As you reach the end of your degree program, the time quickly approaches to start applying for a new job. Learning to craft a resume that appropriately highlights your latest educational accomplishments makes up a large part of this process.
You may have many questions about how to best represent your education on your resume. Should you include your GPA? Should you list education or experience first?
We have worked with many graduates who have successfully found positions following graduation. Here is what we would recommend.
How do you list your education on a resume?
Someone who has recently finished their latest degree, such an MBA, should list the highest degree at the top of the page. This will showcase your latest work and accomplishments. You might not have a ton of experience related to the field, depending upon when you entered your graduate program. Therefore, putting your education at the top helps put your best qualifications in front of your prospective employer.
Should you include your GPA on your resume?
Including your GPA will depend largely on how well you did in school. Students who had higher than 3.0 might want to include it, as well as any honors they graduated with. This GPA can lend credibility to their work ethic. If working full time while in school had a negative impact on your GPA point that out in the cover letter. Depending on the length of time since you graduated, some employers may not require the GPA to be posted.
In addition to your GPA, you should also include any professional organizations you received admittance to based on your school performance. Similarly, list any awards or honors you received.
Using your education to bolster your resume
As you complete your degree, you will likely cultivate various experiences that will benefit you in the workplace, even if they were not direct experiences in a job. Look for ways to highlight these opportunities to help prospective employers see how well you will succeed.
For example, consider your extracurricular activities. Did you have internships or leadership roles in clubs and organizations? Did you earn any supplementary certificates that might benefit you professionally? Did you attend seminars relevant to the profession you want to have? Did you work on research with any professors?
All of these types of experiences will help build your resume. You can highlight the opportunities you had to lead, interact with teammates, or learn about your industry. Not only will these types of opportunities help you appear more experienced and prepared for the position, but taking the initiative to learn more about your intended industry will cast you in a positive light for employers.
List these experiences by leading with how the opportunity was relevant to the job. This will help the item catch the eye of potential employers.
Take advantage of your cover letter
If you have relevant experiences that will not fit smoothly into your resume, look for ways to incorporate them into your cover letter. Using them as an example that demonstrates your dedication and organization skills can bolster your application before the prospective employer even gets to your resume.
Answering the question: “How to best represent your education on your resume?” remains an important part of finding a job after graduation. Although you might not have a lot of direct workplace experience, your education has helped prepare you for the job. Consider the advice above to help you highlight these valuable opportunities you have had and help your employer see what an asset you will be to the team.
Earning your Georgia WebMBA degree with Georgia College is the next best step for your career and education goals. Click here to learn all about how Georgia College’s online graduate business programs can make those goals a reality for you.