Majors, minors, GPA, coursework, awards … filling out the education section of your resume can seem complicated at times. But it doesn’t have to be! Here’s a short but comprehensive guide on how (and when) to list a minor on your resume — and when to leave it off entirely.
How to list a minor in your education section
- Start with the name of the university or college you attended and your date of graduation.
- List the degree you attained.
- Include your major and relevant minor(s) on a single line.
- Add any other information you want to include, like major awards, study abroad, GPA, and relevant coursework (more on that below).
Here’s a sample you can copy and paste:
Resume Worded University, May 2011
Bachelor of Engineering
Major in Computer Science; Minors in Consumer Psychology and Mathematics
And here’s a quick example of what your education section should look like (with a minor included):
When should you list a minor on your resume?
In short: When it’s relevant.
If your minor is directly relevant to the job you’re applying for, you should always list it. This can provide additional context for recruiters (especially if your degree or major is less relevant) and adds keywords that might help your resume get past Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
Listing a minor on your resume doesn’t take up much space, so there’s no real harm in including it. That said, it’s fine to leave it off your resume if:
- It isn’t relevant to the position or to any of the duties mentioned in the job description. In particular, you might want to leave it off if it’s completely unrelated.
- You graduated more than 8-10 years ago. If this is the case, keep your education section short (you can also leave off your date of graduation).
- You have several minors — stick to listing no more than two.
What else can you include in your education section?
Here’s what you should always include in your resume’s education section:
The name of the school or university you attended
If you attended more than one school (for example, you transferred), it’s okay to only list the school you graduated from. You might want to list both schools if you previously attended somewhere particularly prestigious.
This one’s a no-brainer. Always list what degree you studied, including whether it was a bachelor’s, master’s, or associate’s degree, or something else. If you have multiple degrees, list your most recent first.
If you’re applying for a software engineering role, simply listing your degree as a Bachelor of Science isn’t particularly helpful. Always include your major area of study. You can do that in a couple of ways:
- On a single line with your degree. For example:
Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering
- On a separate line underneath your degree. For example:
Bachelor of Science
Major in Software Engineering
- With both your major and minor(s) included. For example:
Bachelor of Science
Major in Software Engineering; Minors in Mathematics and Consumer Psychology
You can include more information than that, especially if you recently graduated or are still in school.
Optional extras you can include if you recently went to school
In general, the longer you’ve been in the workforce, the shorter your education section should be — listing your minor, GPA, and coursework when you graduated 15 years ago is going to look a little strange. If your degree is more recent, here’s what you can consider including in your education section:
Date of graduation
This used to be a must, but it’s increasingly fine to leave it off, especially if you graduated 8+ years ago.
This isn’t a dealbreaker, but it can help identify your school if a recruiter isn’t familiar with it or if there are multiple institutions with similar names.
If you participated in an exchange program, include the name of the study abroad school or institution, the location, and the dates you studied abroad.
Only include your GPA if you’re a very recent graduate and it was impressive (above 3.5).
Again, this should be taken off your resume once you have more relevant work experience to replace it with.
Here’s a quick visual breakdown of what belongs in your resume education section:
This is a resume example showing what an expanded education section could look like if you’re a current student or recent graduate:
For a more detailed explanation of what to include in your education section, check out our guide on how to list your education on a resume.