By Vlad Mackevic
The main idea regarding the Education section of your CV: list your achievements. If you are writing a one-page CV, your education section will be small. If your CV is two pages long, then it’s worth investing a bit more in a detailed description – not of what you have done, but how well you’ve done it.
What to mention in your education section:
1. The obvious parts: Degree title, name of the university, years (start and (projected) finish), which year you are in, predicted grade.
NB: Start with the most recent education. Your university degree is more important than your secondary school grades.
2. If you are not in your first year, then the average grade of your first year (if you’re proud of it). If you don’t want your employer to see all your grades, write the best ones. Emphasise your achievements and small victories.
3. Modules/subjects in which you are specialising or for which you received a good grade (if relevant to the job). For example, if you are good at maths, then say it when applying for a job that requires numeracy skills. If your essays are especially good and the job requires written communication skills, put on your CV that you are skilled in research and report writing.
Mr John Smith who is in his second year is applying for an internship in a bank:
BSc Marketing and Management. University of XXXX. 2002-2005
Currently in 2nd year – First Class predicted. Av. grade for1st year – 67%.
First class passes in Mathematics (83%) and HR Psychology (75%).
Ms Jane Smith, a first-year student, is applying for a cashier’s job in a high-street bookstore.
BA English Language. YYYY University.2006-2009.
Currently in 1st year. Excellent computer literacy and research skills. First Class pass for the module ‘ITC for Language Analysis’ (79%).
Although in a skills-based CV your skills are the centre of attention, your education should not be at the bottom either. To be on the safe side, place it in the beginning, on the first page.
If your CV is one page long, then your education section can be as short as in the examples. If its length is two pages (especially as you enter the second or the final year of your studies and have more to show your employers), then you can add the following details:
4. Any academic awards or special achievements (for example, some universities and schools give awards to the best first-year student).
5. Subjects in which you specialise and grades that you are proud of (once again, if relevant to the job).
It is worth mentioning the results of your grades from the final year of school (A-levels in your case), what subjects you studied and what examinations you took. However, anything else is not really relevant anymore. There will come a time when you have so much experience that even school exams won’t be relevant, but for now let’s keep them – after all, it’s been so little time since you sat them.
This article is a chapter from Vlad Mackevic’s new book ‘How to Write a CV with Little or No Work Experience. A guidebook for students and recent graduates’. You can download this book for FREE by entering your email in the form below!
P.S. You’ll be able to find more information on succeeding in university in my new eBook Camp UK 10/2012: The Ultimate Post-2012 University Survival Guide, UK Edition, which will be issued in autumn 2012. Please, keep reading www.TheLectureRoom.co.uk for more information.
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