How Much Education Should Be Listed on Resume?

This is one of the questions that is posed to me again and again…and it is a good question! Here is the answer: IT DEPENDS. I know. You would like a clear-cut answer.

But the reality is that when you set out to prepare a favorable candidacy via your resume you will use discernment and scrutinize your resume line-by-line, outweighing, repositioning, questioning, and editing so you influence and gain an interview.

The following question came to me via Twitter. Because Twitter limits your answer to 140 characters, you will find my reply below. (Great question!)



@resumeservice Hello I have a resume question. Should I list both my Associates and Bachelor Degrees?



You would always list your Associate’s Degree and your Bachelor’s Degree so as long as listing both is favorable to your candidacy. Now you may wonder, “how can multiple degrees not be favorable to my candidacy?”

Here are a few examples of when you would opt to not include your Associate’s degree if you have a Bachelor’s degree:

1. Your Bachelor’s degree major is in line with your career path but your Associate’s degree is not related in the very least. At this point, no need to divulge that you have taken up a different path before unless it can somehow add another favorable dimension to your candidacy. Remember, resume writing is about listing information that would be influential and about keeping content to the minimum necessary to persuade.

2. Your Associate’s degree is from a community college while your Bachelor’s degree is from a more impressive institution or a an Ivy league. I applaud those with a community college degree, so no hate mail please. My point is that you are shaping the most favorable and impressive image, so discard the unnecessary.

3. Your Associate’s degree was more than 10 years ago. Remember that this advice is if you have additional degrees. If your only degree is the Associate’s degree, list it no matter how long ago, but don’t include graduation date.

4. You never finished your Associate’s degree but transferred to a four-year college and completed your Bachelor’s Degree. No need to go there.

5. Your GPA was very low for your Associate’s degree but your performance was excellent during your Bachelor’s preparation.