3 min read

Is It OK to Leave Your Education Off of Your Resume?

Oct 27, 2021 11:19:28 AM

What kind of degree?

If you only have an associate’s degree and you’re looking for a role at a Director level or above, there is no need to include the associate’s degree on your resume. If you leave it off, an employer or recruiter won’t even realize it.

If you have a bachelor’s degree, even in an unrelated area, it’s a good idea to put it on the resume.

Do include your bachelor’s degree if you’re targeting a leadership or six-figure position. If you don’t include your bachelor’s degree on your resume, it may come up in conversation for Director-level positions and above.

Remember: what you don’t want is for your education to keep a recruiter from picking up the phone and giving you a call.

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What about the dates?

You don’t need to include the year you received your degree. In fact, it’s not a good idea. And that goes for LinkedIn as well. The dates could seem either too old or too recent, and that might keep them from reaching out to you.

Should I get an MBA?

Sometimes people ask me, “Is an MBA worth it?” The truth is: most likely not. I’ve seen people who’ve marketed themselves really well get a better role with much higher pay much faster than people who have an “MBA” listed after their name.

Unless it’s for personal fulfillment, I wouldn’t recommend taking the time to get an MBA. If you’re already working on an MBA, by all means, stick with it! Just know that you can find a great new job that is multiple rungs higher on the ladder simply by marketing yourself correctly and developing a strong personal brand.

What’s the bottom line?

It’s okay to not have a college degree. I have worked with countless six-figure clients in executive roles who did not have a college degree. Many of them were in sales and were out there actually selling while the rest of us were in school, getting a degree that may or may not have been relevant to the career we ultimately chose to pursue.

If you feel hesitant about not having a college degree, especially if you’re over 30 years old, you really don’t have to go back to school unless it’s for personal fulfillment.

It’s not worth it: it takes too long, it’s too expensive, and you probably don’t have the time. It’s also not that critical to getting a six-figure position—truly!

Important hiring managers always say, “Listen, if it’s not important enough to put on the front page, I don’t have time to read it.”

Think about that.

Is your education important enough to include on the first page? If so, make a one-page resume and executive summary. The executive summary is designed to get you a response. If your resume is beautifully formatted but not getting you any calls, that’s a problem and you need to change it.

Here's a link where you can get my sample resume five-pack.

This will give you five resumes for different functions; Operations, Sales, Marketing, IT and Finance. This resume pack will guide you in deciding what you want to do with your own resume and how you want to be perceived. It’s all about perception. It’s all about how you want to be seen by people who don’t yet know that you exist. They’ve never heard of you, so this is the first impression they get. Make it a good one!

Tammy Kabell

Written by Tammy Kabell