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How to or How Not To List Education on Resume?


Most people enjoy revealing their countless degrees on the resume. If they have done a Master’s or any other additional course, people take pride in flaunting it on their resume. Yet, educational qualifications may not always strengthen your resume. There are certain instances when extra qualifications may make you overqualified for the position at hand and reduce your chances of getting a job.

list education on resumeIt is vital that you know how to use your qualifications to benefit you. You should also know when and what to mention in your resume while wisely concealing things that could have a negative impact. For these you need to know the positive and negative impact of listing qualifications on a resume. Read along to know.

Benefits of Listing Educational Qualifications:

There are countless benefits of sharing all the educational qualifications on the resume. It is these benefits that tempt candidates to list out all the experience they have had in the field as well as any certification they have gained. Here we have listed out a few of the major benefits of listing out different qualifications:

  • You Have a Chance of Drawing a Better Salary than Your Peers: If you mention all your educational qualifications, there is a greater chance that you get a better paying job than your peers. This is because your employers will regard you as more deserving and hence offer you a better pay.
  • You Have a Chance of Being Regarded for Variety of Job Options: The more qualified you are, the greater job options you have at your disposal. You gain knowledge regarding different fields with each degree or certification. It makes you eligible for many more different job profiles.

Drawbacks of Listing All Qualifications in Certain Professions:

While there are ample benefits of listing out all qualifications, there are number of drawbacks that may cause you to decide otherwise. You need to be aware of these drawbacks. It will help you decide whether you should list or conceal all your qualifications.

  • You May Lose Smaller Job Opportunities: Well, if you have mentioned in your resume that you wish to become an editor of a magazine, there is a very small chance that you would be invited for an interview for the post of a web content writer. Most recruiters are trained to respect qualification and they will not offer you jobs lower than what you actually deserve.
  • You May Be Regarded Overqualified: There is a very great chance that you may lose certain job opportunities because you could be regarded overqualified.
  • You May Be Regarded To Lack Direction: When you have different qualifications listed on your resume which are not linked or related to each other, there is a great chance that the interviewers may consider you to lack direction. Such an opinion is sure to act against you during the interview process.

How to List Education on Resume:

If you follow the unwritten guidelines and list your qualification in a proper manner on your resume, it is sure to create a positive impact on the interviewers. A resume is the first thing that reaches the interviewer or the recruiter and so it is vital that it is presented properly. Here are some of the best ways to list education on your resume.

1. The General Rule is to Follow Reverse Chronology:

It is usually preferred if you follow the reverse chronology while stating or mentioning your educational qualifications. This means that you state your most recent qualification first and carry on with the previous ones in that order.

This rule helps people focus on the highest qualification first. It means even if your interviewers do not read all your qualifications, they will still know your highest level of education and can prepare to ask questions accordingly. This rule is followed in online as well as offline job portals.

2. Do Not Rely on Short Forms:

Many people make the mistake of relying heavily on short forms. People tend to mention course names as well as their institute names in abbreviated forms. As a candidate, you need to make sure that people notice your true qualifications and this can never happen if you state everything in the abbreviated form.

If it is standard to use abbreviations, you can make it a point to write the full form of the abbreviation in enclosed brackets. This will help to avoid any kind of confusion that may arise due to short forms.

3. Always Mention Your Specialisation:

You must remember that your specialisation will help you get better jobs. It is thus wise to mention your specialisation in your resume. There are some recruiters who look only for candidates who are specialised in certain fields. In such cases, if you have not mentioned your specialisation, you may miss the chance completely.

So if you are a software developer, it is not sufficient that you mention you are a developer. You also need to mention the language you are specially trained in. You may state in your resume that you are a .Net, Java, SQL or PHP developer.

4. Always Mention The Name of the Institute:

The name of the institute has a great significance in many different job profiles. Doing an MBA from some local college and doing an MBA from IIM do not mean the same. So, you need to make it a point to mention the institute from which you have graduated. Even while mentioning the name of the institute, it would be a great idea not to use abbreviations.

While mentioning the institute, you also need to mention the location of the institute. This will give the interviewers a clear picture without leaving behind any doubts or queries.

5. Tabulate The Information To Create An Impact:

Presentation of your educational qualifications on the resume also defines your chances of getting the right job. If the information is presented effectively, it will draw the attention of the recruiters. On the contrary, if the information is presented haphazardly, the recruiters may not even notice your qualifications.

When you have a series of qualifications or degrees to mention in your resume, it is great to tabulate the whole information. The table will include your institute name, qualification, scores or percentages and year of graduating. Tables are usually easy to interpret and the best choice when you want recruiters to read through the information on your resume.

Strictly Avoid These Ways to List Education On Resume:

Avoiding certain ways of listing on the resume proves useful. Some ways of listing qualifications not just creates a negative impact but also reduces your chances of getting the job you most desire. Here we have mentioned one or two avoidable ways.

1. Avoid Mentioning Courses You Have Not Completed:

We often tend to start doing courses and skip it before its completion. Mentioning such courses has no positive impact. An incomplete course can be really of no use. It is best to avoid mentioning it on your resume.

In case you think you have gained something from the course, you may mention it somewhere else under some other pretext. An incomplete course always has a negative impression on the interviewer. If it is possible to, you must strictly avoid mentioning it on your resume.

2. Avoid Using Graphic Resume For Serious Job Options:

The increased use of internet also brings along with it certain absurd ideas. One such idea is that of a graphic resume. While a graphic resume is a good choice for certain professions, it won’t be equally good for all professions. Moreover, if you opt for a graphic resume, it should be designed by you and not by an automated app.
Graphic resume can be helpful for jobs of graphic designers or animation people.But people working in sales, marketing or education department need to stay clear of any such absurd ideas.

3. Why is Listing of Education on the Resume Important?

The recruiters today have to handle countless resume that arrive online and offline. They need to pick out the most relevant resumes and shortlist candidates for job interviews. They need to pick candidates who are eligible for the particular post.

If you have your education listed properly on your resume, it will be easy for the recruiter or the job consultant to shortlist your resume if it is relevant for the position. If your resume is shortlisted because it is relevant, there is a greater chance of your getting the job.

When people fail to list their education properly, they may get shortlisted for the wrong jobs. They may then be eliminated in the interview process. This can be annoying for the interviewer and depressing for the candidate. It is thus best to list your education properly and effectively on the resume to get the best results in the job seeking process.