Step 4 – Education

We’re in the final stretch of 3 Day Resume.  You’ve only got two more steps to go and then you’ll be done!  Although, I did include a bonus section for you.  You can save the bonus for another day if you want. 

In Step 4, the Education section is straightforward.  If you have a degree, include the school name, location, and course of study.  Feel free to include any honors but I would avoid a numeric GPA unless you’re fresh out of college.  Personally, I leave off my graduation year because it reveals my age which I don’t need to share.  Since I don’t start my work experience with my first job out of college, not calling attention to my graduation year reduces questions about the years in between.  I know that my graduation year is readily available on LinkedIn, but I still leave it off my resume because again, no need to draw attention to something unnecessarily.

You can also include any relevant certificates, designations, and professional training.  If you have a lot of these and you want to create a new section, you can.  I just prefer to lump it all under education but that’s my preference. You can also scoot it under the next Personal and Professional Development section.  If you have a lot of relevant professional development, I’d suggest you keep it in the Education section so it stands out more than lumped in with your hobbies.

If you’re currently pursuing a degree, program, certificate, training, etc. that is part of the job requirements, I would also include this on the resume but make it clear that you’re in progress and not done.  For example, if you’re pursuing your Project Management Professional (PMP) Certificate but you won’t sit for the exam until later that year, then you can note that on your resume with something like “currently pursuing” or “in progress.”  The reason I recommend that you still put it on your resume is if the ATS is actively looking for PMP, even though you don’t have it yet, the ATS still scores that it appears on your resume.  Now, when a human looks at is, they’ll clearly understand that you’re pursuing the program so you’re still being truthful.

And if you thought, I wouldn’t say it in this step, of course I will.  The answers to the test are in the job description.  Even for the education section, be mindful of the syntax and wording.  If the job description states you should have a “bachelor’s degree” but your resume says you have a BA or BS, then make sure you spell it out with a “bachelor of arts” or “bachelor of science degree.”  Remember that the ATS is just a computer.  It’s looking for exact matches.  A human knows that a BA is the same thing as a bachelor’s degree, but a computer does not unless it was programmed that way.  Don’t take the chance.  Make sure your resume matches the job description and requirements as closely as possible.  Now go on and fill out your Education section in your resume.