How to list my university on my CV/Resume?
January 22, 2014 9:03 AM   Subscribe

The (state) university I attended was absorbed by a larger state school and the name of the school changed. How should I list this school on my resume - by the name it went by when I attended, or by the new name?

If it makes any difference, the old name was pretty obscure and was used for a single campus, very small university. The new name is more well known, and therefore probably more recognizable on a resume, but I feel like I didn't attend "the new" school. I currently have it listed under the old name and wonder if I should change it. Any advice?
posted by Sheppagus to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This came up twice to folks I knew when I was in high school. The way it was handled by them was this:

Georgia College (Georgia College and State University)

Gainesville State College (University of North Georgia)

Old school first, new school name following in parentheses. I don't know if that's textbook, but it got the job done for them.
posted by phunniemee at 9:09 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would go with Old College (now New University). On the off-chance they check your resume/records, you don't want them to search for a college that no longer exists; but this also represents your record accurately since you didn't go to New University, you went to Old College. I like the "now" because it makes it clear which is the old and which is the new school name.
posted by andrewesque at 9:14 AM on January 22, 2014 [8 favorites]

Strictly for business resumes (i.e. not academic CVs, which I know nothing about) definitely cite both names if you can. The more name recognition you can get on your resume, the better. Just don't cite only the new university because that can put you into an awkward situation if you get interviewed by someone who thinks you are a fellow alumnus.
posted by griphus at 9:16 AM on January 22, 2014

List it however you think isn't lying and is more likely to get you an interview. If the new name is more recognizable and well-regarded, put that on there in some form.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 9:28 AM on January 22, 2014

I applied to study at _College, which was subsumed into Polytechnic of _ at the point I actually started as a student, and the Poly was renamed University of _ before I graduated. I just use the University name on my resume, figuring that if anyone checks up on me, they need the current name in order to find contact details, and that the office staff know how best to find student's records.

If the former name was more prestigious, then go ahead and put both, but otherwise I think it just adds non-essential information.
posted by Joh at 9:33 AM on January 22, 2014

Maybe it's different when referencing schools, but when my company was bought by a bigger one, we listed it on our resumes like this:
New Company (formerly Old Company)
posted by LolaGeek at 9:40 AM on January 22, 2014

I'd do
Old College (now part of New University)
Old College (incorporated into New University)

I wouldn't do New University (formerly Old College) since that seems to imply that Old College just changed its name rather than becoming part of a larger system.

If someone ever needs to verify your graduation they will likely need to know the original school name in order to get the right office. It's unlikely that New University will have you in their regular alumni records and there have been enough high-profile cases of people losing jobs by misrepresenting their education that it's probably best to be clear.
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 10:13 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd do "Old (now part of New)", but since you seem like you want to but are reluctant to go with "New", maybe call up New's alumni office and ask them if they have a recommended policy, or if there would be any issue if a prospective employer were to call them up and ask them to verify that you attended New.
posted by Flunkie at 10:15 AM on January 22, 2014

I've had to similarly figure out a solution on my resume for my company name changing after being bought out. I settled on "New Company Name (formerly Old Company Name)".
posted by Green With You at 10:25 AM on January 22, 2014

Don't overthink this. Put both names, however you feel best about doing so, in a way that indicates the name your transcripts probably say versus the name on the sign today, so that IF someone did a verification they won't spend an extra 5 minutes on hold while someone is confused. It might also come up with the old name on a background check.

As long as you've done your due diligence to prevent someone from being preventably inconvenienced, you're fine. If Harvard ate your school and some skimmer things you went to Harvard, you can just point out that you noted it on the resume.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:28 AM on January 22, 2014

I've done the (formerly) approach with no known ill effects.
posted by davejay at 10:34 AM on January 22, 2014

Let me ask you a question: if you wanted, would the school issue you a new diploma with the new school's name? If so, then I would use just the new school name and don't over complicate the CV.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 11:39 AM on January 22, 2014

Let me ask you a question: if you wanted, would the school issue you a new diploma with the new school's name? If so, then I would use just the new school name and don't over complicate the CV.

But in the (uncommon) situation that education does get checked, wouldn't the employer just go straight to the university to avoid the possibility of forgery?

Not quite the same thing, but my mom nearly lost a job offer because she had changed her name (a combination of marriage, immigration and Americanization) and the employer checked her listed university without telling her; when the school reported that they had no record of a "mrs-andrewesque" ever attending that school the employer basically thought she had falsified the degree.
posted by andrewesque at 4:38 PM on January 22, 2014

I have a degree from a place that subsequently changed its name to that of a major donor. I list it with the original name (since that's what's actually on my degree) and then add (now Donor Name School of Whatever.)
posted by gingerbeer at 5:12 PM on January 22, 2014

This happened to me. On my resumes, I go this route:

BigDonor University (formerly TinyTown State College)

To complicate this more, it was actually BigDonor College in between, but I don't mention that. If an employer tried to verify my education, they'd have to call BigDonor U anyway.
posted by kimberussell at 7:53 PM on January 22, 2014

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