Still in school? Don’t let that hold you back from landing a great job with a great resume — complete it right now and it’ll still be easy to update when you graduate. Putting an expected graduation date on your resume could not be easier, and you may thank yourself for doing so down the road.
Many students are unsure how to deal with an unfinished degree or diploma on their resume, or if it’s even okay to include anything short of graduation at all. Be assured that it’s not only acceptable but encouraged to include expected graduation dates on a resume.
In this blog, we’ll tell you
- Why graduation dates belong on a resume
- Where to place your graduation date on your resume
- What to include
- How to write it
Why graduation dates belong on a resume
Especially if you’re applying for an entry-level job in the field you are studying at school, an expected graduation date on your resume tells employers how close or far in the future it will be. And even if your postsecondary studies are in an unrelated field, or you are a high school student, it’s an indication of how your work and class schedules need to be compatible.
Hiring managers may be impressed with your motivation to work while studying, which also suggests you have self-discipline and time management skills.
What if your graduation date is uncertain?
No worries. Expected graduation date means exactly that — to the best of your knowledge, where things stand now. Circumstances can change, and so can this date on a later version of your resume. Employers only care about the likeliest graduation date; they're not going to hold you to it as if written in stone.
Where to put your expected graduation date on a resume
The date you expect to graduate should appear next to the degree or diploma you are studying for. This comes first in the education section of your resume. Any degrees or diplomas earned previously should be listed below with their corresponding graduation dates — in reverse chronological order from highest to lowest level.
High school information can be omitted if you already have a bachelor’s degree or higher.
As long as you are still a student, with no work experience relevant to the job application, the education section should be placed above your resume’s employment history (or “experience”) section. Their positions will be reversed once you have been in the workforce long enough to gain professional experience.
What to include
Essential information for putting your expected graduation date on a resume:
- Degree or diploma program if you are a college or university student (not necessary for high school)
- School name and location
- When you expect to graduate — month and year or year alone
- GPA — only if above 3.0 (some experts recommend 3.5 as the lower limit)
- Honor roll or dean’s honor list if applicable
- Courses studied — if relevant to employment
How to write your anticipated graduation date
These examples show how pending graduation dates might appear in the education section of a resume.
BA in Criminology (Expected May 2025)
Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA
Ohio State University: Candidate for BS in Animal Sciences
expected to graduate in May 2023
Woodbury High School, Woodbury, MN
Expected graduation date 2023
GPA 3.8, Honor Roll
Master’s in Multimedia Journalism
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
Graduation date 2023 (expected)
Courses: Thinking Story, Foundations of Explanatory Journalism, Digital Ethics, Mass Communication and Society, Foundations of Multimedia Journalism, Immersive Storytelling
- If you’re a job-seeking student, always include your expected graduation date on your resume.
- List it with the school information in your resume’s education section.
- Besides being impressed with your motivation, employers are better informed to make mutually beneficial hiring decisions that take into account your availability and intentions.
For more ideas on how to set up your education section and other parts of your resume, check out Resume.io’s collection of 350+ occupation-specific resume examples and writing guides.