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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

How to list your high school education on your resume

6 min read
How to list your high school education on your resume
Artwork by:Antonina Kasyanikova
A high school diploma is the foundation for the rest of your educational and professional experiences. Here’s how and when to add it to your resume.

If you’ve just graduated high school or are creating a resume for the first time, you’re probably wondering about the best way to add your high school education to your resume. If you’re a college grad and have spent several years in the workforce, then you may want to reevaluate whether you need to list your high school on your resume at all.

Luckily this blog will break down the do’s and don’ts of how and when to add a high school diploma to your resume and provide detailed examples of the types of information you should include. Here are some of the questions we’ll tackle:

  • Should I include my high school education on my resume?
  • How should I format my high school diploma on my resume?
  • Is it OK to take my high school education off my resume?
  • Should I also include information like my GPA, awards, or coursework?

Should I list my high school education on my resume?

Whether or not it’s a good idea to list your high school education on your resume depends on how recently you graduated and what other degrees you have to show. Let’s look at a few different situations:

  • Current high school student or recent high school graduate. Yes! This is the most important moment to include your high school education on your resume. We’ll explore exactly how to do that a bit further down in this blog.
  • Current college student or recent college graduate. Yes! If you are still in college you can include both your college degree in progress and your high school diploma on your resume. If you recently graduated college, you have the option to remove your high school but you may consider leaving it on if you don’t have a ton of other experience to fill up your resume.
  • College graduate with experience in the workforce. No. Once you’ve completed your college degree and have a few jobs or internships to show on your resume, you can remove your high school education. That’s because your college education takes precedence and you’ll also want to free up more space to write about the biggest accomplishments of your professional experience.
  • High school graduate (no college degree) with experience in the workforce. Yes! Since every resume should contain an education section, you’ll still want to include your high school diploma here. If you’ve been in the workforce for a while, you can remove the dates you attended high school. You can also supplement this section with certification, training, or other coursework.

How to list your high school education on your resume

In order to place your high school education on your resume, you’ll first need to create an education section. This should look similar to the experience or employment history section you’ve likely already created.

Within your education section, you can create subheadings for each of your education experiences. First, include the degree name (in this case “High school diploma”), then add the school name, dates attended, and location. Here’s an example:

Copyable example

High school diploma

Patterson Hills High School, Billings, 2018-2022

Copied!

If you are still in high school, you can simply add an expected graduation date.

Copyable example

High school diploma

Patterson Hills High School, Billings, Expected graduation date: 2024

Copied!

If you are a college student, make sure to add your college degree in progress before your high school diploma, like this:

Copyable example

B.A. Journalism and communications 

University of Montana, Missoula, Expected graduation date: 2024 

 

High school diploma

Patterson Hills High School, Billings, 2018-2022

Copied!

When to take your high school diploma off your resume

Your high school diploma is considered the basic educational degree, therefore university degrees will be more impressive to employers. Once you’ve completed a Bachelor’s degree, you can take your high school education off your resume. Make sure to include all the relevant information about your college education. Find out more about organizing your education section blog.

Should I include my GPA or relevant coursework along with my high school diploma?

If you are a current student or recent grad, your GPA, awards, or relevant coursework can help give a sense of how motivated you are as a student. You can include these pieces of information as bullet points under your high school diploma entry like you would for employment history.

Expert tip

When should I leave off my GPA?

There are two main reasons why you might leave off your GPA. The first is because your grades are not particularly impressive. If your GPA is below a 3.5 it may do more harm than good to include it on your resume. 

The second reason is that you graduated more than two years ago and your GPA is no longer relevant. This is especially true if you are a working professional. Remove your GPA and use the additional space to focus on awards, training, or other professional achievements.

What other information can I include along with my high school diploma?

While the school name, dates attended, and location are essential pieces of information, many students don’t know that they can also use the education section to showcase other relevant accomplishments. Here are some pieces of information you might include as bullet points under your high school diploma:

  • GPA or other grades
  • Grades for specific subject matters
  • Impressive courses like honors or AP classes
  • Coursework relevant to your intended profession
  • Awards or accomplishments
  • Leadership positions
  • Memberships to noteworthy organizations

Key takeaways

  • Your high school education is most important on your resume when you are a student or recent graduate.
  • You can remove your high school diploma once you’ve completed higher education.
  • Consider adding additional information like GPA or coursework, especially if you don’t have much professional experience to show.
  • Properly format your education section so that the reader can easily find the most relevant information.
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