How to write, and where to place the Education section of your resume depends on your current life circumstances. Click the link below in the table of contents that best describes your situation.
Table of Contents
As a high school student, you should place the Education section at the beginning of your resume, even if you already have work experience.
Beyond that, your resume’s format and content will depend upon how much work experience you have, and how active you are as a student in high school.
Click the link the below that best describes your situation:
Are you a high schooler with no work experience? This resume can help you write a strong education section that will land you more interviews.
What this applicant did
The above resume depicts a high school age applicant who does not have work experience. In the Education section, she lists her:
- GPA (if above 3.0)
- Relevant Coursework (Courses that are pertinent to the specific position you are applying for)
- Honors/Academic Achievements
- Clubs/Organizations (Extracurricular activities and Athletics)
However, because she does not have work experience, she further expounds upon her academic career by creating a section called “Major Achievements”. In this section, she detailed her responsibilities as a student government representative and a school dance host in bullet points.
A Major Achievements section acts as an extension of your Education section.
In this way, the Major Achievements section acts as an extension Education section, but gives a more finely detailed look at her skills and abilities. A hiring manager is much more likely to hire a student that shows initiative, organizational skills, and leadership ability. If you do not have any work experience, the “Major Achievements” section is a great way to lengthen your resume, and give the hiring manager a deeper look at your character traits and skills.
What you can do
With no work experience, you should aim to write your resume in a similar format. Try to think of activities you participate in, like school projects and clubs, or even outside of school, that you can claim as major achievements.
Volunteer work also counts, so definitely include that. Your aim should be to present yourself as an active person who can be trusted to learn quickly and manage an entry-level job efficiently.
Are you a high schooler with some work experience?
View our Library Page resume sample for an excellent idea of how to write a fantastic Education section with work experience (click to expand):
Even if you’re not interested in becoming a library page, this resume format and its content would help you find a job in any industry such as sales, retail, food service, child care, cashiering, construction, lifeguarding, or any other employment opportunities commonly given to high school age students.
Read through that sample carefully and make sure you write your own resume in a similar manner.
Meanwhile, here’s another resume you can use as a guide (click to expand its size):
The resume sample on the right places the professional experience section before their education. Since the candidate does not have a GPA above 3.0, she leaves it off her resume. However, she does include her athletic activities. In this case, because the applicant has actual work experience, she can keep the education to a minimum, and describe her work duties and achievements in detail.
What you can do
You should aim to format your resume in the same manner. Your Education section should briefly detail your academic activities like clubs, athletics, theater, and student government, because they are important indicators of your personality and character.
If you already have work experience as a high schooler, you should be proud of yourself — it’s an asset that will help you get entry level jobs much more easily in the future.
However, there are many rules to writing a Work Experience section, so be sure to read our guide about how to write an achievement oriented resume here.
As a college student or recent graduate, you should place the Education section at the beginning of your resume. Beyond that, the length of your section will depend on the amount of work experience that you have.
Click the link that best describes your situation:
Are you a college student with no work experience? Don’t fret, take a look at this resume — this applicant didn’t have any either, but she got interviews.
(Click the image to expand its size)
You may be concerned that because you have no work experience, it’s impossible to make a one page resume. That isn’t true.
How this applicant managed to make a one page resume
Take a look at this resume sample on the left, which depicts a recent graduate with no work experience. To compensate for the lack of work experience, she explained — in detail — two major aspects of her educational experience. She detailed her business marketing project, and the time she entered a business plan competition. She treated these activities as though they were professional experience, but labeled them under “Major Achievements”, because it’s actually an extension of her schooling.
By putting those experiences under the magnifying glass, the applicant successfully conveyed her organization skills, charisma, interpersonal ability, and active lifestyle. Despite having no work experience, a hiring manager would see her as a fine candidate to interview for an entry-level job or internship.
How you can also manage to make a one page resume
You should aim to emulate the above resume sample as much as possible, especially if you were an active student. If you were not as active as this candidate during college, you can still include items like clubs, major group projects from your classwork, or activities you participated in outside of academic life.
If you’re still lacking in after that, you can start building your resume by volunteering in your local area.
Are you a college student with some work experience? We have several resumes on this site that reflect the experiences of college students and recent graduates. Please view these resume samples to get an idea of how you should format your education section.
Now, read the following explanation of the resume sample below to learn what you should and should not include in your own section.
What this applicant did
This applicant kept her Education section to a minimum, because she already had some work experience. The work experience section trumps this section, because it indicates to hiring managers that you are already familiar with the pressures and expectations of the professional world. Real work experience is more valuable than the activities you may have managed in an academic setting, like clubs or events.
However, because she’s a recent graduate, it’s still acceptable to create a longer Education section, which is why she lists being Editor in Chief at her campus magazine, and being a student government representative. As she earns more professional experience, she should remove them.
What you should do
If you have work experience, your resume should be formatted in the same way. Feel free to list your clubs and activities at your college, but emphasize your work experience more. For you, writing a successful resume will come down to writing the strongest Work Experience section possible — so be sure to read our guide on how to write an achievement oriented resume.
This section for a working professional is very straightforward. Mostly, the section exists as evidence that you have a degree of some sort. It should be placed below the Professional Experience section. All working professionals should format their Education section in this manner:
You’ll simply want to include:
- Name of School
- School Location
- Type of Degree/Field of Study
- Graduation Year
- GPA (if above 3.5/4.0)
What if you recently went back to college?
Working professionals who have recently been back to school should put their Education at the top. Those who have not recently been back can keep it below the Professional Experience section.
The resume samples below illustrate the difference. Click the images to expand their size.
As you can see, the candidate’s resume on the bottom had recent college experience, so he put his schooling above the Professional Experience section. (Text in red). You should do the same, if this rule applies to you.
Resume Genius’ Resume Builder
Resume Genius’ Resume Builder Tool makes it easy to format the Education section, as well as all other sections of your resume. You can use this guide to help you add content to your own section within the builder, and make a powerful resume.
Alternatively, we encourage you to download our free resume templates and start writing your resume on your own. In addition, use our professionally written resume samples to help guide you in the resume writing process, and give you inspiration.