A common section on any resume – and typically any job description – is education. Employers want to know what type of training you have and what degrees you hold. This can be a frustrating part of resume writing if you have not completed any higher education and jumped right into the workforce. Do you list your high school? Do you leave it blank? What’s the best approach?
Your education is what it is, and you have to work with what you’ve got. Whatever you do, do not lie and say that you have a degree or certification that you do not have. In all likelihood, your employer will find out and you may be terminated. There are other ways to address lack of education on your resume that do not involve lying.
- List any coursework you have done
If you started a degree program but didn’t finish, you can certainly include what you have completed, especially if it is related to the type of job you’re seeking. List the school and for degree, put “Coursework toward Bachelor of Arts/Science in ABC.” You could even include how many credits you have completed. This shows employers that you do have some formal education beyond high school, but you did not officially complete your degree, so you’re not lying.
- Include professional development
Have you completed training programs or certifications through various jobs you have held or even on your own? Replace the “Education” heading with “Professional Development” and list what you’ve done. Consider seminars or workshops you have taken, MOOCs, or any other work that has helped you to advance in your career.
- Seek training
If you feel that your lack of education is holding you back, look for ways to improve it. If it is feasible, consider enrolling in a degree program or even just a class or two related to your career. Look for workshops, seminars, professional development programs, or certification courses that you can register for. Even if obtaining a degree is not realistic right now, there are ways you can boost your training and show employers that you are committed to enhancing your professional development. If you are enrolled in a program, list it on your resume and include the anticipated completion date or write “in progress.” Note: make sure to do this only if you are actively involved in trying to finish. Don’t list “in progress” on a degree program you started 10 years ago and have no intention of completing.
- Leave it off
If you honestly have not completed any professional development or training and do not have any degrees or certifications to note beyond high school, leave this section off of your resume. Instead, focus on emphasizing the accomplishments you have achieved and skills you have built through your work experience. Demonstrate to employers that even though you may not have the desired level of education, you are capable of achieving results and would be a strong asset to their company.
The team at Grammar Chic can help you decide which approach is best based on your background and experience. Contact us at (803) 831-7444 or firstname.lastname@example.org to get started. Don’t let a spotty educational background keep you from advancing in your career.
What can be done about a vocational (rehabilitation) counselor who tells the client not to include any college courses on his/her resume because the education received is now obsolete?