Include Your Education

Regardless of where you are in your career, you need to know how to write a CV education section. However, your stage of career will dictate how this section should be structured.

If you’ve got little, or no professional experience then change the order of your CV and put your education section before your work experience section. Otherwise, leave your education section immediately following your work history.

Still Studying

Do mention any education you’re currently pursuing and put it first as it’s the most relevant. Mention your area of study and the date you’re due to finish your studies.

Include individual modules too, if they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for. In the absence of professional experience, this can help you stand out as a candidate. Include your start date and instead of an end date, use “expected completion date.”

School Leaver

Your GCSEs and A levels are most important, if you’ve just left school. Always specifically include Maths and English, as a pass in these is considered an essential minimum for many jobs. Other individual subjects can be mentioned if relevant.

Unless specifically requested in the job advert, grades for individual subjects don’t automatically need to be included, unless they’re particularly impressive. Simply mentioning the GCSEs and A levels you’ve attained will suffice.

University Graduate

List your degree first, with honours if you achieved them. Be sure to include your area of specialisation, e.g. BSc Psychology and you should mention individual modules if they relate to the role you’re applying for. If you have more than one degree or a post-graduate degree then use reverse-chronological order.

Experienced Worker

For experienced workers with no additional qualifications your professional experience is what counts most. Your education should still be mentioned but as a brief summary, without detailed descriptions. If you have a University degree then do mention this, but in this case there is no need to also mention your GCSEs and A levels.

Let’s see how this works in practice.

Writing a CV- University Graduate:

RIGHT
WRONG
BA (Hons), 2:1, English Literature, September 2013–June 2016 University of Manchester, UK
BA, September, 2013–June 2016 Manchester University

The right way of doing it is to include all relevant details including your area of specialisation, honours, and location. The use of bold and italic also helps to highlight and isolate the relevant info.

The second example has omitted the important details, doesn’t use layout for emphasis, and gets the name of the institution wrong. Ensure you use the full formal name of the institution you attended.

Writing a CV- School Leaver:

RIGHT
WRONG
A levels: Physics, Biology, Chemistry. September 2010–June 2012 Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK   9 GCSEs including Mathematics and English, September 2008–June 2010 Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK
A levels, September 2010–June 2012 Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK   9 GCSEs, September 2008–June 2010 Greenford Comprehensive, London, UK

The correct example gives details and adds emphasis with bold and italic. As you can see, no need for individual grades, but A level subjects are mentioned as are the crucial Maths and English GCSe passes.

The wrong example leaves out pretty much everything. You may as well just leave a blank space.

Writing a CV- Still Studying:

BA (Hons), 2:1, English Literature, September 2017– expected completion date June 2020

University of Manchester, UK

Just a quick example to show you what to do if you’re still pursuing a qualification. Put “expected completion date,” followed by the month and year you expect to finish.

That’s an education section that’ll put Professor Brian Cox to shame, now for professional qualifications.