by Frankie Wallace, Guest Author
If you ask people what matters most on their resumes when interviewing for a new position, they will likely assume that it is their job experience. After all, your past positions prove that you have handled this type of work before and that you have met the challenge. But that is not the whole story. Your education is equally important, and you need to prove that when applying for your next position.
From showcasing the highlights of your education to showing the interviewer how your schooling will benefit them directly, there are many tactics to explore. We will discuss several approaches below and how they can help you to land the dream job.
1. Properly List Your Education On Your Resume
To show off your educational experience, you have to make it known by properly stating where you have attended school and your performance at the university. If you have been out of school for a while and have at least a couple of jobs under your belt, then it is wise to follow the flow of experience first, education second. After listing your most recent positions, include your education section.
When you list your schooling, you need to mention the school, the dates you attended, the degree or certification you received, and your minor, if applicable. If your grade point average will impress, you can list that too. If you really want to leave a good impression, list the accomplishments you achieved while you were at school, be it a spot on the Dean’s list, Latin honors, or anything else that will both impress and apply to the job at hand.
If you are fresh out of college with little to no work experience but you excelled in school, then list your education first. Attending school may be the most important accomplishment of your life, so put it at the top of your resume along with any honors you received. You may be tempted to fill in the blank space, but be cautious of what you add. Potential employers don’t want to see your picture or your salary requirements. You can discuss the job specifics during the interview.
2. Highlight What Makes You Unique
Many applicants can go into the interview and share that they graduated with honors, but when everyone says the same thing, it won’t make much of an impact. Instead, think about what makes your experiences, educational and otherwise, unique and how that makes you stand out from other potential hires.
For instance, if your family could not afford to send you to college, but you forged ahead with loans and grants and graduated with a great GPA, share that information. It shows that you are not afraid to take risks for the greater good and that you don’t let adversity prevent you from achieving your goals. If you have specific skills that you believe are truly unique and they translate directly to the new position, bring it up and show why you are a must-hire.
Everyone has their own special skills. The trick is to find out what separates you from the pack and mention it during the interview.
3. If You Have A Graduate Degree, Flaunt It
If you have gone above and beyond during your education and obtained a graduate-level degree, such as a Masters of Business Administration (MBA), then you have an instant leg up over the competition and you need to use it to your advantage. Having a Master’s or Doctorate means a few things, one of which being that you are a person who looks for a challenge in your career and that you will do what it takes to learn the necessary skills to bring your professional life to the next level.
One of the other great things about obtaining a graduate degree is that, unlike many undergraduate degree programs, you won’t just learn a basic overview of what your job will entail but instead you will learn real-life examples of what will happen in your future position. In the case of an MBA, among industry-specific lessons, you will also learn how to manage difficult situations, make decisions with the company’s finances in mind, and learn how to create and interpret complex reports. Mention how learning all of this will help you succeed at the job you’re applying to and you are sure to be at the top of their list.
4. Talk About Specific Classes
A lot of candidates can tend to gloss over the fact that they went to college and not delve into the topics that they learned while in attendance. However, by talking about specific classes and how they apply to the new position, you could have some strong talking points that could set you apart.
An example could be bringing up the fact that you intentionally took math classes so you could learn more problem-solving and critical thinking skills. Or it could be that you would always make it a point to be a leader during group projects because you wanted to gain first-hand experience as a leader and manager. If you took basic computer courses, you might mention those as well so the interviewer knows that you won’t need extra training in that regard.
Combine the skills you learned in school with the experience you’ve gained during previous jobs and you have a winning combination.
Since you made the effort and dedicated your time to better yourself through higher education, you deserve to use the knowledge you gained to impress potential employers. Flaunt that educational experience and land the dream job you’ve been working towards all of these years.
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About the Author: Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer from the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys writing about career guidance and education but occasionally goes back to her roots with socially active news journalism. Frankie spends her free time cultivating her zero-waste garden or off hiking in the mountains of the PNW with her loved ones.