Updated: Apr 26, 2020
If you are looking for help to write a CV, a series of short articles and related videos by My CV Guide are providing quick and easy tips covering each section of a CV in turn. This is free CV advice that is easy to apply and will strengthen your CV in identifiable and meaningful ways. It goes beyond a lot of the generic CV advice you may have already seen by offering hints and tips you probably haven't thought of or considered before.
This is the sixth article in the series and focuses on Education and Qualifications.
· Related: How to write a CV: Contact Details
· Related: How to write a CV: Personal Statement
· Related: How to write a CV: Key Skills
· Related: How to write a CV: Key Achievements
· Related: How to write a CV: Employment History
Clarifying your Education and Qualifications in a CV can offer two areas of value to a potential employer. They can demonstrate relevant knowledge and accreditation or show a level of academic capability that may be of interest. If you are writing a CV with no qualifications or limited education you may have concerns over this section of a CV, but try not to worry. They can be essential for some roles, but perhaps surprisingly, are not as critical a deciding factor as you may think for others.
If you are leaving education or writing a CV with no work experience, then your Education and Qualifications could play a significant role in your CV and be the main body of content. How to cover Education and Qualifications in a CV therefore can vary greatly, depending on your individual background and what you are applying to.
Top CV Tips
Identify the Value
What value do your Education and Qualifications offer a potential employer? Which elements are the most relevant to what you are applying to and which are at the highest level? Out of those, which will be of most interest?
Some roles will genuinely require essential qualifications or professional accreditations so these will be a priority. Other opportunities may not specify and so consider whether there is anything transferable or relatable within your qualifications that are worth emphasising, or indeed should other elements of your experience, achievements or competencies be focused on within your CV instead?
Find their place
Where can you best introduce your most valuable qualifications into a CV? Think in terms of both a designated section but also making reference to them in your personal statement or professional profile at the start of a CV.
If a particular qualification, professional accreditation or level of education is essential for what you are applying to or your main selling point, get it across as early as possible in a CV. Similarly, if you are leaving education or your academic background is more relevant to a role than your employment history, consider positioning the whole section earlier in your CV.
Go into the right level of detail
For professionally recognised or accredited qualifications the name, awarding body and date (along with grade or level if appropriate) is often enough detail.
If the qualification is high level and required for example full-time education, a complex structure with various elements and selected modules however, expanding on details of the course content may be worth doing. This is particularly the case if your education is the main selling point of your CV. Highlight modules or projects, dissertations or areas of research that would be particularly relevant to what is being applied to. This will not only allow you to demonstrate the level of knowledge you have on a subject, but also your commitment and interest in it.
Good luck writing your CV and presenting your Education and Qualifications as effectively as possible.
For the other articles in this series, visit the My CV Guide Blog. For in-depth advice and guidance on how to write a CV, take a look at our downloadable CV Guide or consider our CV Review and CV Consultation Services for an in-depth review of your existing CV or full professional CV writing service.