We can spend a lot of time focusing our attention on our work history which is really important but it is also vital to not neglect our education and write it in a way that shows our best side. To enhance the education section of your C.V. follow these key tips:
There are many arguments on whether to place education before work History or vice versa. For the most part if you have relevant and recent work history that should come first. If your work history is not relevant to the role or happened a few years ago then it can be a better idea to start with your most recent and relevant education. If you are applying for roles in education or for financial or legal firms they can sometimes prefer to see the education listed first but generally work history will take a higher position.
You don’t have to include all your education in the education section. Try to pick three or four pieces of education that are most relevant to the position that you are applying for, the rest can be placed in the additional training section. This also means that if the most relevant courses you did were a while back they are now moving to the top of this section.
- Start with your most recent education
Work backwards. State the dates of when you started and finished each course
- Give the details
State your course title, the college name and address and a brief outline of your qualifications and subjects that you studied, only mention a few subjects that are related to your future position.
- Identify Accomplishments
It is really important to highlight the positives. Recruiters are always looking for the person who will fit the role and who will go the extra mile; some areas that you could include would be;
- The ranking of the University if it is high
- Your results if they were high, and the ranking in your class after you finished your exams
- Scholarships received
- Groups you were involved with
- Extra positions or roles you held e.g. class representative, student vice president
- Exchange programmes or volunteering you were involved in
- Your thesis title if it is relevant to the role
- Competitions entered and Awards won at university
- Projects undertaken if they are relevant to the role
An example of how to outline your education can be found below;
Sept 2010 – June 2014 Bachelor´s Degree in Business Science, Faculty of Economics, University College Dublin,
- Involved in a year long exchange at Heidelberg University of Applied Science, “Germany”. (2011 – 2012)
- Awarded a 1.1. in final year exams and ranked 5th in the class
- Business Administration and Statistics
- Customer Relationship Management
- Sales and Promotion Techniques and Strategic Marketing Planning
- E-Business, International Marketing Fundamentals and Marketing Management
- Strategic Management Fundamentals, Quality Control and Management
If your education is not related to the role then just include the dates, course title and college name, save this space for more relevant information.
- Create an additional training section
Include here any short courses that you have taken that are not included in the educational details area. Include, the date of when you started and finished this course, the course title, the name of the University, and how many hours the course was for.
Sept 2010 – Feb 2011 Negotiation – Sales Skills Course, University College Galway (30 hours)
- If you gained your qualifications abroad
Check APPENDIX 1 of www.nqai.ie for the definitions of qualifications in Ireland to find the best way to explain your foreign qualifications e.g. similar / equivalent to Bachelor Degree
Breda Hegarty is the Pre-employment Trainer in Business in the Community, supporting people with barriers gain employment and author of the blog www.thejobmotivator.com . For more information and to book an appointment for a place on our next free training course in relation to C.V.s. cover letters and Interview skills call (01) 874380 / (01) 8743814 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org