the most pertinent details to keep the section concise and impactful.
          • Spacing: Adequate spacing between entries makes your resume easier to read. Consider bullet points for listing courses, honors, and awards to improve readability.
          • Highlighting: Bold or italicize important details like degree names and institutions to draw attention to them.

By adhering to these guidelines, you’ll create an education section that’s both informative and accessible, making it easy for employers to assess your qualifications at a glance.

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This simple layout features a traditional font and the clever use of section borders to help each section of your resume stand out


This distinctive two-column resume template identifies your name and professional experience in a bold color and clean presentation.


A clever design that breaks each of your professional accomplishments into distinct sections while following a format that will pass applicant tracking systems.


The elegant initials, simple header and strategic use of bullet points in this template help keep your professional accomplishments well-organized.


The bold use of a colorblocked heading paired with an elegant resume layout helps your name and contact information stand out.


This structured design combines a two-column approach with bullet points to highlight your key accomplishments and professional history.


A traditional template uses a crisp combination of dark text and thin borders to radiate professionalism. Your name sits prominently above your professional history.


This template’s design features plenty of whitespace neatly divided by gray bars to make the information on your resume easy to read for employers.


This two-column resume conveys a very clear breakdown of its sections that allows a hiring manager to quickly scan your resume.


The subtle color accents in this template add visual pizzazz in a classy way, a great option for most traditional industries.


This resume’s modern design and bold use of color make it pop. Its uniqueness is well-suited to those seeking jobs in creative industries.


Everything about this template is assertive from the boxy layout to its all-caps heading text that gives the impression that you’re all about business.


The understated contact information at the top puts attention front and center on your professional summary, skills, work experience and education sections.


The subtle use of red alongside black gives this template a bold feel while still featuring plenty of white space to make it easy to read.

Check out our collection of professional resume examples to see how you can make a great resume today!

Education Based On Experience

Navigating your education section can be straightforward in many cases, but what about when your academic journey doesn’t fit the typical mold? Here’s how to handle a few special scenarios:

Recent Graduates with Limited Work Experience

If you’re a recent graduate or have limited professional experience, your education can take center stage on your resume. Highlight your degree, relevant coursework, projects, and extracurricular activities that demonstrate transferable skills.

This is your chance to show potential employers your dedication, leadership, and ability to work in a team. Include GPA if it’s impressive (generally 3.5 or above) and any honors or awards that underscore your academic achievements.

Continuing Education and Professional Development

Lifelong learning is highly valued in today’s job market, so don’t hesitate to include continuing education and professional development courses, especially if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for.

This could be anything from online courses to workshops and seminars. Listing these efforts demonstrates your commitment to staying current in your field and enhancing your skills.

International Degrees and Study Abroad Experiences

International degrees and study abroad experiences offer unique perspectives and skills that can be attractive to employers. When listing international education, include the name of the institution, location, degree earned, and dates attended.

Highlight any language skills acquired or cross-cultural competencies developed, as these are invaluable in our globalized economy.

Unfinished Degrees or GEDs

If you started a degree program but didn’t complete it, you can still include this experience on your resume. List the institution and years attended, along with your major or area of study. If relevant, mention completed coursework or projects.

For those with a GED, list it as your highest level of education, along with the date received. In both cases, focus on any additional skills, knowledge, or experience gained that may be relevant to the job.

Examples of Listing Education on a Resume

Crafting the perfect resume can be daunting, especially when trying to figure out how to present your education best. Here are three examples tailored to different stages in a job seeker’s career to help you visualize how your resume could look.

Example 1: Entry-Level Resume (Recent Graduate)

For recent graduates, the education section is detailed, highlighting academic achievements, relevant coursework, and awards.

This example showcases the graduate’s strengths and areas of expertise, compensating for the limited work experience.


Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Magna Cum Laude
University of Springfield, May 2023

          • GPA: 3.8/4.0
          • Relevant Coursework: Creative Writing Workshop, Modern American Poetry, Literary Theory
          • Awards: Dean’s List (2019-2023), Springfield University English Department Award for Excellence

Example 2: Professional Resume (Experienced Job Seeker)

An experienced professional might place the education section after the work experience section, keeping it succinct.

The focus is on degrees and institutions, assuming that the professional achievements will take precedence.


Master of Business Administration
Hawthorne University, June 2015

Bachelor of Science in Marketing
Riverdale College, May 2011

Example 3: Resume with Continuing Education

This resume highlights ongoing learning alongside traditional education. By including certifications and online courses, the job seeker demonstrates a commitment to staying current in their field.

The inclusion of continuing education is particularly beneficial for fields that evolve rapidly, such as marketing and technology.


Certified Digital Marketing Professional (CDMP), Digital Marketing Institute, 2023

Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Summa Cum Laude, Lincoln State University, May 2019

Continuing Education: Completed courses in SEO Fundamentals and Social Media Marketing, Coursera, 2022

Unfinished Degrees or GEDs

If you started a degree program but didn’t complete it, you can still include this experience on your resume. List the institution and years attended, along with your major or area of study. If relevant, mention completed coursework or projects.

For those with a GED, list it as your highest level of education, along with the date received. In both cases, focus on any additional skills, knowledge, or experience gained that may be relevant to the job.

Key Takeaways

          • Whether it’s your highest degree, a recent certification, or coursework pertinent to the job you’re applying for, make sure it’s prominently displayed.
          • Recent graduates should emphasize educational achievements and coursework, while experienced professionals should succinctly list degrees and institutions, letting their work experience shine.
          • This format is preferred by recruiters and helps them quickly understand your latest and most relevant educational experiences.
          • Whether it’s continuing education, international degrees, or unfinished studies, present these experiences in a way that highlights your ongoing commitment to learning and growth.
          • Keep your education section clear and easy to read with consistent formatting, bullet points for details, and bolding for emphasis.
Pro Tip:

If the job emphasizes certain degrees, certifications, or skills learned through your education, make sure these are easy to find in your resume. This alignment shows you've paid attention to what the employer values and have tailored your resume to meet their needs.


Updated: March 19, 2024

If you're a recent high school graduate with limited work experience or currently pursuing your first college degree, including your high school education is appropriate. However, once you've obtained a college degree or have relevant work experience, you can omit your high school information, as your post-secondary education and professional experiences become more relevant to employers.

Even if you didn't complete your degree, the education you received still has value. List the college or university you attended, the years you were there, and your major if applicable. You can also include the number of credits completed or the percentage of the degree program you finished. If you're currently pursuing the degree, you can note it as "In progress" or "Expected completion date."

Absolutely! Online courses and certificates can be a great way to fill in gaps in your knowledge, learn new skills, or stay current in your field. When including these in your resume, make sure they are relevant to the job you're applying for. List the course or certificate name, the platform or institution it was obtained from, and the completion date. This information can be especially helpful if you're changing careers or looking to advance in your current field.


Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor McMahon, CPRW

Conor is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) for He has over three years of professional writing experience as well as experience in professional development training. As a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches (PARWCC) Conor has written on career development topics ranging from resume and cover letter best practices, employer/employee communication, job seeking help, and more. He received his degree in Music Industry at Northeastern University and plays guitar in his free time.

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