Recent graduates inevitably find themselves in a situation where they need to write their first resume. This is both exciting and daunting. On one hand, you really want to get hired for a cool job to make some moolah. But then…you also need to persuade someone to hire you.
The job market still remains tough. So you should use every tool in your box to make yourself an attractive hire. Being on a dean’s list gives you some good weight in college. But does this information belong to your resume? This guide will explain when to put the dean’s list on a resume and how to do so the right way.
Should You Put Dean’s List on a Resume?
Adding a Dean’s List mention to your resume adds substance to your academic achievements and “sells” your work ethic. That being said: dean’s list is an optional bit you can add or remove from your resume if you need to save some space.
Most employers don’t use ‘dean’s list’ as a candidate screening criteria. Instead, only about 46% use ‘GPA’ as a candidate screening criteria for recent graduates. But this is a downward trend. Overall, employers have become more accommodating towards alternative education and candidates who have strong hands-on skillsets, rather than a tenured educational track record.
So if you are applying for an industry job (rather than a position in academia), you don’t have to include a dean’s list mention or your GPA on your resume. Instead, create a longer resume summary, make a featured skills section, or expand your work history.
There’s also no point in including dean’s list on your resume if you:
- Been on the list inconsistently or for just one semester
- Graduated with Greek or Latin honors (summa cum laude)
- Have a degree in a field not related to the job
When to Add Dean’s List to a Resume?
On the other hand, if you are writing a CV for an academic position it’s a good idea to include a dean’s list mention in your education section. This can make you stand out among other applicants, especially if you’ve attended a university with a challenging curriculum. It’s also a good idea to list dean’s list on your resume if the GPA requirement for it was high at your college (e.g. above 3.8). Doing so clearly demonstrates your rigor and passion for the studied field — two qualities professors look for when evaluating candidates for research and academic positions.
Where to Put Dean’s List on a Resume?
You should add a dean’s list mention to the education section of your resume, right after the name of your university (college), and your degree. If you are submitting an academic CV, Hardvard Law School recommends an alternative layout. You can create a separate ‘Honors and Activities’ section where you’d list all the received distinctions. Doing so makes sense if you have completed an undergraduate degree and several graduate programs.
How to Put Dean’s List on Resume: 3 Formatting Ways
When it comes to resume formatting, you have options. The standard resume format is a chronological resume where you have an Education section at the bottom of the page. Your dean’s list mention goes here.
As a recent graduate without much work experience, you can also opt for a functional resume. A functional resume places greater emphasis on your skills and experiences, rather than linear career progression. Therefore, it allows you to mesh together educational and work entries and place the dean’s list mention in the mid-section.
Finally, if you are writing a CV — which can be longer than a one-page — you can add dean’s list to an ‘Honor and Achievements’ section, rather than the education one.
Below we provide three dean’s lists on resume examples you can use.
Dean’s List on Chronological Resume
The University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC
2021 Bachelor of Arts in English Literature
GPA: 3.6, Dean’s list for 4 semesters
If want to create a compelling college student resume, go use this format. First, list your university name, city, and state. Then add your graduation date and degree name. Also, you can add your minor after the degree title if it’s relevant to the job you are after.
If you are still at school, list your future degree and add “graduation date: Month, Year” on the next line.
Then list your GPA (optional) and add a dean’s list mention. You can specify for how long you’ve been on the list or drop this part to save some space for other bits.
Dean’s List on a Functional Resume
Performed extensive field research, collected lab samples, performed sample analysis, and subsequent cataloging as part of my marine biology degree from California State University. Been on the dean’s list for 4 consecutive semesters.
Functional resumes are less common than chronological ones. When using this format, you frontload your resume with a set of your most marketable skills, paired with a short, contextualized description of how you developed these. If you’ve honed a certain skill at school, you can add ‘dean’s list’ mention to make a stronger impression on the employer.
A functional resume primarily suits new entrant’s to the workforce, especially those hunting for their first job. If you already have some work experience under your belt, it’s better to go for a combination or chronological resume.
Dean’s List on Academic CV
Honors and Accomplishments
- Dean’s List, 6 semesters at the University of Texas
- Dean’s List, 4 semesters at Tampa Graduate School
- TA of the Year Award 2019
- “Brace for Space” competition, 2nd place
- President of the Debate Society
Unlike a resume, a CV (curriculum vitae) can be two or more pages long. This gives you room to add extra sections such as Honors, Awards, Certifications, Publications, Thesis, Interests, or References. In fact, many academic positions expect you to provide all of that information on top of your educational and work experience. If you go this route, move the dean’s list mention to the ‘Honors’ section instead of placing it in Education.