How To Write Education on a CV (With Tips and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Education is one of the key areas hiring managers look for on a CV. It helps them understand your educational background, which is a useful way to determine your suitability for the position. A well-presented education section that particularly focuses on the qualifications and skills required for a job can help you stand out from the other candidates. In this article, we discuss the key details required for writing the education section of your CV along with several examples that are applicable to different stages of your career.

What is a CV education section?

The education section of your CV contains all the relevant information about your education, including your level of education, the education institutions' name and location, your field of study and your notable achievements. Presenting these details under a separate section enhances the format of your CV. It appears more logical, especially alongside your skills and work experience sections. Depending on your background, whether you're a recent graduate or experienced professional, your CV education section serves to highlight the knowledge and expertise you bring to the role.

How do I write education on your CV?

The placement of the education section on your CV depends on whether you want to focus on your work experience or education. For example, if you're currently studying or a fresh graduate, then you would want to emphasise your education and place it towards the top of your CV. This also applies to academic positions or fellowships, where your research matters more than your work experience.

However, if you're an experienced professional who has gained knowledge and skills through their work, then place your education section underneath your work history section.

Content to include in your education section

Here are some key points to consider when deciding about the content of the education section:

  • Remember to be honest and strategic.

  • The education section should show that you have the skills and qualifications required to perform the job efficiently.

  • You can use the job description as an indicator of how much educational background information a company is looking for.

  • Include important details about your education that are relevant for the position you're applying for. This can include certifications, association memberships, coursework and special recognitions.

  • Remember to include your most recent qualification first, then work backwards chronologically.

What to include in the education section of the CV?

You can identify the best place to put your education on a CV by carefully reading the job description. This can often help you understand whether certain levels of education are essential, nice-to-have or unnecessary for each role. Hiring managers scan through the education section of your CV looking for a few basic information that includes:

  • Name of your educational institution

  • Location of your educational institution

  • Your field of study

  • The degree you earned

  • Year of graduation

  • Impressive grades

  • Notable awards or hours

  • Other academic achievements gained during your education

  • Relevant extracurricular activities, accolades and international exchange programs

  • Any educational or professional certifications you've received

Often, the educational section is the shortest portion of your CV. However, it's important to format the education section to fit the requirements of your own circumstances and the job you're applying for.

How to list education on a CV

The education section on your CV helps hiring managers to assess your suitability for a position. Here are some ways you can list the educational details on your CV with relevant examples:

1. Educational details for recent graduates

If you're a recent graduate with little to no work experience, it's best to focus more on your educational background. Include details about your degree and mention the educational institutions you attended. If your GPA is higher than 3.4, this is an impressive achievement to mention on your CV. However, you can omit lower-level qualifications if they don't add much value to the hiring manager. Here's an example:

The University of Hong Kong
Bachelor of Science in Biology
May 2020
GPA: 3.7

Read more: Tips for Graduates Entering the Workforce During COVID-19

2. Educational details for experienced professional

If you're an experienced professional with over five years of work experience, you can place lesser importance on your education section. In this situation, your hiring manager is more interested in your work achievements. If you have advanced degrees such as a Master's degree or a PhD, list them in order of recency. If it's relevant, you can also provide additional details such as your final grades and details about your research work. Here's an example for reference:

Master's in Business Administration (MBA), University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong| 2014
Bachelor's Degree (Honours) First Class, Information technology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong | 2010

Read more: How To Write A CV (With Template and Example)

3. Educational details for incomplete education

If you have incomplete education details to add to your CV, your aim is to present them in a positive manner. In other words, try to focus on the completed courses. If you have undertaken any certifications, licenses or other professional development courses, mention them in your education section to show recruiters your growth mindset. Here's an example for your reference:

Hong Kong University, 2016-2018 | Hong Kong
Completed Coursework: Modern fiction, Critical Analysis and Literary Adaption.

Professional Certificate: Certification in Creative Writing, Notre Dame Online (2018)

Caritas College, 2012–2014 | Hong Kong
Completed 30 credits, including 15 credits in administration.

Courses include Bookkeeping Basics, Business Law, Marketing Management and Public Relations

4. List in-progress education

You can list your educational details even if you're still pursuing your course. You can include any relevant information about the course, including the name of the program and your expected graduation date and mention the name of the course. Remember to make it clear that you've not yet finished the course by using phrases, such as In progress, Due to completion in 2023, Year of intended graduation-2023, Anticipated- 2023, Expected-2023 or To be completed in 2023.

In this section, you can include your relevant coursework, thesis research, publications, dissertations or other special recognitions that may enhance your job application. You can also include your current GPA if it's higher than 3.4. Similarly, you can also list if you're a member of any associations, societies or clubs that apply to your career path and the job you're interested in. If you're still a student, the education section is one of the key highlights in your resume, therefore place it above your work history section. Here are some examples for your reference:

Education section for a college student

If you're still a college student, the education section on a CV can be an excellent opportunity to focus on your educational achievements. Here's an example of an education section for a college student as a reference:

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering, Caritas University, Hong Kong
Year of intended graduation: June 2021

  • Recipient of the Dean's list award in 2019 & 2020 for outstanding academic excellence

  • Achieved Distinctions in Manufacturing Technology, Engineering Principles and Practice, Fluids Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Industrial Engineering and Operation Research

  • Student Member, Institution of Engineers, Hong Kong, 2019

Education section for a school student

If you're still a school student, you can include details about your relevant volunteer experience or extracurricular activities. Here's an example of a school student education section for reference if this applies to your situation:

Chinese International School | 2018 to Present
Maths Club: Vice President
Recipient of the Toptal STEM Scholarships For Women

Read more: CV Examples for Students (With Template)

Tips for including education details in the CV

Here are some tips to help you draft the education section on your CV:

  • Read through the job description and understand the skills and qualifications required for the position before drafting your CV.

  • Begin the education section with your highest degree.

  • Add the other remaining degrees or qualifications in reverse-chronological order.

  • Remember to add your GPA to the education section only if it's 3..4 or higher. In case of lower grades, it's best to avoid mentioning them in the CV.

  • If you have a completed university or college degree along with a few years of professional experience, you may not have to list your high school education.

  • Ensure the format of the entries in your CV remains consistent.

  • Write short, well-presented education details.

  • Ensure to proofread and edit your CV several times before sending it out for a job application

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