how to write education section of your cv (with examples)

For most people, writing about their education on their CV is a very simple endeavor. After all, it’s just listing the qualifications you’ve earned, the schools you attended, and your dates of attendance. But it’s not always that easy.

What about grade? Should you include them?

Should you include your graduation date if you are an older student?

Which qualification should you list first? Your most recent or your oldest?

And where do you keep all this information anyway?

All of these questions – and more – are answered in this handy guide to help you write a good CV and get you one step closer to job search success.

What employers look for in your education section

Each component of your CV tells a complete story about you, and your education section specifically helps hiring managers determine whether or not you are qualified to do the job for which you are applying. No.

For example, if you’re applying for a doctor’s position, they want to make sure you have a medical degree and the appropriate training. Likewise, if they’re looking for a business manager, for example, they’re looking for a MBA.

Some recruiters, meanwhile, just don’t look at your credentials. They also look at the schools you attended – especially if their company only hires Ivy League graduates or, if in the UK, Russell Group graduates.

where to put your education section

Where the education section goes in your CV depends on where you are on your career journey.

For example, if you have at least three years of professional experience, put it at the end of the document, just before Skill section and any section other than essential. If you are an entry-level candidate and have limited work experience, your education should be placed at the top of the document, immediately after the profile section.

These two conditions apply to the chronological CV format.

Now, if your CV follows a skills-based format, your education goes after your skills and before your work history. If, however, you are using the combination format, you would place this section after both your skills and work history (this is like the chronological format, although the placement of the skills and work history sections will be reversed).

What to include in your education section

At a minimum, each entry in your education section should include:

  • The type of qualification you have earned or are working for
  • full name of your school
  • your school location
  • Your graduation date (if applicable)

If you are a current student or Recent graduates, you can also include a short description for each entry for your limited work experience. This description may include details about:

  • your coursework
  • your grades
  • any awards you have won
  • Activities you participated in and clubs you were a member of

How to Format Education Section Entries

Here, we’ll show you how the different entries in your Education section should be formatted.

type of qualification

On the first line of the entry, you should enter the type of qualification you earned or are currently working for, whether it’s a high school diploma or a Education Degree. for example:

BSc in Computer Science

It must be formatted in bold or otherwise distinct from the rest of the information that you will add later.

name of school

Next is the name of the school you attended, which should be added on a separate line, such as:

King’s College London

Always write the school’s official name in full. Don’t use abbreviations, acronyms, or worse, nicknames.

school location

On the same line you have written the name of your school, write its location. for example:

London, UK

It’s a good idea to separate the school’s location by name, such as a dash or vertical line.

graduation date

Graduation date is the same as your school name and location. Add only the year, not the full date. for example:

2020

You can again use a dash or a vertical line to separate the date from everything else on this line or, better yet, a . You can use tab stop To align it to the right end of the line.

In the meantime, if you’re still in school or university, just write your expected graduation date here.

Description

Adding details of your coursework, grades, awards, activities and club membership is generally only recommended for entry-level professionals with little or no work experience. Use a bulleted list to organize this information into easily digestible pieces, such as:

  • Coursework: Computer Systems, Software Engineering, App Development, Data Science, Computer Networks
  • Grade: A (First Class)
  • Prize: President’s Education Award
  • Activities: Member of the Peer Tuition, Video Gaming and eSports Society

Keep the description as brief as possible, usually limiting bullet points to a maximum of two lines.

In the meantime, only list grades if they are above average. For example, for A-levels in the UK, this would be grade C and above; For a GPA grade in the US, it would be 3.5 and above.

Here’s what it all looks like brought together:

Tips for writing your education section

While writing about your educational background on your CV, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Here are our top tips:

1. List your highest education first

When recording your educational experiences on your CV, always do it in reverse-chronological order – ie: start with your most recent experience and then go back through time from there.

2. Use Keywords

Every section of your CV should be The job is tailored to the position you are applying for, and your education section is no exception.

You can do this by naturally including relevant keywords and phrases from the job advertisement, such as specific degree programs and subjects. This, ultimately, will help you get your CV in the hands of a robot (aka applicant tracking system) and a human reader.

3. Don’t embellish or falsify things

Although you may be tempted to embellish or lie about your educational background (or anything else) on your CV, especially if you think it will boost your chances of getting interviewed, you really shouldn’t. .

The truth always has a weird way of coming out in the end, and getting caught up in a lie will tarnish your professional image – after all, dishonesty is not a quality that employers look for in candidates. It’s also an incendiary offense (if the truth comes out after you’ve been hired), and you could get in trouble with the law.

4. Be Strategic With Dates

For the most part, you should always include your graduation date.

However, there is an exception: if you completed your education 15 or more years ago and you are an older job seeker. In this case, it’s a good idea to remove your graduation date altogether. This encourages the hiring manager to focus on your experience and achievements, rather than how long ago you graduated and, consequently, your age.

5. Add the Right Education

Be selective about what education you include in your CV.

For example, if you have finished university, you should only list qualifications after your bachelor’s degree. You should not list your high school education. (If you are still in high school or have just started your secondary education, you should include details about your high school experience.)

Meanwhile, your preschool and primary education really has no place on your CV.

cv example

Want to see the Education section in action? check the following CV examples for some inspiration when writing about your educational background.

when you have completed your education

Based on our Luminous template here is an example of what a CV should look like if you have finished university.

computer scientist cv example with shiny template design

get shiny template

when your education is incomplete or in progress

This example is based on our geometric template and shows you how to best format your education section when your education is ongoing or incomplete.

graphic designer cv example with geometric design

get geometric template

key takeaways

Let’s sum up what we learned in this article:

  • The education section typically leads towards the end of your CV, unless you have less than three years of work experience.
  • Each entry should include the type of qualification you earned, along with the school name and location, and your graduation date.
  • You can, optionally, add information about coursework, grades, awards, activities and memberships, especially if you have limited work experience.
  • Include grades only if they are above average.
  • List your educational experiences in reverse chronological order.
  • If you graduated more than 15 years ago and you are a chronic job seeker, skip the graduation dates.
  • Be honest about your education.

Got a question? Not sure whether you should put your education before or after your work history, or how to provide details about your degree when space is limited? We’re here to help – just leave us a comment below!

This article is an update of an earlier version published on 12 June 2018.

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