As you piece together the information on your resume, you may start to wonder where that information needs to go. Should you include your qualifications at the top of the document or is that better left for the end? And, do you include your contact information on each page? But, the question I am asked most often is whether or not to list your education prior to your experience or after that work history.

The answer is this: IT DEPENDS. While that may not be the answer you want to here, it is the truthful response. Read below for several ‘rules’ and questions that we can apply to the Education section that will guide you in its placement on your new resume.

First – have you graduated college within the last six months to one year? If so, then it is appropriate to list your education prior to employment experiences. This is because you most likely have little or no professional experience and your education is the core competency that you wish to highlight for an employer.

Secondly – have you graduated from a well-known college or university? For example, if you graduated from Harvard or Princeton, this is information that should be highlighted. Depending upon the position and the employer, these types of universities will provide you with an additional advantage over other candidates.

Next – how many years of professional experience do you have in your desired field? If the answer is one or more years, then the Education section can go after the professional history. In this case, we should focus on highlighting your skills, accomplishments, and abilities at each position. For those that have many years of professional experience, education becomes less important as you move forward through your career.

Remember, there is not one resume format that fits all job seekers. Be strategic when placing your information and showcase your strongest assets and experiences first. Recruiters and hiring managers have precious little time and you want to ensure the front-loading of pertinent information.

If you still have questions about your resume, please contact us for a free resume review!