Most serious college students understand the importance of trying to make the dean’s list. It’s one of those accomplishments listed on your resume that speaks to your drive, dedication, and ability to succeed. You may also have heard that being on that list can increase the odds of getting hired during the job search.
That is certainly true--at least for certain types of jobs and certain industries. Still, you might wonder whether you should include your dean’s list distinction on your resume, and how to list it. In this post, we’ll examine those questions and help you better understand the issue.
Tips to include the dean’s list the right way
Let’s assume that you have those steady or relatively consistent accomplishments. The next question is how you should include the dean’s list on your resume. Here are some tips to help you properly format that information:
Be careful adding the dean’s list in a section of the resume that won’t detract from your narrative.
Many experts prefer the education section for this listing.
Include the name of the school, major, and other relevant details.
If possible, include the dean’s list information right after noting your GPA.
Be specific and include details about the number of semesters you made the list.
If appropriate, describe the criteria needed to make the dean’s list at that school.
Example of how to include the dean’s list on your resume
To better understand the right way of putting the dean’s list information on your resume, we have included an example. You can use it as a guide to formatting your own resume to include making the dean's list.
Acme University, Anytown, Anywhere
School of General Knowledge
Bachelor of Arts
Cumulative GPA 3.71, Dean’s List 7 semesters
Check how your resume performs on an ATS (applicant tracking system) scan with ZipJob's free resume review.
Why the dean’s list matters
When you make the dean’s list, it’s a clear sign that you know how to succeed. Those academic and professional achievements demonstrate hard work and a consistent commitment to success. Those are qualities that every employer and hiring manager appreciates.
As a result, many experts recommend that you include the dean’s list on your resume. However, you should always consider the specifics of that accomplishment. In some instances, you may want to avoid its inclusion.
For example, if you only made the dean’s list for one semester, should you bother to mention it? Do you include making the dean's list every semester?
Most experts would agree that such inclusion might do more harm than good. If a potential employer saw that you only had one semester of outstanding accomplishment during your college years, he or she might wonder what you were doing with the rest of your time at the university. In this case, it's better not to bring your qualifications into question by including this detail.
On the other hand, making the dean’s list consistently would certainly be an accomplishment worth noting on your resume. Of course, you don’t have to have a perfect record throughout your college years, but making the dean’s list multiple times during your college career is noteworthy.
Dean’s List 2016-2017, with 3.9 GPA. Received Student of the Year award in 2017, while at ABC University
This can be especially helpful when you’ve recently graduated from college and have limited professional work experience.
When you include dean's list information on your resume, keep it simple so that you don't detract from your narrative.
Finally, a word about your narrative. Sometimes, issues like whether to add the dean’s list information on a resume can detract from your story. That narrative is critically important, so don’t become so bogged down with one detail that you neglect the broader story.
Sometimes, the simple approach is the best approach. In this instance, just include the information as one more detail that showcases your commitment to excellence. Then focus on ensuring that the rest of the resume properly conveys the value you can provide if you’re hired.
The ZipJob team is made up of professional writers and career experts located across the USA and Canada with backgrounds in HR, recruiting, career coaching, job placement, and professional writing.