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Written by Emily StokerEmily Stoker

How to list a GED on your resume and job applications

8 min read
How to list a GED on your resume and job applications
Artwork by:Antonina Kasyanikova
Your GED could be the key to opening a world of opportunities. So once it’s finally in your hands, how do you communicate it in the right way on your resume? This blog will walk you through each step.

Getting your GED is no easy feat. The good news is that if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already made a decision to invest in your future. Either you are on your way to getting – or you have already gotten – your General Education Development Test. Now you’re ready to put your hard earned GED on your resume!

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about putting your GED on your resume, including:

  • What is a GED?
  • How to list your GED on your resume
  • When to leave out your GED
  • The best way to include your GED on job applications

Your resume and job application go hand in hand to tell your professional story so far – your GED is a big part of that!

What is a GED?

The General Education Development Test, or GED, is a series of tests that is generally recognized as a replacement for a high school diploma. Unlike a high school diploma, you have to pass four components of the exam to pass the test. The score needed to pass the GED is 145, and those who score 165 to 175 out of 200 are considered ready for higher education, such as college.

Many people ask if a GED is a degree. While it’s not the equivalent to most college and university degrees, a GED is recognized by most higher education institutions in the USA. Therefore, it can be a door to a degree later down the road. However, students who score above 175 on their GED could earn themselves some college credits.

Statistical insight

Your GED can improve your employment outlook and earnings

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers over 25 who attained an education level less than a high school diploma equivalent have the lowest median earnings. They also have the highest unemployment rates at 8.6%.

How to put a GED on your resume

Whatever stage you are at in your academic or professional career, if it is still relevant for you to list your GED on your resume, then the advice is the same. List the full name of the certification: “General Education Development Diploma” or “General Education Development Certificate”. 

Any other wording – such as GED – could come across as too casual, or even risk being unclear as to what it refers to. Of course, don’t forget to list the date that you gained your diploma, too. All of this information should sit under the education section of your resume.

Expert tip

In progress GED

If you’re currently in the process of carrying out your GED, you can still mention it! Change the date next to where it’s listed so that it’s clear it is still ongoing:

  • General Education Development Diploma

            January 2022 - Present

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How to format the rest of your resume

Now you know that your GED belongs in the education section of your resume, you may have some questions about how the rest of your resume should look. The truth is that if you still need to list your GED, it’s possible that you haven’t got a lot of work experience yet. That’s not a problem, but you may have to get a little creative.

If you have several job roles you can list on your resume, then you may want to stick to using the chronological resume format . This prioritizes your previous professional experience and makes it the central focus of your resume. However, if you’re not quite there yet, then you can always opt for a functional resume format . This will concentrate on your skills rather than previous experience. If you need some more inspiration, then check out our guide on how to write a resume with no experience

When not to list a GED on your resume

While your GED is an accomplishment worth showing off, there are times when you don’t need to include it on your resume. For instance, if you have completed a college degree, then it may already be appropriate to stop listing your GED. That’s because any potential employer can already see that your level of education is beyond the level of a high school diploma.

On the other hand, perhaps you have already reached a point in your career where your other training and qualifications outshine your GED. If this is the case, then it might be acceptable to stop listing your GED. Just make sure that the rest of your experience is relevant to the role, and the hiring manager has no doubt that you meet their minimum education requirements. Always check the job advertisement to gauge what the best option is for you.

How to mention your GED on job applications

If your resume is the hero that brands you as the best professional for the job, your job application is the trusty sidekick. Both are important, but even the most flashy resume isn’t going to impress a hiring manager if your job application lacks thought. 

As a rule of thumb, when writing you can first refer to your GED by its full name with the abbreviation in brackets – “General education Development Diploma/Certificate (GED).” From then on you can refer to it as a GED. 

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Don’t forget to put some thought into when you should or should not mention your GED in the first place. Sometimes the GED may be the best way to do this. Balance out mention of your GED with other strong examples that illustrate the skills you will bring to the table, both in your written application and job interview. The most important thing is that you can confidently illustrate the skills, behaviors, and experiences that make you a great fit for this particular role.

Key takeaways

You should now have a clearer overview of how to list your GED on your resume. You should also feel more confident identifying how it fits into your wider job application strategy in order to wow your next potential employer.

  • Your GED is your golden ticket to prove that you have a high school diploma equivalent.
  • Your GED should almost always sit in the education section of your resume.
  • There are times when you won’t want to list your GED on your resume anymore.
  • Consider where your GED sits in your professional story and how you’re going to communicate that to the hiring manager throughout your job application.

Every great job application leaves the hiring manager wanting more. So now that you can communicate your value with confidence, the professional world really is your oyster!

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