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Focus on the Education Section of Your Resume

October 22nd, 2008 · 3 Comments

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If you had asked me recently to name the part of the resume that people look at the least, I would certainly have said the education section.

(This is assuming we’re talking about the resume of a professional who has been in the workforce for a while. For a recent grad, the education can be pretty much the most important thing. )

The logic behind this is simple: Once you’ve been down the career path for a while, the what-you’ve-accomplished part is far more impressive to an employer than ancient history like, what college you attended. Your education just shows how you started off your career. Your career history shows what you’ve done with it. The what-have-you-done lately is what will get a 15 year veteran hired… not what college he/she attended.

But one of the most interesting things I learned last week was that the education section of a resume is not something most employers just skim over.

Not anymore, at least.

It seems that there has been a rash of degree fraud, resume fraud and just downright resume bs out there in the world lately. And employers have gotten gun-shy.

There have even been cases where people falsify what schools they’ve attended. Apparently, the internet has lead to a rash of these sorts of incidents. People pay a couple hundred dollars and lo and behold they have a degree from Such and Such College. This isn’t just a low-end, underworld problem. CEOs and high profile academics have been brought low by the admission (sometimes 20-years later) that they have falsified their resumes. Maybe you’ve seen some of the recent, high-profile headline cases.

Employers have been sufficiently burned, and so they are now insisting on going over the education section of your resume with a fine-tooth comb.

According to CDI research, the Education section of the resume has become one of the most-read (and scrutinized) sections of the resume.

My advice to any of you is this: pay more attention to the education section of your resumes. Don’t fudge anything. Even padding a GPA point or two can come back to bite you in the ass. Given the increased scrutiny, you’re not likely to fit a lie into your education section without being discovered.

At least… someday.

Related posts:

  1. Ask Brian- Taking A Step “Backward” And How To Address This In My Resume
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  3. Ask Brian- Best Resume Tip
  4. Your Resume, By Your Jewish Mother
  5. Ask Brian – What is the Difference Between a CV and a Resume?
  6. Busting The One Page Resume Myth

Tags: Resumes

  • ScottG

    Hey! My education listing is on target! My recent MBA also has my GPA of 3.85 and is not fudged one bit! With a high GPA you can bet I’d have it listed!

  • Richard Rinyai

    Hi Brian,

    It’s amazing of how many people actually don’t go into the field that they’ve studied. But I can understand that employers want to make sure that you didn’t buy your diploma off of a website.


    Richard Rinyai

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