How to Write the CV Education Section: Examples and Tips
How to Write the CV Education Section: Examples and Tips
- · November 09 2023
- · 4 min read
Table of contents
The education section provides crucial information about your qualifications and expertise, allowing prospective employers to evaluate your suitability for a position. Moreover, education, whether it be formal or informal, serves as a powerful differentiator, underscoring your commitment to personal and professional growth. Check out our CV education section video guide for an overview of our tips and advice.
The format and structure of the education section on a CV are crucial because they provide a clear and organised presentation of your qualifications, making it easier for recruiters to assess your educational background. Additionally, proper formatting ensures compatibility with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), helping your CV pass through automated screening processes and increasing your chances of being shortlisted for further consideration. When writing education in a CV, follow these guidelines:
Start with your most recent degree and list your education in reverse chronological order, i.e., from the most recent to the earliest.
Include the name of the institution you attended, your degree, and your area of study.
Include the dates of your education, preferably indicating only the year if it was obtained within the past 10-15 years.
If you have completed any relevant coursework, include it as well.
Mention any honours or awards you received during your education, such as scholarships, academic awards, or research grants.
Writing a CV is not a one-size-fits-all approach but rather a flexible process that incorporates various strategies tailored to your level of experience and career objectives. Depending on your specific circumstances and the format you choose.
Listing education under work experience allows recruiters to prioritise your relevant work experience and achievements, which are crucial in assessing your qualifications for a role.
Prioritising education before work experience showcases your practical skills, industry knowledge, and ability to excel in real-world scenarios. Recent graduates or individuals with education highly relevant to the position may choose to prioritise their education section.
Remember to tailor how you include education on your CV to suit your specific goals, industry, and the job requirements you're applying for.
When showcasing education on a CV, there are a few key takeaways to keep in mind:
Only include the most important information about your education, such as the degree earned, institution, and date of graduation. If you have multiple degrees, only include the most recent one(s) or the one(s) relevant to the job.
If you earned any awards, honours, or special recognitions during your education, include them in your education section.
Only include courses if relevant to the position you're applying for.
Ensure your education section's formatting is consistent with the rest of your CV.
For more information on other CV sections, refer to our cornerstone article on how to write a good CV.
If you're seeking assistance with updating your CV, we recommend exploring our CV Writing Service with a team of experts that can help you craft a compelling and professionally polished CV. Additionally, we offer a diverse collection of over 20 professional templates designed to seamlessly complement your CV.
In the UK, the education system is divided into different levels, but for a CV, the most important is key stage 4, more commonly known as GCSEs in England. Between 16-17, you have AS level; if you complete the second year 17-18, you have A Levels. Scotland has N5 Qualifications for GCSEs, Highers, and Advanced Highers for AS and A levels.
Firstly, place your education section at the top of your CV to highlight your recent academic achievements. Secondly, mention your recent graduate status in your profile to draw attention to your fresh qualifications. These strategies will effectively showcase your educational background and ensure that it receives proper emphasis in your CV. Refer to our student or graduate CV examples and writing guides for inspiration.
If you do not have formal or tertiary education to include in your CV, you can still showcase your skills, experience, and qualifications. Keep the section heading “Education" and place either your secondary education or relevant courses/professional training. Addition tips include:
Highlight relevant work experience, internships, apprenticeships, or vocational training. Include any relevant certifications or qualifications earned outside of formal education.
Format your CV to highlight strengths and transferable skills, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership abilities.
Consider using a skills-based CV format if you have no work experience.
List volunteer work, personal projects, or extracurricular activities demonstrating skills and qualifications.
If you have other achievements, such as extracurricular activities, hobbies, volunteer experience, or work experience, focus on those in your CV. Additional tips include:
Instead of emphasising your grades, focus on the skills you gained during your education, such as research, writing, or analytical skills.
Emphasise an essay or exam in which you performed exceptionally well to showcase specific areas of the course where you excelled, even if your overall grade does not fully reflect it.
Provide an example of how you managed to improve your grades over time.
There is no set timeline for updating your education information on your CV, but it's important to keep it current and relevant to your career aspirations. You should try to update your education information on your CV or LinkedIn whenever you complete a new qualification or training course.
It depends on various factors, such as your level of experience. If you have limited space or it needs to be more relevant to the job, you may want to prioritise other information.
This depends on the situation. If you are a recent graduate, consider including it higher up on your CV. Alternatively, if it is outdated and irrelevant, consider moving it after your work experience.
Yes, it is important to include any course or type of qualification, even if it is in progress since it shows your ability to multitask.
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Updated November 09 2023
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