When sitting in front of your potential next employer, in a job interview, the most essential piece of paper which adds instant credibility to your personal brand is not your college degree – it’s your resume!
We recently turned to Certified Resume Writer Violet Nikolici Lowery, President of A Plus Professional Resumes and Creator of “Pimp My Crappy Resume”, to address a frequently asked question by Job Seekers – “Should I include coursework from a University which I attended but did not end up getting a degree from?”
The red flag was raised after a Job Seeker sent us the following e-mail…
“I’m unsure if in the ‘education’ portion of a resume I should include coursework from a university which I did not end up getting a degree from. Doesn’t it reflect poorly on me, as a Job Seeker, if my resume shows an inability to finish something; regardless of the reason? Maybe it’s something that could be identified and/or included in an interview instead of the resume. Please help!”
Here’s what our resume guru had to say…
“That is a great question! Remember, it is all in how you present the information. Here is an example of how you can position your education: ABC University, Any town, USA. 25 credits towards BA in Business with concentration in: Accounting, Finance, and Economics. You can also list the courses taken or highlight a project or group project you worked on. If you highlight why you are of value and what you have done, that will attract the reader more so that what you have not done. You must have measured results on your resume. Why hire you? What have you done? This is your marketing document. If you were a business, would you market to a customer what you haven’t done? No, so the same goes for you.
If you are concerned about the education, there must be a reason you need to capitalize on your success, your skills, your qualification highlights. Again, what do you have to offer and why will I (the employer) benefit. One way that you can help yourself with experience is to volunteer in your field of interest. Let’s say you are a
Marketing or Public Relations person and you did not finish your degree because you decided to get a job or you had to go to work and it wasn’t in your field, then you received a volunteer opportunity from Coca-Cola
to work in their marketing department for an upcoming PR campaign…this is huge! You can name Coca-Cola on your resume and highlight that experience – that adds instant credibility.
Again, it is all in how you position the information and what your ultimate goal is. Remember, you must be honest and not embellish on your resume. Identify exactly what the employer is looking for and
give specifics measured results on what you have done, and how you can
So, to sum up, your question was all about the education… I am a big proponent of education, however, it is not for everyone, and there are so many successful people in this world, that have not gone on to college (remember, I am pro-education and all about continuous professional development), but, the school of “Hard Knox”, which is very valuable…just put your best foot forward. Be proud of what you
have done and what you will continue to do. Stay positive!
As always, I will be happy to review your resume or feel free to email me with your specific situation. Here’s to your success!”
You can reach Violet Nikolici Lowrey by e-mail at email@example.com or be sure to visit her website at www.APlusProfessionalResumes.com
Do you have a question with regards to your job search? If so, please send in your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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