6 Tips for Formatting Your Resume When You Haven’t Graduated Yet

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May 27, 2024 at 8:48PM UTC
Although you may be happily trapped in the college bubble, the doom of the “real world” is always lurking nearby. If you’re hoping to be prepared for work after college, it’s important to get experience before leaving campus. Working over the summers, whether in a part-time position or an internship, can be crucial in helping you get a job once you graduate. 
If you’re almost about to walk in your cap and gown, applying for entry-level jobs can cause similar stress. Whether you’re a first-year looking to dip their toe into the working world or a soon-to-be-graduate trying to find a position, here’s how to include your anticipated graduation date on your resume.

What is the meaning of anticipated graduation date?

An anticipated graduation date is the month and year you’re supposed to graduate. For most students, this is in May after their last of college. However, not all colleges and universities follow the same August to May schedule. Some students may graduate in June; others may have taken a gap semester and finish their studies in January. Some students will graduate four years after they enrolled in their college or university, while others might take six or two. Regardless of when you started college, your “anticipated graduation date” is when you’re expected to receive your diploma.
Job applications often ask your anticipated graduation date to gauge when you’ll be available for employment. It’s important to be honest about this date so you’re transparent about your commitments. An employer should know how much flexibility you’ll need in your schedule or if they’ll be able to hire you full-time in the next year.

What do you put on your resume if you haven’t graduated yet?

If you haven’t graduated yet, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to include information about your education; instead, you should prioritize it! At the very least, you should include the name of your school, its city and the month and year you’re expected to graduate. You can also include your major or program of study, your GPA (if it’s above a 3.0) and any outstanding academic accomplishments you’ve made thus far — some students list when they made the Dean’s list, for example.
Your anticipated graduation date can be written with a note that it’s expected or by simply as the date. For example, you can write Colby College (expected May 2022) or just Colby College, May 2022.
This information should all go into the Education section of your resume. Ideally, this information should be at the top of your resume. Once you’ve entered the workforce, it can be reordered and placed on the bottom of your resume, after your work experience.


Source: basedresume.com
Source: basedresume.com
Source: Resume Companion
Source: Resume Companion

Source: Resume Genius
Source: Resume Genius

Tips for formatting a college student resume.

Now that you know how to format your graduation date, there’s so much more to add to your resume to make it complete. Even if you haven’t had a formal job yet, your resume can show off many of the relevant skills you’ve acquired and experiences you’ve had that will make you qualified for an internship or entry-level role.

Lead with a summary or objective statement. 

Summarizing your abilities and the work you’d like to achieve will help orient the hiring manager in the right direction.

Prioritize your education

This can mean adding extra information about your classes, hard skills you’ve acquired and honors or other awards.

Don’t undersell your extracurricular activities. 

Use strong, active verbs to describe your positions and the work you did outside of the classroom.

Make sure you’re leaving enough space on the page. 

Don’t try to overcompensate for a lack of experience by overloading your resume; instead, make it easy to read.

List your relevant skills. 

You can list hard skills, like computer languages or soft skills, like team building.

Include your contact information. 

If you want to get that call (or email) back, make sure you include a way for the hiring manager to contact you!
This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.
Zoe Kaplan is a Staff Writer & Content Strategist at Fairygodboss. Along with her work for the Fairygodboss, she has written for bSmart Guide, Her Campus, and The Hudson Independent. Read more of Zoe’s work at www.zoeakaplan.com

What’s your no. 1 piece of advice for soon-to-be-college graduates? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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