What Employers want from the Education Section of your CV

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Employers want to be able to easily see your suitability for a role from your CV. Your education can tell them a lot about your your knowledge and skills. Therefore education can be one of the most valuable parts of your CV. Here are some tips on how to write about your education in your CV.

Positioning the Education section

Usually, if you have relevant and recent work history, that should come first in your CV and your education will follow. However if your work history is not relevant to the role or outdated, you could also start with your most recent and relevant education. If you are applying for roles in education or for financial or legal firms or are a recent graduate, they may like to see the education listed first.

Highlight the most relevant education

If your education is very relevant to the position then it should include details, if it is less relevant then it should be given less space.

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 if necessary. Work backwards. State the dates of when you started and finished each course, your course title, college name, location and a brief outline of your qualifications and subjects if relevant.

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. Mention the following;

  • Your results if they were high, and ranking in your class after you finished your exams
  • Scholarships, competitions entered or awards won at university
  • Groups or societies you were involved with
  • Extra positions or roles you held e.g. class representative or student vice president
  • Exchange programmes or volunteering you were involved in
  • Your thesis title if it is relevant to the role
  • Projects undertaken if they are relevant to the role

Below is an example of how you could list your Education

Education                           

Sept 2010 – June 2014                    Bachelor´s Degree in Business, Trinity College, Dublin

  • Involved in a yearlong exchange at Heidelberg University of Applied Science, Germany (2011 – 2012)
  • Awarded a 1.1 in final year exams ranking 5th in the class

Subjects included

  • Business Administration and Statistics
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Sales and Promotion Techniques and Strategic Marketing Planning 
  • Strategic Management Fundamentals, Quality Control and Management

If your education is not related to the role or you have sufficient work experience in the area you can just include dates, course title and college name, you don’t need to include the subjects.

If you studied abroad

Check APPENDIX 1 of QQI for the definitions of qualifications in Ireland to find the best way to explain your foreign qualifications e.g.: equivalent to Bachelor’s Degree level 8

Additional Training

For training that you have completed that is not as relevant you can include it in the additional training section. This includes any short courses that you have taken that are not included in the educational details area.

You can list them as follows

Feb 2016 – Mar 2016            Certificate in manual handling, Red Cross, Dublin (10 hrs)

Sept 2015 – Jan 2016            Certificate in First Aid and CPR, The order of Malta, Dublin (60 hrs)

Breda Hegarty is a career counsellor with the EPIC Programme run by Business in the Community Ireland. EPIC is a free programme supporting people from migrant backgrounds to gain employment. If you are interested in participating in one of the free programmes contact Livia Bartolomé on 01 8743842 or epic@bitc.ie

Breda also provides private career counselling sessions, you can contact her through LinkedIn or bredahegarty@hotmail.com

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