Should I include my secondary education on my resume?

mathematics-80449_640Good question……again there is no definitive answer but listed below are some thoughts and questions to consider in deciding whether to include your secondary education on your resume.

  1. Firstly, remember that a resume has only one purpose and that is to get you an interview, so anything that you include on it needs to promote you in a positive way, anything that paints a negative picture in any way needs to be left out if possible.
  2. So what year level did you go to at secondary school and does the year level achieved create a positive or negative image?
  3. How old are you and how long have you been working?
  4. What industry, sector or profession are you employed in?

When working with clients, I usually start with the question of how old they are and then examine what they do and the length and depth of their work history.  For instance, if you are a teacher, including your secondary education on your resume may benefit your application, particularly if you went to a prestigious school.  On the other hand if you are a forty-five year old tradesman who finished secondary school at the end of year 10, have gone on to complete a mechanical trade and are currently employed in the mining sector; then your secondary education becomes irrelevant.

To tease out the pros and cons, I generally use what I call my under 30 / over 30 rule.  If you are 30 years old or over, have completed further training since you left school and you did not complete VCE, then I leave secondary education off the resume.  If you are under 30 years old and your work history is not so strong, you have not completed further training since leaving school and you did complete VCE, then I include secondary education on the resume.

It is to be noted, that if you are filling out an application form which asks for your secondary education, then you need to complete that section, but it doesn’t automatically follow that you should then include it on your resume.

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