RESUME ADVICE

How to List Expected Graduation Date on Your Resume

Listing your expected graduation date is harder than you may think. Mostly because often you don't have the exact date of your graduation.

Your graduation is close, you can see the light in the end of the long book-filled tunnel. That’s absolutely great.

Your potential employer would also be happy to hear that. It would show them how far along you are in your degree and will be happy to hear that you are planning on earning it.

But how to show them all that? The easiest way is by spicing up your education section with one little detail.

That detail is your expected graduation date, and it is more important than you would expect.

In this article, we are going to explore every aspect of that:

  • What is an expected graduation date?
  • When to list an expected graduation date on your resume?
  • Where to list an expected graduation date on your resume?
  • How to list an expected graduation date on your resume?

And we will leave you off with some great tips and tricks, and a template for you to use.

If you feel unsure about the overall strength of your resume, we can show you How To Make Your Resume Stand Out or you can use our resume builder to make a resume that stands out!

But if you are ready to learn why your expected graduation date can be so crucial, and how to list it on your resume, stick around.

What is an expected graduation date?

Before we continue, we need to determine what an expected graduation date means.

This is the month, day, and year that you are scheduled to earn your current degree at your college or university.

Depending on the type of degree, the program that you are in, and whether you are attending part or full-time, your degree might have a different duration span. Usually, it takes four to six years of full-time study to finish all your coursework and earn your degree.

However, there are also accelerated programs, where you can earn your degree in just one year.

The reason your potential employer is interested in your expected graduation date is to understand how far along are you with your training. Furthermore, they need to know that you are going to finish your degree, and when would you potentially be available to start work.

When to list an expected graduation date on your resume?

Including your expected graduation date on your resume can be a wonderful idea. But that only applies when you are applying for entry-level positions.

That’s because most students graduate with little to no experience, and more focus falls on the education section. Showing your expected graduation date can give your potential employer some crucial information.

If you are close to graduation and plan to finish your education, you would absolutely want to list your expected graduation date. That would help your potential employer calculate how much flexibility they should have to your schedule, and for how long that will continue.

In some cases, you would need to graduate in order to be allowed to work in a certain field. Then it would be even more crucial for your potential employer to know your expected graduation date, as that’s the date you would be eligible to be hired.

Where to list an expected graduation date on your resume?

You might be able to guess that, but your expected graduation date should be placed in your education section. Where it should be is right next to the degree that you are currently taking and expecting to finish soon.

Regarding the placement of your education section, you should keep it above your work experience section, as long as you don’t have much work experience. As soon as your work experience starts having more weight on your resume, you should move the education section under the work experience section.

How to list an expected graduation date on your resume?

Listing your expected graduation date may seem like an easier task than it actually is. It requires a great deal of precision and collecting all the right data. Don’t worry though, we’ve got everything you need and will go through it all.

Identify your graduation date

Determining your graduation date is not an easy task.

It varies greatly on a variety of factors in every academic institution, including:

  • The program may offer multiple graduation date opportunities.
  • You might get poor grades in the final semester.
  • You might miss the deadline to apply for graduation.

You should include your expected graduation date as soon as you have more clarity on the matter.

Another way to go is to not include an exact date, but list the term and year instead.

For example – “Spring 2022” would do the job just fine.

Name your school and degree

It might seem obvious, but you should always remember to list your school and degree. Don’t get too carried away with all the expected graduation date struggle.

Basics are important, you need to get your education section just right. Usually, you would want the degree to go above the school name unless the school is really prestigious.

Also, don’t forget to list the city and state where the school is located. All these basics are a must before you list your expected graduation date.

List your current GPA

Your GPA is typically not required on your resume. However, your potential employer might like to see how you are doing with your studies. Often your GPA and how serious you take your studies reflects on your work later on in life.

So, if your GPA is good, you should consider listing it in your education section as well. However, if your GPA is 3.0 or lower, you should leave it out, as it might hurt your chances.

List your expected graduation date

Finally, list your expected graduation date in your education section. It should be positioned right under the school’s name and location.

You can use either month, day, and year format, or simply list term and year. Either way, make sure it is clear that you have not graduated yet, and it is the expected graduation date.

If it is not clear for the hiring manager, it might be interpreted wrong, and you might never be called for that interview.

A list of tips and tricks on listing your expected graduation date on your resume.

Okay, we have gone through everything that you need to know about the expected graduation date on your resume. But we wouldn’t leave you without giving you some essential tips and tricks as well.

Consider including relevant coursework and projects

Your education section is crucial while you don’t have much work experience. That’s why you need to make the best out of it.

If you have some relevant coursework or projects that you can list, you should do so.

However, don’t get carried away. You need to just briefly describe their relevance and the skills that you have gained in the process.

Add your academic honors

We already mentioned that you need to consider including your GPA, if it is above 3.0.

But that is not all. Any academic honors that you have earned would work greatly in your favor. If you earned a special honor, such as the Dean’s List, President’s List, or any other similar achievement, it should find its place on your resume.

Proofread

Probably one of the most important steps is to proofread what you have written. You would want to be as accurate as possible.

So make sure you re-read and double-check all dates and scores you have listed. You wouldn’t want to get the hiring manager confused and lose your chances over a typo.

Template for expected graduation date on your resume.

Now that we have gone through it all, we want to give you a template for our work. Take it, use it, and perfect your education section:

[Degree program]
[School name, city, state]
[Expected graduation date]
[GPA]

  • [Course]
  • [Course]
  • [Project]

Takeaways

Now you know when and where to list your expected graduation date on your resume.

You are now ready to list it correctly and improve your education section.


Don’t forget the basics. The expected graduation date is significant, but the basics are what matters most.

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Evgeni Asenov
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