A common question we receive from our clients is how much information they should include on their academic qualifications, certifications, awards, and other notable achievements. In this article, we focus on how you can determine which qualifications should be included when you are applying for an open position.
Do you have a short section for your educational qualifications section, or do you make it detailed and robust?
Education is perhaps one of the shortest parts of your resume. This is still going to be the case even if you are a graduate of recent. Nonetheless, you can still add in a few details more than the basics which is the name of your university, the degree you worked for and the year you graduated. Additional information about your qualifications you decide to include in your resume is only useful if directly impacts some an employer offering you a position based on academia, ex: Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Geology, etc. One of the basic supplements you can add onto your education section is your concentration if you have one. A few majors offer concentration while a few don’t. If you managed to earn many concentrations during your coursework and yet could only choose one concentration formally, because your university, campus or school only allowed one, you can still add in several.
Another detail you can add into your resume is your certifications. Again, this addition only applies if you have any certifications. Some people do not get professional certifications, and others get degrees from vocational schools instead. A few people, however, have both a degree and a professional qualification. These are mostly applicable to groups of people who are specialists in the field of technology or are in a very specific discipline or an industry niche.
A common question when it comes to what to include in your academic qualifications is whether to include the grade point average (GPA) when you graduated from high school, college or a university. To answer this question, it is important that you always consider the time frame between now and when you achieved your academic distinctions. To elaborate, if you have earned your degree for instance 15-20 years ago, adding your GPA might be an outdated bit of information as it will not help you to measure up to your capabilities since most employers will not consider it as a defining factor in their decision to hire you vs. someone else. Instead, consider adding more measurable results from the past 10-15 years to demonstrate your significance and achievements in your workplace or workplaces. However, if you are a recent graduate of the college, adding your GPA into your resume would work immensely in your favor but only if it is higher than or is 3.0. If you have the time, you can calculate your specific GPA of your major, and if it exceeds your overall GPA, you may add it in as well. Most potential employers do not really care much for GPA scores. However, a few hiring managers will consider you a potential candidate for the job only if your GPA exceeds a certain level, so it is always good to add that in if you completed a degree within the past 10-15 years.
Honors and Extra Curricular Activities
What other information can you put in your resume to augment your value? If you participated in a sorority or a fraternity, you could add that into show your local network. You could also include memberships to any honor society’s if you were a member or a senior council to reflect leadership and proficiency. In fact, it might be a great inclusion in your resume as it echoes service-related initiatives and being part of a Greek chapter might open a few doors as it is one of the oldest traditions that has accumulated a very large community.
Other miscellaneous details that you can include in this section could be specific projects you completed in school or during your professional career that showcases your abilities and skills. It is recommended to include details about the specific project and defining your role to amplify the value add. Some projects can be time intensive or complex, and in special cases, it can even make contributions worth mentioning in relation to your discipline or field of study. Many applicants most times overlook the significance or the impact that could be added to their resume by getting involved in such projects.
So, when answering the most important question of what qualifications you would need to add to your resume: We highly recommend you add the relevant qualifications as it will give you a lot of credibility during your job search. Being conservative with the space used in your resume is not a bad thing as it is always best to have a resume of only 1-2 pages long, but always remember, what you put down on your resume will ultimately help you land a job or receive better pay. If you are not sure what to include, it’s always good to speak with one of us at The Job Helpers or simply signing up for a free resume evaluation that will help you gauge how your resume stacks up with other like-minded professionals in the industry.