Showing all your education at the top of page one of your resume, listing names of schools first before your degrees and major, and sometimes volunteering graduation dates are 3 deadly mistakes. Let’s take a look at what you should do instead.
Mistake No.1 – You display at the top of page one all your degrees and schools including all courses you took, awards and certificates you received, and academic clubs you belonged to.
Why it’s a mistake. – This is what new graduates do and workers who have gone back to school to get another degree do. Trouble. You are saying, “Look at my education accomplishments. I want you to value me more because of it”. Not going to happen”.
What to do instead? – a) Know and deliver what the new employer wants, not what you want, b) Show you as experienced and mature (regardless of your age), and that you are ready to produce results your first day on the job. Put Education last on page 2, a) Under Education & Training heading and b) If your education matches the job posting, also list degree and major in Qualifications paragraph at the top of page one.Yes, strategically, when it’s called for, show your degree twice. Once in the Qualifications graph and in more detail bottom of page 2. Young and going for an internship? Find out if year graduated should be listed. Check in with your respected school certified career counselor. Or call the firm you are applying to and ask. Don’t guess.
Mistake No. 2 – You list the name of the school and its location first before you list your degrees. You promote the university or college first and your degrees second.
Why it’s a mistake. – Your resume is not about what school you attended, in this module it IS about you and your degree and the major if the degree does not say what you majored in. Example: B.S. in Botany may not be not enough for your prospective employer or internship leader.
What to do instead? – Sell the major and the degree and both should be centered in bold face upper and lower case. The name of the school and city & state, in light face type are shown second, also centered. Tip: Show GPAs only if they are in the high 3.0s for every degree and every school. Do NOT cherry pick. Be consistent. Show one, show all. Or shown none if only one is best.
Mistake No. 3 – The more degrees you have, unless you are going for an internship, the more graduation dates you show. See below now.
Why it’s a mistake. – Graduation dates tell the reader how old you are or darn close. If you have more than 20 years work experience, the 23-year old resume screener thinks you walk with a cane, and tosses your resume. If you are a new graduate the same screener may think you’re too young and deletes your resume. HR pros are split 50-50, dates or no dates.
What to do instead? – Don’t always volunteer graduation dates. Your resume is NOT a job application. You are not required to show graduation dates on your resume. You are not lying. (TIP – Pro recruiters are also split 50-50 on showing education dates).