Today’s post will be short and sweet and I’ll be answering this very common question: Where should you put the education section on a resume?
The answer (as usual) depends on you specifically and the types of jobs you’re applying for. Here’s some more info:
The top section of your resume should hold one of two things: education or experience. Some people believe in summaries or objectives. While I don’t find them useful, if you do have one of those it will sit at the top, followed by the education or experience section.
If you are currently in school or a recent graduate, your education should be at the top of your resume. In terms of graduate school, if you are a full time student (and not working at the same time) your education section should stay at the top (e.g. if you’re enrolled in a full time MBA program). Let’s say you are working as a Finance Analyst and you are getting your MBA at night. Whichever thing is more relevant to the job is the section you should lead with. If the role you’re applying for does not require an MBA and is similar to the role you’re currently in, lead with experience. If the role does require an MBA, lead with education.
This means that everyone’s first resume will list education at the top. If you’re a student, you’ll start with education, then list internships/work experience, then perhaps on campus activities/volunteer work, and then skills (and that’s perfect!)
What I find is that many people never end up moving that education section. Remember that recruiters are reading resumes very, very quickly so ordering your resume sections by relevance is a good way to make sure you have your best foot forward.
Later on in your career, experience is almost always the most relevant and impactful thing recruiters are looking for so you’ll want to have that front and center.
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