Should I include unfinished degrees on my resume even though I finished different degree?
I am worried leaving them out will create a gap in the timeline (worked part-time at grammar school). And it also feels like lying.

I intend to keep grammar school job on the resume because having only the freelance experience on the resume looks empty

This is a redacted skeleton version of my resume:


Software Developer at Freelance             2011 - present
IT administrator at Grammar school         ? - 2012
I worked X hours a week at the my school.


University B                                              2019 - present
Master's degree
Program Z
University B                                              2016 - 2019
Bachelor's degree
Program Z
University B                                              2013 - 2016
Bachelor's degree - unfinished
Program Y
University A                                              2012 - 2013
Bachelor's degree - unfinished
Program X
Grammar school                                       ? - 2012
I would appreciate any advice.


pucciot's picture
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Unless the Degree is currently in Progress -- such as your Masters,

I would sugggest that you should mention only the year that the Bachelors degee was awarded - not the years that you attended the classes for the Degree that was awarded.

It will be assumed that all the years prior were working towards that degree.

Let the details come out in the interview if they ask.  And then you get to tell how and why.




University B - Masters Degree in ???   (in progress) 2019 - present

University B -  BS or BA in ?????  Awarded 2019



I see no reason to mention that it looks like you _failed to launch_ 2 times.

And For a Resume I don't think it is important to put your Grammar school.

You may need to put it on an application ... but not a Resume

* Unless you went to a Grammar School with a Top notch reputation.  Or a Magnet Program in your specialty.

I hope this helps


Good Luck







Jindra's picture

Thank you for your answer. This sound like a very good solution.
I think I was too focused on being chronological as I am in Europe and CV style is more prevalent / taught here.
I will do it the way you suggest.
Thanks again


mainer's picture

I would have to agree with the previous siggestion. Mentioning only the year in which one was awarded a degree is sufficient. Moreover, leaving things out of a resume does not necessarily amount to lying. For instance, if one is applying to be an academic editor, one doesn't need to mention one's experience as a part-time waiter (although one could mention this orally during an interview to present a persuasive picture--"I worked part-time to earn my own money, and it really has given me a strong work ethic" or something like that).

Additionally, very few managers (hiring managers or even ones you'll be working with) are sticklers about how long one takes to complete a degree. What seems to matter is whether you can furnish proof of having earned a degree you claim you've completed in your resume. Second, as Winston as explains in this Management textbook, managers look for whether a candidate can extrapolate. That is, it doesn't matter that X has a degree in A, but it matters whether X can apply their education and skills to meet the demands of a role. Please don't worry about the chronology. Besides, you have prior work experience (correct me if I'm wrong), and if you can get a glowing review/recommendation from your client/employer, nothing like it. All the best!