How to list graduating with honors on your resume?

How to list graduating with honors on your resume

You can list your honors in multiple ways. Your resume format depends upon the purpose of your resume, your work experience, and the type of honors you have. Here are some simple-to-follow guidelines on how to list your graduation with honors correctly.

1. Assess your honors type

Honor is a broad academic category that includes graduation honors with your grade point average (GPA), like magna cum laude, summa cum laude, and cum laude, academic awards, and merit-based scholarships. Start by assessing which one of these categories you want to list in your resume. Usually, graduation honors are listed under the heading of Education on your resume. And if you graduated with distinction, your resume should mention your awards and scholarships under a separate heading.

2. Determine the purpose of your resume

Do you need to figure out what the purpose of your resume is? Are you making your resume for getting admission to a graduate school? Do you want to apply for your first job? Or do you have a well-established career and want to switch your job to another company? Your resume format and the headings you would include will depend upon the answers to these questions. Those who wish to begin their career should add more information on their educational background than their work experience. On the other hand, experienced professionals should include more work experiences and information on their honors.

3. Assess your work experience

Determine how many work experiences you must list in your resume. If you have more jobs, you will devote less space to the education and honors section of the resume. It’s recommended to include work experiences more relevant to the job you are applying for.

4. List down complete information

Gather all the relevant information and include it in your resume. If you have a graduation degree with an honor, make sure you include it in the education section of your resume. Add your honor next to the degree title, no matter what the purpose of your resume is.

Formats for listing down other types of honors:

I.     Resume for admission to graduate school

Add a new resume category named honors. As you’re planning to apply for admission to a renowned university, the admission committee would like to see more of your academic achievements rather than your job experiences.

II.     Resume for your first job with zero work experience

Fresh graduates don’t have much work experience other than part-time jobs or internships. If you’re someone who wants an entry-level position, create a new category on your resume named honors. Include scholarships and academic achievements in that heading. If you’re going to fill up your resume, try to add relevant work experiences (part-time jobs/internships/college TA/CR roles) and honors.

III.     Resume for an entry-level job with some work experience

If you are a candidate looking for entry-level positions but have some work experience, highlight academic achievements and scholarships in the honors category if you have space left. Employers would be more interested in your work experiences than your educational background and accomplishments.

IV.     Resume for a well-experienced individual who’s looking to switch job

Individuals with substantial work experience should only include honors and relevant academic awards. They should highlight their work experience and the acquired skill set over the years of working. Employers would be more interested in their job history than their degrees earned years ago.

5. Double-check your formatting

After putting complete information in your resume, carefully check the formatting of your resume. Make sure accurate and required information is added. Then check for text alignment, font style, font size, and the usage of italics and bold. Your text should have consistent formatting throughout the resume. A break in your formatting will make your resume look less professional, and it will be distracting for the reader. The formatting of your resume shouldn’t necessarily be identical, but it should be similar. If your resume is lengthy and it takes more than one page, try to remove unimportant information to cover it in one page only.

Examples of Resumes

Here are the examples of education, honors information, and honors to list in resume sections.

Education: This section should contain your relevant educational degrees and certifications. Mention honors if you have any. Check out this example of an individual who graduated with honors:


Stanford University – California, United States – July 2017

Master of Accounting & Finance

Honors: Summa Cum Laude, GPA 3.8/4.0

Harvard University – Cambridge, Massachusetts, July 2016

Bachelor of Business Administration

Honors: Summa Cum Laude, GPA 3.9/4.0


Include an honor heading in your resume if you have additional awards and scholarships. Remember that your academic achievements should be relevant to the job position you’re applying for. If you went to multiple institutions, mention all those institutions and the years you received your honor degree. Check this example:


Jones L. Deans Excellence in Debating Award – California University – May 2018

Dean’s List – Harvard University – 2006 – 2007, 2008 – 2009, 2009 – 2012, 2013 – 2015

Merit-Based Scholarship – Stanford University – 2009 – 2013

Tips on how to list honors program on resume

We have some other tips for adding graduation with honors to your resume. Check these out!

  1. Mentioning your GPA in your resume is not mandatory, but it can be helpful to concerned departments.

Students who graduate with honors have a promising GPA. But not every school has the same grading criteria. Mentioning your GPA in your resume is only helpful if you have achieved a 4.0 GPA or higher than the minimum required for graduating.

  1. Mentioning Dean’s List is not essential.

Skipping Dean’s List is not a bad idea. You can use that space for something of more importance. If you have graduated with Honors, adding Dean’s List is redundant.

  1. Proofreading your resume is a must!

If you have mentioned that you graduated with honors in your resume, employers will expect 100% accuracy from your end. Therefore, it is crucial to proofread your resume. Grammatical or spelling mistakes are the worse you could do while writing your resume.

Written by Brad S

A technical writer that has expertise in all niches from art and lifestyle to high-end technologies. He use to write about the changing landscape of business technologies and updates that could contribute to business growth and success. His vision is to motivate the audience with her deep research on contemporary tech topics.