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Do you need to include all of your education on a resume? The answer is – no. There is no rule that says you have to include all of your education on a resume. There are a few reasons why one would want to exclude some education from a resume. The most common reasons are when one is overqualified for a position or when a degree is irrelevant to the position. We will go through some common scenarios when one may want to exclude some education or a degree from their resume.

 

5 Common Reasons to Exclude Education from a Resume

 

Here are 5 the scenarios we will discuss:

 

  1. Removing Your Education When You’re Overqualified for a Job
  2. High School Education on a Resume
  3. Excluding Irrelevant Education on a Resume
  4. Multiple Degrees or Certifications on a Resume 
  5. Excluding Graduation Year

 

#1 – Removing Your Education When You’re Overqualified for a Job

There are situations where one needs to take a job that they’re overqualified for. It is okay to remove a degree in this case. This is a heavily debated topic but most career experts agree that it is okay to “dumb your resume down” when you’re overqualified for a job.

For example: If a secretary position doesn’t require a degree but you have your Masters – it might be a good idea to leave it off.

*Warning – While it is okay to leave your education off of your resume, you should never lie on a job application. A job application is a signed legal document which you of course would never lie on.

 

Dumbing down your education on a resume when you're overqualified for a position

 

#2- High School Education on a Resume

Do you need to include your high school diploma on a resume? No

Should you put high school on a resume if you have no college degree? No – In this case it’s better to just not include an education section. Only listing a high school diploma will make you look both young and under-qualified for a job. Some of the most successful people in the world don’t have a college degree so don’t let that discourage you from succeeding!

We wrote a good post here on how to properly format the education section of your resume. 

 

You do not need to include a high school diploma on a resume

 

#3 – Excluding Irrelevant Education on a Resume

If you have additional degrees or certifications which are irrelevant to the position- leave it off.

Including irrelevant information on your resume will do more harm than good. The only purpose of a resume is to show that you’re qualified for the position you’re applying to. There are even situations where irrelevant jobs should be removed from your resume. 

For example: Let’s say you have a certification from a web development program and you’re targeting an accounting position – it’s better to remove this certification from your resume.

 

You could remove irrelevant education from a resume

 

#4 – Multiple Degrees or Certification on a Resume 

There are people with many degrees/certifications and listing all of them on a resume could do more harm than good. A hiring manager spends an average of 6 seconds looking at your resume. 

No hiring manager is going to sit there and dig through your education section to see if you have the degree or certification they’re looking for. If you have multiple degrees other than a bachelors – list only those that are relevant to the position or industry you’re targeting.

 

Listing too many degrees or certifications can do more harm than good

 

#5 – Graduation Year

You could remove the year of graduation from your resume if it was over 10 years ago. It is unfortunate but ageism still exists out there. 

Even though it’s illegal at any stage of employment, your age will have an impact on your job search.

There is no rule that says you have to include the year you graduated in.

 

You do not need to include your graduation year on a resume

 

Closing Thoughts

The biggest takeaway here is that you need to focus on relevant information that will help you land the interview. There is no rule out there that says you need to include every degree or certification on a resume.

Removing degrees or other education from your resume because your overqualified for a job is heavily debated. Most career experts agree that it is okay to leave off education it you’re overqualified but you should never lie on a job application. This is a signed legal document and you could be in hot water if caught lying.

You also don’t need to give away your age by including the year of graduation.

Best of luck with your job search!

 

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