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List Incomplete Education On Resume

Your resume is a living, breathing document that should be constantly updated and customized.  As your resume is your best bet to landing a job interview, you’ll want to ensure that your resume is perfected and contains all relevant and pertinent information.  However, if you attended a college or university but did not graduate with a degree, how do you list incomplete education on resume?

Regardless of whether or not you graduated and received a diploma from a college or university, you should always list any college or university programs you attended.  It is far better and preferred to indicate some level of post-high school education.  This is true for undergraduate programs, whether or not a degree was successfully conferred.

How To List Incomplete Education On Your Resume

Although it is better to have a degree conferred to your name, most employers want to see some level of undergraduate coursework completed.  You should list the college or university you attended beneath the education section of your resume.  In addition, you should indicate the major or concentration which you were enrolled in.

Within the education section of your resume, you should include the dates that you were enrolled.  This should be formatted to include both the month and year you started, and you ended.  To provide additional context, you should also include any relevant courses completed which may be beneficial to your career path and career goals.  Lastly, you may also consider including the number of credits you completed.  This can provide a more holistic view and understanding to the interviewer of how far you were to completing your degree.

Lack Of Other Relevant Experience or Education

Particularly if you have a lack of other relevant work experience or education, listing your incomplete education on your resume is paramount.  This will show the interviewer that you had been enrolled in a degree earning program and will provide explanation for your lack of work experience.

A lack of work experience or education is not the end-all of a job search.  You can also add in additional volunteer or community work to provide context relating to what you have been busy with.  In addition, if you held any leadership positions or positions related to management, then you can add those onto your resume.

How To Explain An Incomplete Education?

You don’t want to provide excuses or a reason why you didn’t complete your education on your resume.  Rather, you may opt to include a quick description on your cover letter.  This will allow you to have more space and room to provide a fuller explanation.

However, you may opt to gloss-over your incomplete education altogether.  This can work well, especially if you have sufficient work experience to back-up your lack of an undergraduate degree.  If you do not have sufficient experience, then it may be better to discuss the incomplete education directly on your cover letter.

Examples

We have included a few examples below of how you may choose to list incomplete education on resume.  Feel free to utilize one of these examples.

  • Rutgers University | Concentration in Economics | 09/2012-05/2014
    • Completed 90 credit hours towards degree
    • Relevant courses completed – Intro to Microeconomics, Intro to Macroeconomics, Econometrics
  • East Carolina University | Concentration in Public Health | 09/2018 – Present
  • Emory University | Pre-Medical Concentration | 09/2017-09/2018
    • Expected graduation 05/2021. GPA 3.78

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