Including education or training on your resume is important. Here are the standard rules that professionals should follow when listing education on a resume.
Where to List Your Education
Depending on your career goals and education, there are two places to list your education and/or training. If your career goals have changed, your previous experience is not necessarily supportive of your new direction, AND your education is relevant to your targeted job position, then listing your education just below the professional resume profile is the best place.
Alternately, place your education at training at the end of the resume if you have professional experience that is in line with your career goals. Hiring managers generally prefer to see experience over training if you have it.
Education Section Title
In order for the reader to clearly identify your education, credentials, or training, make sure to include a section title that is appropriate for the information that will include. If you have formal education from an accredited institution, using the standard title “Education” is acceptable. However, if you have additional technical or specific job training, then expand the title to encompass this as well, for example, “Education & Training” or “Education & Credentials”.
However, if your training does not include a formal degree, don’t worry. Use a more appropriate heading such as “Training & Credentials” to highlight the specific courses, seminars, workshops, or certifications that you hold.
There are several ways of handling formal education depending on your situation. If you have a formal degree or multiple formal degrees, list them in reverse chronological order and include your area of study. If your degree was earned within the most recent 10 years, including the year of graduation may help to show employers that you have gained the most current and relevant training available. However, if your degrees were earned more than 10 years ago, it is recommended to avoid including the date. By not including the date, you will be drawing further attention to the actual degree.
There are some special circumstances where individual’s have started a degree but have not completed it yet. If you have taken a few courses but do not have a specific graduation date in mind, simply state what your courses were focused in. For example, if you were beginning an accounting degree, list “Accounting Courses”. This will give further support to your training but will avoid misleading the reader into thinking you have completed a degree.
However, if you do have an intended graduation date, state the degree that you will be earning and, in place of the year, inform the reader of your expected graduation date. For example, if you are going to be earning your Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting soon, follow it by stating, “intended graduation 2013″ (obviously, use the correct year that you intend to graduate).
If you do not have any formal education, don’t make something up. Instead, focus the section on your other credentials and/or professional training. The key is to be honest and upfront with hiring managers while also showing how much you have already accomplished.
Professional & Career Training
Generally, it is recommended to list the title of the professional or career training, seminar, or workshop that you attended, followed by the company or organization that sponsored it. For example, if you attended a seminar on improving accounts receivables the list it as “Improving Accounts Receivables Seminar – Training Organization”. Including the year of the training is not required but may be helpful if it is relevant to your career goal and is recent. Either way, make sure to keep them all consistent.
When including other credentials such as certifications or licenses, only the title of the certification or license is necessary. The only time you would want to include the training organization or location would be if it effects your job search. For example, if you are a real estate agent licensed in the state in which you wish to work, including that in your list would be important to future employers.
If your certifications are more relevant than your formal education, consider listing them first in the section so that hiring managers notice the relevancy of your training first. Also, consider bolding or italicizing your credentials to help them stand apart from the other information in the save section.
Technical Skills, Professional Affiliations, Memberships
While it is not recommended to include technical skills, professional affiliations, or memberships to this section, some candidates may choose to do so if the education section is minimal. But, keep in mind that the general consensus is that the education/credential section is highly important to employers and will be reviewed. Keeping the section brief and to the point will help hiring managers see your qualifications clearly.
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