How to List an Uncompleted Degree on Your Resume
The education section has been identified as one of the few key sections which employers look for on resumes (Indeed Editorial Team, 2021). In this section, a candidate is expected to indicate the school/s he or she attended, his or her degree, and inclusive dates of attendance. Depending on the requirements of the role, somehow, employers get to assess a candidate's suitability based on this information.
To those who have finished a bachelor's degree or even post-graduate studies, they can easily use this section to add value to their credentials, not to mention that they could find this uncomplicated to write. Otherwise, one might find it difficult to list. This article aims to provide tips and tricks on how to list an unfinished degree on your resume and how to make your recruiter or hiring manager feel that you are a great fit for the role, given such facts.
Job seekers must be reminded that whether a candidate has completed a degree or not, is, at times, immaterial, especially at present. There are a lot of instances when a job role is more particular with previous work experience and skills rather than educational attainment. Further, bringing in talent based on potential rather than a list of strict qualifications has been gaining more popularity nowadays.
In listing an unfinished degree, be reminded that proper placement and pertinent information must be used to your advantage. The best placement depends on what employers would value more: your experience or education (Keiling, 2021). If you have several years of work experience, you should place the education section near the bottom of your resume rather than at the top because by placing your education section at the bottom of your resume, attention is drawn to your experience and skillset, rather than the unfinished degree (Key Resource Group, 2014). When writing a resume, it is highly beneficial to know which details to highlight to create a positive impression on recruiters and hiring managers.
Most often than not, employers would be interested to see whether you have any related pieces of training or accomplishments, hence, this pertinent information should be captured by your resume. Apart from these, the number of units earned along with the major you pursued, and the number of years spent may also be indicated (or your anticipated date of graduation), like this: Completed 90 credits toward Bachelor of Arts, Economics, 1997-2000 (Wheatman, 2021). Awards and recognitions which could demonstrate competencies relevant to the position you are applying for may also be indicated.
One of the main goals, when creating your resume, is to accentuate what the good points are- they could be some past recognitions, extensive experience in using computer systems, previous pieces of training, or valuable contributions in former projects. Never be intimidated especially when you think you lack some important skills or competencies due to inability to complete a degree or lack of formal training in certain areas of work. By highlighting the good you possess, instead of what is lacking, you can showcase the skills and experience you are able to bring to the table. Through this, you will be able to create an impactful write-up about yourself and eventually make your recruiter or hiring manager feel that you are worth a chance and that you may be a great fit for the role you are applying for.
I know this is a lot to take in. However, if you are busy or is having a hard time creating one, here at Tailored Resume, we can help you create a compelling resume and cover letter that will let you shine even without a completed degree. Why wait? Hire us now!