Can I delete education from my CV?

Monday, April 27th, 2009 - career change, career transition, CV Help, Education, how to make a cv, How to Write a CV, Job Application, job search, job seeking

CV Education

UNDESD Robert Schreiber presenting core competencies for sustainability education
Creative Commons License photo credit: Samuel Mann

Greg asks: I get the feeling that the education on my CV is impeding me, in finding a job and otherwise, because people will inevitably ask about it, and I don’t like to talk about my past; also it raises expectations of me that I cannot meet. Do you think I would be justified in deleting part or all of the education from my CV?

In answer:

You did not specify Greg whether your education is related to your career field or not; I am going to assume because of your posting, that it does not.

Short answer, NO. If you do omit education , it becomes a huge part of the interview or worse yet, you won’t get an interview because you have no education. The problem with deleting it from your CV is this: if the person screening your CV/resume is supposed to screen for professional experience and degree, not seeing your degree is likely to prompt him/her to bounce you out of consideration. Employers don’t assume you do have a credential you haven’t mentioned. They assume that you don’t have it since you didn’t mention it.

Perhaps you are providing too much detail about your educational background? As an example, you can still list “Bachelor of Science” and the institution where you received that degree without including your specific area of focus, if it is not related. The key is that you want to demonstrate that you have been advancing your educational career in additional to your vocational career.

If you have advanced degrees, then perhaps, scaling back to the most relevant degree that relates to the types of jobs for which you are applying might be the right approach. Another example: If you have a Ph.D in Advanced Microbiology, a Master’s degree in Biology, and finally, a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, then perhaps, depending on the requirements of the position you are interested in, you would only keep the highest level of relevant education on your CV.

A word of caution: It is NOT a good idea to completely remove your education from a CV! To recruiters and hiring managers, it looks like you don’t have any- they won’t assume anything about your CV. You need to state it if you want them to know you have advanced your educational career.

Good Luck!

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